Educational Events, Opportunities and Competitions 2018

Educational Events, Opportunities and Competitions 2018
                         Please note: many 2018 dates were not available at the time of publication.
                                  Event organisers should be contacted for further details.

Aeronautical Velocity Challenge
This is a STEM initiative focused on addressing Australia’s shortage of scientists and engineers. Over 700
students were involved in regional final events in 2017 and nearly 200 progressed to the state finals to
share in the $5000 student prize pool.
There are three strands to the competition - Bottle Rockets, Propeller Powered Planes and Drones.
Teams partake in challenges to design, produce and battle their creations whilst aiming to achieve
maximum velocity and distance travelled. Students compete in teams of up to five students in either the
primary, junior (Years 7-9) or senior (Years 10-12) division.
Australasian Problem Solving Mathematical Olympiads
The annual APSMO Maths Olympiad is a challenging competition for high-achieving maths students and
consists of a series of 5 separate contests - one per month from May to September. The main aim of the
program is to introduce students to important mathematical concepts, teach major strategies and
develop flexibility for problem solving, foster creativity and ingenuity and strengthen intuition, stimulate
enthusiasm and enjoyment of mathematics, provide for the satisfaction, joy and thrill of meeting
Olympiad registrations are now open for 2018.
There are two divisions:
 - Junior: Division J - for students in school Years 5 and 6
 - Senior: Division S - for students in school Years 7 and 8
Students in lower years may participate in either division.
Australasian Problem Solving Mathematical Games
The Maths Games competition has been specifically designed to provide an opportunity for mainstream
students in Years 5 and 6 to learn and develop valuable problem solving skills and exposes them to the
application of mathematical problem solving strategies and techniques. Teams of high-achieving Year 4
students may also be considered for entry to the Maths Games competition as a precursor to the Maths
Olympiad. Maths Games are aligned with the Australian curriculum and focus on challenging students to
think laterally and creatively when solving mathematically-based problems.
Schools can enter teams of up to 30 students to participate in the Maths Games anytime throughout the
year, the first contest takes place in May and is followed by four other contests held in June, July, August
and September. Maths Games focus on encouraging students to challenge themselves and develop their
own abilities whilst working with teachers and fellow students to enhance their skills in this area.
Australian Brain Bee Challenge
The Australian Brain Bee Challenge (ABBC) is a competition for high school students in year 10 to learn
about the brain and its functions, learn about neuroscience research, find out about careers in
neuroscience and to dispel misconceptions about neurological and mental illnesses. The program was
started in Australia in 2006 to address a number of deficiencies in the public's perception of science in
general, and neuroscience in particular. The ABBC provides current and accurate information on the
latest advances in neuroscience research and its value to the community, and promotes careers in
science and technology. This is a 3-part competition. Round 1 is an online quiz held in school hours and
takes place in March. Students scoring well will be selected to progress to Round 2, held at a University
in your state. Winners will progress to the National Final where seven Australian students (one from each
state/territory) compete against each other to become the Australian Brain Bee Champion. The
champion can compete in the International Brain Bee (IBB). The IBB takes place over two days at an
international neuroscience/psychology conference and in the past has been held in places such as
America, Europe, South Africa, and Australia. See

