Rules and requirements
The BioGENEius Challenge of Western Australia is open to all Western
Australian public and private school students in years 8 to 12 who
are currently enrolled in any biology or science-related courses.
Contact with a mentor is a key component of this competition. Researchers
are typically located at the five universities in Western Australia.
Nominating students must be able to travel to their mentor and lab
Students must complete the nomination form and submit it by 5pm, Friday 15 June.
Nominations must be endorsed by each student's science teacher
and consent section signed by at least one parent.
Students must be self motivated, organised, have an interest in scientific research and be committed to working with their mentor to complete the project.
Eligible students are invited to nominate to participate in the BioGENEius Challenge.
Nominations close 15 June 2012.
Based on their nomination submissions, the Department of Commerce will select and match suitable students to mentors. Student selection and matching is final and without appeal.
Successful students will be notified by Friday 22 June 2012.
For the purposes of this program, the following definition of biotechnology is used:
"Biotechnology is the use of the knowledge of biological systems to produce goods and services."
The following rules apply to the Challenge:
- A project is deemed relevant if the content relates to the various applications of biotechnology such as health care, agriculture and forestry, food processing, mining and the environment, and forensics; and it applies the knowledge and techniques of scientific studies such as biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology and biotechnology.
- The project must include scientific experiments that recognise and control all significant variables and demonstrate excellent collection, analysis and presentation of data. Students do not necessarily need access to a wet lab research can be done at home, in the school lab or in the field.
- The project should not involve the use of any dangerous chemicals or biohazardous materials, except under the direct supervision of qualified personnel with appropriate permission and consent forms completed.
- The project should conform in general with the International Science and Engineering Fair Guidelines.
- Students must work individually on a unique research question. The project can be either a small component of a current research program, or a stand alone project.
- Students are able to undertake ongoing research across multiple years of the Challenge, submitting the current work for judging each year.
- Participation in the BioGENEius Challenge is an extra-curricular activity.
- Judging criteria emphasise the students understanding of their research and their ability to communicate it.
Project requirements and guidelines
- Students and mentors are committing to working on the project for one year. Timing of the work on the project is negotiated by agreement between the mentor and the student. Projects should commence in April of the competition year. Project submissions will be due in February of the following year.
- If both student and mentor wish, research may be continued across multiple years. The student submits the current work for judging each year. The decision to continue together can be made at the conclusion of each project year.
- Students are responsible for organising travel to and from lab sessions, meetings with their mentor and BioGENEius workshops.
- The time required for the student to work on their projects will vary. Work may be conducted at home, at the school, with the mentor or in the mentors lab. As a guide, the mentor should expect to have contact with the student at least once a fortnight and possibly more frequently during the participants school holidays.
- Students are matched with a mentor and will work within their mentors research area. The specific research question within this area will be negotiated.
- Scientists may nominate a student they wish to mentor.
BioGENEius students will be required to submit the following for judging:
A Project Plan, including timeline and meeting schedule. This should be established at the outset of the project and submitted to Department of Commerce by 31 August 2012.
- At the conclusion of your project, submit for
- A research project report
- Your laboratory journal
- A scientific poster.
- If shortlisted as a semi-finalist:
- Be prepared to present their findings in a 10 minute presentation to the judging panel followed by 5 minutes of questions from the panel.
Please note: Guidelines for all submissions will be provided at the Introductory Workshop.