2019 Beijing Bound | STEM projects takes Busselton student to Beijing

Students from St Mary MacKillop College and Busselton Senior High School took part in a STEM research project Beijing Bound run in partnership with Scitech and Rio Tinto.
Students from St Mary MacKillop College and Busselton Senior High School took part in a STEM research project Beijing Bound run in partnership with Scitech and Rio Tinto.

Busselton Senior High School Year 10 student Chloe Rogers is bound for China to present a STEM research project at the annual annual Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition.

Ms Rogers was one of five students from St Mary MacKillop College and Busselton Senior High School who took part in a STEM research program called Beijing Bound, run in partnership with Scitech and Rio Tinto.

The students were matched with mentors from Rio Tinto based on their STEM interest and the mentors' skills and expertise, who helped them with their research project.

Ms Rogers' project looked at the effect of Mexican water lilies on algal blooms by comparing nutrient levels in areas with and without the plant, and nutrient levels in areas with native plants.

The Year 10 students who took part in the program presented their research project to a judging panel on Monday consisting of a science professional, Scitech and Rio Tinto employees.

Scitech STEM careers coordinator Erin Kelly said students from Busselton and Karratha took part in the program.

"The Year 10 students came up with their project idea and had complete freedom to pursue their own interests within STEM," she said.

"They have been doing their projects since May and Monday was a chance for them to present their results.

"Last year we took a student from both Busselton and Karratha and they both won medals, which was really fantastic.

"The quality of the science projects that we get out of this is amazing and I am so impressed and honoured that I get to work with these students because they are really amazing."

Scitech acting chief executive officer Kalien Selby said Beijing Bound was a West Australian program that took local ideas, research and capabilities and put them on an international stage.

"It creates a bridge between education and industry to give students a realistic understanding of what a STEM career can involve," she said.

"The program takes an innovative approach to traditional education that inspires and informs with very positive results.

"We are extremely proud to partner with Rio Tinto to deliver Beijing Bound and the opportunities for secondary school students that come with it."

Rio Tinto Dampier Salt general manager Brendon Brodie-Hall said there had been some exceptional research projects delivered by students through the Beijing Bound program in recent years.

"The ability to solve complex problems through smart use of technology is at the heart of what we need in a mining workforce of the future," he said.

"At Rio Tinto we know that we need to inspire more students into STEM-related pathways, which is why we are proud supporters of the Beijing Bound program."