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Australian Informatics Olympiad (AIO)
A national computer programming competition held annually. Students write short computer programs
to solve three problems that vary in difficulty. The competition does not test computer literacy or
knowledge, but is focused on problem solving through programming skills. Registrations for this event
open in February. There are two papers: Intermediate for students up to Year 10, and Senior for students
up to Year 12. Each paper consists of three problems, and students submit the source code for their
solutions online during the three-hour contest.
Australian History Competition
Entry/registration opens early 2018 and closes on 31 March. Prepared by the History Teachers’
Association of Australia and run in conjunction with ‘The Giant Classroom’, the competition will be
offered at two separate levels:
    • A year 7 & 8 paper will be broadly based on the Australian Curriculum: History for Years 7 & 8
    • A year 9 & 10 paper will be broadly based on the Australian Curriculum: History for Years 9 & 10
The next competition is set to take place on 23 May 2018.
Australian Mathematics Competition
The Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) was introduced in Australia in 1978 as the first Australia-
wide mathematics competition for students. It has since spread internationally, with students in more
than 30 countries attempting the same problems. The competition has recently been made available in
two formats (online and paper), allowing even more students to participate worldwide. The AMC is for
students of all standards. Students are asked to solve 30 problems in 60 minutes (Years 3–6) or 75
minutes (Years 7–12). The problems are designed to test mathematical thinking and questions are
designed so that they can be answered just as quickly without a calculator as with one. The problems get
more difficult through the competition, so that at the end they are challenging to the most gifted
students. Students of all levels will make progress through the problems and also be challenged along
the way. Entries open from February 2018. Competition will be held on 9 August 2018.
Australian Museum Eureka Prizes
Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the prizes reward excellence in the fields of science
engagement, leadership, school science, research & innovation. Key dates for 2018:
    • 2 February: Entries open
    • 4 May: Entries close 7pm AEST
    • Late July: Finalists announced online
    • 29 August: Winners announced at the Award Dinner
Australian National Chemistry Quiz
Conducted annually by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, the Australian National Chemistry Quiz
provides a major focus for secondary school students on the relevance of chemistry in an exciting and
stimulating way. Students must be between the ages of 12 and 18 to be eligible for entry. The Quiz
comprises 30 multiple choice questions and takes one hour to complete. It is run in-school and promotes
“Science for everybody”. Registrations open in March 2018 and close Friday 8 June. The quiz will be held
on Thursday 2 August 2018. For more information see:
ASX Schools Sharemarket Game
While you teach your students about investing and the Sharemarket, they can put into practice what
they are learning by playing the Schools Sharemarket Game. Students receive a virtual $50,000 that
they can invest over a 10 week period, in 200 companies listed on the ASX. The prices students buy and
sell at are the same prices as they would get in the live market so this is as close to real life share trading
as you can get. It is free to play and as a bonus, students can win great cash prizes!
There are teacher lesson plans and resources available once you register for the Game.
     • Game 1 - Registrations open: 8 February. Game play: 8 Mar - 16 May
     • Game 2 - Registrations open: 19 July. Game play: 16 Aug – 24 October
Big Science Competition
A 50-minute test of critical thinking and problem solving skills, the 2018 Big Science Competition will be
held between 9 -16 May. Registrations close 2 May 2018. It’s an easy way to challenge students from

