FAQs: UNSW Bragg Student Prize for Science Writing

Who is the competition for?

The UNSW Bragg student prize is open to all high school students in Years 7–10.

It’s a great way to complement your studies across all areas including Science, English, History & Geography, Design & Technology and more!

What is the topic this year?

The STEM of Everyday Life

Science, technology, engineering and maths is part of everything around us, from our response to the pandemic, to the tech we use for play. Mobile phones, traffic lights and TikTok, your food, health, the climate, the built environment and the natural world around you – STEM has had a part to play in understanding, refining and creating so much of the world we take for granted everyday.

In 800 words, explain the STEM behind something that’s part of your everyday life and important to you, your family, your culture, or your region.

If we didn’t have scientists, engineers and technologists, we wouldn’t have vaccines, productive crops, or algorithms that recognise your face on your phone. Discover and describe the science behind something that is directly relevant to your everyday life including why it’s important for society and to you personally.

Your 800 words essay could consist of:

  • Discuss the origins of natural phenomenon you’ve experienced
  • Analyse the science or engineering behind something you use everyday
  • Critically evaluate the history of a scientific or technological development

References do not count towards the word count.

How do I enter?

Entering is easy and completely free!

Students write a short piece about ‘The STEM in Everyday Life’, which must be 800 words or less (not including references). They can submit their essay themselves HERE from the 20th of April 2021, or teachers can submit them for your class via this Google form.

To enter, students need to agree to the terms and conditions, and their parents to sign the consent form, which is uploaded with their submission. Entries close 27 August 2021.

What is the prize?

The winner will be awarded a $500 UNSW Bookshop voucher and a subscription to the Australian Book Review.

The winning essay will be included in the 2022 edition of NewSouth Publishing’s highly acclaimed anthology The Best Australian Science Writing, where it will appear alongside essays by some of the country’s leading science writers. It will also appear in an issue of CSIRO’s Double Helix Magazine, on CareerswithSTEM.com and on newsouthpublishing.com

Winners and runners up will get the opportunity to attend the Bragg Prize award ceremony and launch of The Best Australian Science Writing 2021 in Sydney.

What is the preferred referencing style?

We prefer the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style, which is used in most Australian universities. You can see an example here.
However the most important part is your essay – we’re looking for the best writing rather than the best referencing.

Are references included in the word count?

References do not contribute to your essay word count.

How will the competition be judged?

Judges will assess entries on: suitability of topic, language and tone, accuracy, imaginative quality and overall quality of writing.

Entries will be assessed by a panel of judges chosen by UNSW Press.

The winners will be notified and announced in October 2021 and promoted at an event in November 2021.

What are the competition dates?

The UNSW Bragg Student Prize is open from 20 April 2021 to 27 August 2021. Winner announced Monday, 11 October.

Competition sponsors

2020 UNSW Bragg Student Prize for Science Writing sponsor logos

STEM Contributor

Author: STEM Contributor

This article was written by a STEM Contributor for Careers with STEM. To learn more, please visit our contact page.


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