A Port Macquarie student has won a prestigious science prize with a forward-thinking idea to build sustainable housing from beeswax.
Aarohi Deshmukh from St Columba Anglican School is the Young Scientist of the Year after her visionary solution to a global issue impressed the judges from the Science Teachers Association of NSW (STANSW).
With homelessness rising in areas experiencing extreme weather, Aarohi landed on a design called The Hive, which uses geodesic domes as portable homeless shelters.
After extensive experimentation and testing, she layered natural materials to gain the required structural strength.
Aarohi was also awarded second place in her age group (years 11-12) in the Technical Innovations category at an awards ceremony held on Monday, November 27 at the University of Technology Sydney.
St Columba design and technology teacher Jacob Edmunds praised Aarohi's dedication and innovative thinking.
"It is great to see Aarohi receive such a high honour. It is a true testament to her focus, hard work and commitment to the design process," he said.
"She set out to design an ethical solution that improves the lives of our vulnerable people, and she did just that."
St Columba was well represented at the competition with two other students also excelling.
Nicalie McPherson won two categories, finishing first in both the Young Rural Scientist Award and Technological Innovations (years 11-12).
In what could be a very handy tool for campers and adventurers, Nicalie won with an invention called Trailer Light Tester. A portable device allowing people to test trailer or caravan lights using their mobile phone without connecting to a vehicle.
Cameron Grigg scored a highly commended in the Rural Young Scientist category with his project called Circulation Sandals. For those looking for improved movement when they walk, the sandal comes equipped with built-in electrical nerve stimulation.
The awards are in their 31st year and recognise scientific achievements and technological innovations of school students throughout New South Wales.
The program motivates students to delve into innovative projects, offering creative solutions to real-world problems. This year more than 680 STEM projects were submitted from schools across the state.
Following her sucess with The Hive, Aarohi will represent NSW and St Columba at the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) i3 Awards, showcasing her project on the national stage.
Her work as well as projects from her classmates will be on show at The Glasshouse in December as part of the Regional Creative Showcase.
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