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Years 7 to 10 and track their performance against state or national averages. Competition questions are
aligned with the Australian Curriculum – Science.
Computational and Algorithmic Thinking (CAT)
This is a one-hour problem-solving competition, held 27 March 2018, which seeks to identify computer
programming potential - something which students might not normally have an opportunity to
demonstrate. The competition is an ideal activity to encourage an interest in programming and is
suitable for any mathematics class. No prior experience in computer programming is necessary. There
are various papers for Years ranging 5 through 12.
Dorothy Mackellar Poetry Awards
The aim of the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards is to capture the imagination of every school student
in Australia, inspiring them with a passion for poetry. It is a unique national project, giving Australia's
young people a voice and an opportunity to strive for excellence in literature. Prizes include a range of
plaques, trophies and cash. Phone: (02) 67421200, email:
Extension History Essay Prize
The Extension History Essay Prize is open to essays that:
    • Satisfy the requirements of the NSW HSC Extension Project
    • Are the product of genuine research
    • Represent ‘interesting and well written history’
Entry forms available early 2018. Please note that this competition has no link with the HSC exam. Cash
prizes to be won. Winning Essays will be published throughout 2018. For more information please
contact the prize organisers:
Future Problem Solving Program Australia
“Challenging students to apply their imagination and thinking skills.”
The program challenges students to apply their minds to some of the significant issues facing the world
of today and the future, equipping them with the vision, skills and tools to design and promote positive
futures for the society in which they live. Global Issues Problem Solving, Scenario Writing, Scenario
Performance and Community Problem Solving. Open to junior, middle and senior teams. Submission
deadline dates vary depending on chosen topic.
HSC Mathematics Extension 1&2 Day
This annual event, run by MANSW, is designed to be a challenging and intellectually stimulating occasion
for students who are studying Mathematics Extension 1 or 2. The day is filled with inspirational lectures
and revision workshops for students alongside their teachers. Online registration and further
information available at:
HSC Mathematics Lectures – Metropolitan
MANSW's ever-popular HSC lectures at Sydney University will be back in 2018.
HSC Mathematics Lectures – Regional
MANSW professional officers are available to deliver one day of HSC lectures for Mathematics 2 Unit,
Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics General 2 in-school. If you are willing to host a full day of HSC
lectures in your region, please email
HTANSW HSC History Study Days
HTANSW has been successfully running its HSC History Study Days at the University of Sydney for over
30 years. Lectures are presented by experienced teachers and markers of the HSC, and therefore
provide invaluable assistance to students preparing for HSC History.
Program and Registration due April 2018. Workshop days will be held on:
   • Thursday 14 June – Ancient History, Modern History and Extension History
   • Friday 15 June – Ancient History and Modern History
   • Saturday 16 June – Ancient History, Modern History and Extension History

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Investigating with Mathematics
For all school students from Kindergarten to Year 12, Investigating with Mathematics is a project based
competition that aims to promote interest in mathematics and foster positive attitudes amongst students,
teachers and parents. The purpose of the investigation is to explore real life situations and problems to
engage students and teachers in mathematics. It involves students formulating their own questions from a
given situation. Registrations open 1 March 2018. For further information see website:
Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award
The Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award aims to encourage the use of clear and effective spoken
English. The competition provides an opportunity for NSW junior secondary students to improve their
confidence and to develop their speech-writing and public speaking skills.
Entry in this competition is open to NSW government and non-government secondary students who
were aged 14 years old or younger on 1 January 2018. Each school can enter a maximum of 2 contestants.
Competition entries open January 2018, with the deadline being Thursday 22 March 2018. See website:
Mathematics Enrichment for Young Australians
“Meet the challenge of a number of in-depth yet accessible problems.”
The Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians (MCYA) is a staged program that runs over the course
of 16 weeks, designed to help teachers motivate and develop mathematically interested students in
years 3–10. Further information and registration on website:
Mathematics at Luna Park
MANSW has prepared resources for teachers who would like to take their students on an excursion to
Luna Park for a great day of fun whilst engaged in the processes of working mathematically. Available to
students from Years 5-12, booking are available throughout the year.
Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition
For 23 years now the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition has been encouraging
primary school students to explore ideas of multiculturalism in Australia, as well as giving them a place
to practice their public speaking skills and improve their confidence.
Open to all NSW government primary schools. The competition has two different age divisions – one for
Years 3&4 students and one for Years 5&6 students. Schools can enter a maximum of 2 contestants in
each of the 2 age divisions, totalling 4 contestants overall. Entries open in January, with the deadline for
submissions being 23 March 2018.
National History Challenge- “Turning Points”
The National History Challenge is a research-based competition for students. It gives students a chance
to be an historian, investigating their community and exploring their own past.
NSW Premier’s Sporting Challenge
The Challenge includes a range of initiatives with one common purpose – to have more students, more
active, more of the time. Sporting Challenge Registrations are now open. For online registration and
further details
NSW Schools Titration Competition
NSW Schools Titration competition is a “A quantitative analytical competition open to NSW students
currently enrolled in Senior Chemistry studying towards the Higher School Certificate”.
Plain English Speaking Award
The Plain English Speaking Award aims to encourage the use of clear and effective spoken English. Since
its inception in 1978, the competition has provided an opportunity for NSW senior students to improve
their confidence and to develop their speech-writing and public speaking skills. Cash prizes to be won.
Entries open January 2018. Open to NSW government and non-government secondary schools.
Contestants must be between 15 and 18 years of age (inclusive) on 1 January and hold an Australian
Citizenship or Permanent Residency. Entry closes 22 March 2018.
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Premier’s Debating Challenges
The Premier's Debating Challenge is open to all NSW government schools, with the aim of developing
the public speaking and reasoning skills of students from Years 5 to 12.
Premier’s Reading Challenge
The Challenge aims to encourage a love of reading for leisure and pleasure in students and to enable
them to experience quality literature. It is not a competition but a challenge to each student to read, to
read more and to read more widely. Challenge runs from Monday 5 March until Friday 31 August 2018
and is available to students from kindergarten – year 9 in all NSW schools. Booklists are available early
2018. Further information on website:

