International Science Poetry Competition

Progress With Judging, 2014

You may follow progress with the judging of the 2014 International Science Poetry Competition here.

Poems processed. Done.
Judging. Done.
Major award-winners emailed to all facilitators and shown below. Done.
Trophies and certificates prepared.
In progress.
Trophies and certificates despatched.

Major Awards, 2014

Winner, 15+ Years: "Paper Plane Crafting," Samantha Drayton, Moss Vale High School, Moss Vale, NSW, Australlia (Trophy)
Runner-Up, 15+ Years: "Quantum Physics," Caleb Price, Calvary Christian College, Carbrook, Qld.,

Winner, 12-14 Years: "The Mystery Brew," Kate Morrison, Methodist Ladies College, Kew, Vic., Australia (Trophy)
Runner-Up, 12-14 Years: "The Science Fair," Frankie Munro, Campbell Street Primary School, Hobart, Tas., Australia

Winner, 9-11 Years: "Space School," Jordana Kerr, Kempsey West Public School, West Kempsey, NSW, Australia (Trophy)
Runner-Up, 9-11 Years: "The Water Cycle," Heather, Newham Primary School, Newham, Vic., Australia

Major Awards, 2013

Winner, 15+ Years: "What did you Learn Today?" Alijah Tanner, Albury High School, Albury, NSW, Australlia
Runner-Up, 15+ Years: "Untitled," Rhianna Spooner,
Albury High School, Albury, NSW, Australlia

Winner, 12-14 Years: "How Clean is Your House?" Charlotte Young, Fahan School, Lower Sandy Bay, Tasmania, Australia (Trophy)
Runner-Up, 12-14 Years: "Ode to an Open Mind," Sam Wait, Central Coast Grammar School, Erina Heights, NSW, Australia

Winner, 9-11 Years: "The Science Behind my Yoyo," Ally Liessmann, Somerville House, Toowong, Queensland, Australia
Runner-Up, 9-11 Years: "Our Solar System," Ruby Storti, Christ the King School, Deception Bay, Queensland, Australia

Major Awards, 2012

Winner, 15+ Years: "The Silence of a Sleeping House," Esther Nelson, Ballard High School, Seattle, WA, USA (Trophy)
Runner-Up, 15+ Years: "The Science," Sarah Hartnell, Trafalgar High School, Trafalgar, Vic., Australia

Winner, 12-14 Years: "A Chemistry Tale," Aimee Sanders, Coonabarabran High School, Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia (Trophy)
Runner-Up, 12-14 Years: "Testing: Is Carbon Present?" Georgia Mawson, Euroa Secondary College, Euroa, Vic., Australia

Winner, 9-11 Years: "Leaf," Siti Nur Aisyah BT Mohamad Dahlan, Sultan Sulaiman 1 Primary School, Terengganu, Malaysia (Trophy)
Runner-Up, 9-11 Years: "Solids and Liquids," Nur Damia Qistina BT Roslan,
Sultan Sulaiman 1 Primary School, Terengganu, Malaysia

Major Awards, 2011

Winner, 15+ Years: "The Emotionless Einstein / Computer," George Manassa, Our Lady of Lebanon College, Harris Park, New South Wales, Australia (Trophy)
Runner-Up, 15+ Years: "Plastic Facts," Samantha Harstedt

Winner, 12-14 Years: "The Chemistry of Life," Domenic Quail, Hale School, Wembley Downs, Western Australia (Trophy)
Runner-Up, 12-14 Years: "The Da Vinci Code," Tara Sofia Jadwani-Bungar

Winner, 9-11 Years: "Air," Martin Xiao, Centaur Public School, Banora Point, New South Wales, Australia (Trophy)
Runner-Up, 9-11 Years: "Science for the Hearing Impaired," Zaid Melrose

Major Awards, 2010

Winner, 15+ Years: Jack Burnham, Caloundra Christian College, Caloundra, Queensland, Australia (Trophy)
Runner-Up, 15+ Years: Christopher Small, The Friends' School, Sandy Bay, Tasmania, Australia

Winner, 12-14 Years: Ji Soo, Hanoi International School, Hanoi, Vietnam (Trophy)
Runner-Up, 12-14 Years: Ellysia Oldsen, Willyama High School, Broken Hill, Australia

Winner, 9-11 Years: Jessica Morris, Rutherglen Primary School, Rutherglen, Australia (Trophy)
Runner-Up, 9-11 Years: Isabelle Spencer, St Stephen's School, Duncraig, Australia

