by Chloe Lambden (10 years old)
Entering the Oliphant Science Awards (OSA), from Year 1 (2017), I have now been doing it for 5 years running. I have entered the categories of Science Writing, Crystal Investigation, Photography and Posters over that time.
I like doing my projects and being lucky enough to win money. Using my prize money in 2020 I got a laptop to help me with future research, while in 2018 I got my ears pierced with crystal earrings matching my crystal topic.
On the OSA website you can find topics for each category. There are resources on the website as well. There is a lot of student information to find more out about rules and criteria. The judging rubric helps to show what you are expected to do.
For the Crystal Investigation, I asked my mum to buy my materials and supplies. I needed potash alum, and this year I got a new set of scales to weigh the potash alum. I also needed materials such as nylon thread or string, beakers, pop sticks and a ruler. To write my fortnightly check a log book is needed. The log book came from the OSA website.
Giving myself plenty of time, I start early in the year. I make a hypothesis from other questions raised through out previous investigations. I check my crystals regularly, recording changes.
A proud moment was when one of my crystals went from winning the SA crystal award in first place, then was selected to enter the national competition.
At the OSA Open Day in late August, it's cool to see whether or not you are a prize winner. It's nice to see what other people have done for their projects too.
It's fun to participate in the Oliphant Science Awards. I recommend doing it!