Media releases

Science award calls for students to think creatively

Posted: Tuesday 19 May 2020

Ballarat secondary school students are being encouraged to use their creativity to solve an everyday science problem in the 2020 Peter Doherty Science Award.

Organised by the Ballarat Tech School, the award is open to all Ballarat students from Year 7 to Year 10 and aims to promote scientific thought and activity among secondary school-aged students.

Remote and flexible learning will continue for all students in years 7 to 10 until Tuesday 9 June, but that won’t stop Victoria’s brightest young students from enrolling and solving everyday science problems.

In groups of between two and five, students are required to carry out an investigation into an everyday scientific issue of their choice, prepare a scientific report of their findings and present their report as a formal scientific poster and a verbal presentation.

Students interested in entering can find the enrolment form via the Ballarat Tech School website at

Alternatively, they can ask their teachers about enrolling through their school as part of their Science/STEM curriculum project work.

After enrolling, students will be able to access the Peter Doherty Science Award support materials, including information on applying the scientific method, producing scientific posters, delivering presentations and research topic ideas.

Enrolments open on Monday, May 4, with submissions closing on 30 October.

A judging and presentation night will be held at Ballarat Tech School on 18 November, 2020.

The overall winners and their schools will receive a share in $1,000 prizemoney and the winners of the Communication Award will receive a STEM prize pack.

The annual award, established in 2009, is a collaboration between the Committee for Ballarat and Australian Nobel Prize-winner Professor Peter Doherty, and is facilitated by the Ballarat Tech School.

Professor Doherty shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1996 with Swiss colleague Rolf Zinkernagel for their discovery of how the immune system recognises virus-infected cells.

Quotes attributable to Award Ambassador and Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity Researcher Catriona Nguyen-Robertson

"Young people have a whole lot of curiosity and creativity, and that's exactly what science needs. By encouraging students to use STEM to investigate and problem-solve, this award program is fostering the next generation of brilliant scientists!"

Quotes attributable Ballarat Tech School Acting Associate Director Andrew Henwood

“It is often hard for young science students to feel like their ideas matter. This award gives local students a voice in the scientific community and the opportunity to make a difference to our collective knowledge of the world we live in.” 

Contact Stephanie Charalambous
Media and Communications Advisor
0429 360 727