Rostrum Voice of Youth
Rostrum is extremely proud to champion the public speaking skills of Australian young people through
the annual Rostrum Voice of Youth student development program. This competition is open to all high
school students across Australia who meet the age requirements and is conducted in senior and junior
divisions. Many schools conduct their own competitions to determine the students who will enter the
Rostrum event. The Voice of Youth culminates in the National Speaking Competition which involves a
prepared speech and an impromptu speech. Over 3000 students participate in the Rostrum Voice of
Youth each year, covering over 500 schools.
Science and Engineering Challenge
This is a competition designed to provide Year 10 high school students with a positive experience of
science and engineering. A maximum of 8 schools per day compete against each other in various
activities, where students are awarded points for their efforts. The school with the most cumulative
points at the end of the day is declared the winner. Winning schools will subsequently compete against
each other for a place in the state and perhaps, the national competition. Watch the Science &
Engineering Challenge video at or visit
The College, Western Sydney University
Offers short courses and HSC lectures throughout the year.
The Simpson Prize
The Simpson Prize is for year 9 and 10 students to participate in a nationwide essay competition, giving
them the chance to win an unforgettable 2 week trip to Turkey as well as a preparatory trip to Canberra.
Contact organisers for 2018 subject matter and dates.
Tournament of Minds
“Tournament of Minds is a problem solving program for teams of students from both primary and
secondary years.” This annual competition is suitable for all students and stems from the following
    • Science Technology
    • Engineering Mathematics
    • Social Sciences
    • Language Literature.
Western Sydney University – Schools Engagement
Schools Engagement offers various programs and full day events through the university and in
partnership with other educational organisations. These include: Math IT, Young Writers’ Day and
organising Academic and Professional Speakers to visit schools.

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Western Sydney University – School of Computing Engineering and Mathematics
SCEM offers a diverse range of STEM engagement activities. These include Engineering Frontiers,
Impress Design Workshop, and other new and exciting workshops in computing and design.
Their Makerspace facility is an open public workshop, where you can bring your Ideas to Life. There is
equipment, advice and expertise on offer, to help make your idea a reality. Access to the MakerSpace
facility can be arranged by visiting
To find out more about SCEM’s programs, see
If you are interested in arranging student excursions to Penrith Observatory please see
“What Matters?” Writing competition
What Matters?” is run by the Whitlam institute at Western Sydney University, and is inspired by Gough
Whitlam's commitment to involving young people in the shaping of Australia's future. The competition
gives students from years 5 – 12, in NSW and the ACT, a chance to say what really matters in society
today. “What actions do you think should be taken to build a better society? What would you change if
you could? What do you want other people to care about?” Sign up at:
Young Writers’ Day
Young Writers' Day is run by Western Sydney University annually and aims to recognise the talent of
local students, and give students the opportunity to meet and learn from established authors. For more
information on content and venues please see website:

This document has been produced by:
Schools Engagement
Western Sydney University
(02) 9678 7423
All hyperlinks and information contained within were current as of February 2018

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