3 prize-winning topics for Young Scientist of the Year

Young Scientist of the Year video competition - koalas
Think you can make an incredible video about wildlife conservation? Enter the University of Adelaide Young Scientist of the Year video competition!

Ready to flex your video-making skills for the University of Adelaide Young Scientist of the Year comp but just can’t think of a topic? We’re here to help with some idea starters.

For the University of Adelaide Young Scientist of the Year video competition, you’ll need to channel your inner eco-warrior to make a short video on an environmental problem or solution on one of the following topics:

Below, we’ve come up with a cool idea for each of these categories that are bound to get you noticed by the judges! Feel free to use one for your video entry, or let them inspire you to come up with your very own topic.

1. Wildlife conservation: Make a how-to on how to protect koalas

Koalas are facing a wide range of threats, according to the Australian Koala Foundation. These include:

  • Habitat loss
  • Cars and dogs
  • Bushfires
  • Diseases like conjunctivitis, pneumonia and urinary tract infections
  • Dieback – the gradual dying of trees due to things like land degradation, rising water levels underground, salination of soil, and erosion caused by wind and water

In your video, explain why koalas are important to you and how scientists are working to protect them from these threats. You should also come up with your own action plan for how to improve conservation efforts in this space.

Bonus ideas: Koalas not your jam? There are loads of other endangered Australian animals you could look into and report on, like numbats, northern quolls, mountain pygymy possums and orange-bellied parrots.

RELATED: The Young Scientist of the Year judges share their winning tips

2. Energy & critical minerals: Do a deep dive on solar panels

Young Scientist of the Year video competition - solar panels.
Generating electricity from solar panels produces zero greenhouse gases and can help reduce the effects of climate change.

If you’re passionate about saving the environment or want to tell the world how awesome the solar panels on your roof are, why not make a video about them? You’ll need to cover:

  • Where solar panels are used and who uses them
  • What minerals are required to make them
  • How they work, and how can they be improved
  • Why you think they’re an important technology
  • Any challenges to adopting this technology

Bonus ideas: If solar doesn’t spark your interest, have a think about other types of renewable energy tech. These include wind turbines, hydroelectricity, geothermal or marine energy.

RELATED: How to make a science video

3. Agriculture: Explain the link between cows, seaweed and climate change

Young Scientist of the Year video competition
Who wouldn’t want to watch a science video explaining how seaweed can stop planet-damaging cow burps?

Did you know that 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions and two thirds of agricultural emissions come from methane produced by cattle and sheep? And that some clever researchers have found that feeding cows seaweed could cut their methane emissions by 82%?

In your video, explain the impact of these emissions and describe how scientists came up with using seaweed to solve the problem (and exactly how it works). You should also share your own ideas on what else could be done to bring these emissions down.

Bonus ideas: If you’re not feeling cows + methane, there are other environmental issues in agriculture to explore. You could look at pollution, the effects of chemicals on crop production, or degradation of soil, water and air.

When you’re ready to enter the University of Adelaide Young Scientist of the Year video competition, head on over to the entry page. Entries close Friday 29 October. Good luck!

Louise Meers

Author: Louise Meers

Louise is the production editor for Careers with STEM. She has a journalism degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and has spent over a decade writing for youth. She is passionate about inspiring young people to achieve their biggest goals and build a better future.

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