Students sink their teeth into fruit and veg science competition

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities The Honourable Mark Furner

Registrations are open for school students to enter a national competition that focuses on the role science and agriculture plays in the sustainable production of nutritious and healthy food for the world’s people.

Now in its 25th year, the Schools Plant Science Competition is being run by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Hermitage Research Facility at Warwick.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said this year’s topic ‘Grow it, Taste it, Don’t Waste it!’ celebrated 2021 as the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables.

“Last year, more than 1,800 students from 100 schools submitted science and art entries and 108 schools from across the country have already registered to be part of this year’s competition,” Mr Furner said.

“Students will conduct hands-on experimental investigations on vegetable plants, research horticultural pests and diseases, undertake interesting taste testing and food spoilage experiments and pitch a new idea or concept to help combat global food wastage.

“They will also be immersed in nature with the QuestaGame ‘Pest Invaders’ mobile gaming app to spot and identify pests that impact our precious plant life and interfere with agricultural production. And they will be in the running for a selection of fantastic awards and prizes.

“Students with a flair for art can also enter the Art in AgRiculTure Awards, which combines the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables and DAF food research projects with the National Science Week theme for students.

“The National Science Week theme is ‘Food: Different by Design’ and students will be asked to create a “superhero” character to help promote a new “super” fruit or veg that’s been developed in a science lab.”

Hermitage Research Facility Schools Plant Science Competition entries close on 25 June 2021 and registrations are open until the end of May.

Winners will be announced on 17 August 2021 at the annual Awards Day and Agricultural Science Expo held at the Hermitage Research Facility in Warwick during National Science week (14-22 August 2021).

Hermitage Research Facility Schools Plant Science Competition activities are aligned to the Australian school curriculum, making it easy for teachers to incorporate the competition project into their learning programs.

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