Major Awards, 2009

Winner, 15+ Years: Jack Burnham, Caloundra Christian College, Caloundra, Queensland, Australia (Trophy) (Adjudicator's comment. What a pleasure it was to come across such a well-structured poem. The rhyme was good, the rhythm confident, and the subject matter an excellent light-hearted take on the well-known James Bond story)
Runner-Up, 15+ Years: Monique du Plessis, Newman College, Churchlands, Perth, Australia

Winner, 12-14 Years: Kate Olver, Newman College, Churchlands, Perth, Australia (Trophy)
Runner-Up, 12-14 Years: Cavan Yau, Newman College, Churchlands, Perth, Australia

Winner, 9-11 Years: Hana Elizabeth Hampton, Unity College, Caloundra West, Queensland, Australia
Joint Runners-Up, 9-11 Years: Meaghan Gaunt, Merri Creek Primary School, North Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia and Mia Curtis, Christ Church Grammar, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia

Some general thoughts from the Adjudicator. There were many more entries this year, and they were uniformly GOOD! However, there are still problems regarding rhyme and rhythm. Those who try to use these devices can generally master the rhythm but use near-miss, bad-miss, or assonance instead of rhyme. Of course, there were those who wrote in blank verse, but I think I read only one that I could honestly say was “poetic language”!

Major Awards, 2008

Winner, 15+ Years: Leah Ferguson, Methodist Ladies' College, Kew, Victoria, Australia (Trophy)
Runner-Up, 15+ Years: Heveire Baban, Bolton School, Bolton, Lancashire, UK

Winner, 12-14 Years: Jack Burnham, Caloundra Christian College, Caloundra, Queensland, Australia (Trophy) (Adjudicator's comment. This young man has really got the basic idea of "class" poetry!)
Runner-Up, 12-14 Years: Colleen Smit, Millen Primary School, East Victoria Park, Western Australia

Winner, 9-11 Years: Lachlan Pickering, St Philips Christian School, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia (Trophy) (Adjudicator's comment. A very good effort!)
Runner-Up, 9-11 Years: Sam Gardiner, Wollondilly Anglican College, Tahmoor, New South Wales, Australia

Major Awards, 2007

Winner, 15+ Years: Virginia Albert, The Kinkaid School, Houston, TX, USA (Trophy)
Joint Runners-Up, 15+ Years: Adam Herman, John F. Kennedy High School, Bellmore, NY, USA and Catherine Leigh, Loreto Mandeerville Hall, Toorak, Vic, Australia

Winner, 12-14 Years: Jack Burnham, Caloundra Christian College, Caloundra, Qld, Australia (Trophy)
Runner-Up, 12-14 Years: Katrina Cruz, Methodist Ladies' College, Kew, Vic, Australia

Winner, 9-11 Years: Dylan Crowe, Millen Primary School, Perth, WA, Australia
Runner-Up, 9-11 Years: Luke Suter, Millen Primary School, Perth, WA, Australia

About the Adjudicator

Carmel Randle is a retired school teacher who now indulges her love of poetry by writing and publishing it, as well as visiting schools to help keep alive the great Australian tradition of speaking poetry aloud for fun! She lives on Queensland's Darling Downs, along with various horses, some retired, and some being trained by her daughter as endurance horses.

She has
travelled widely throughout Australia, and has thrice performed at the Cowboy Poetry Festivals of the north-west USA. Carmel's poetry has won her many awards, including Winton's prestigious "Bronze Swagman" twice and the Tamworth "Blackened Billy" twice. She is also known for her Performance Competition successes.

Carmel is the editor of, and contributor to, the very successful series
The Co-operative Books of Verse for Aussie Children. She has published four anthologies of her own poetry. Her text book, Help! - A Handbook for Writers and Performers of Rhymed Poetry, is used widely by schools and writers' groups in Australia.

Adjudicator's Comments

What a pleasure it has been, during recent years, to read so many spirited attempts to combine science with poetry. Originality has been the key word, with efforts ranging from accounts of Science lessons, through setting the science laboratory rules to rhyme, to building acrostic poems around the subject, to hypothetical stories of scientists.

The following reflections may be useful. For a piece of writing to be poetry rather than prose, it needs to use some form of poetic language. Many of the entries attempted rhyme and rhythm. Even very young children can understand and attempt rhyme, though handling rhythm successfully takes longer. It was pleasing to note that many of the entries from the older students showed a good understanding of rhythm too.

The writers of free verse and acrostic poems need to work on creating an image--or picture--with their writing. This can be achieved by using similes, metaphors, assonance, onomatopoeia, alliteration, etc. even before a student is aware of these names for aspects of poetic language. Lack of such poetic language in such poems reduces them to prose.

My congratulations to Dr Eastwell, Science Time Educational Consultancy, and The Science Education Review for conducting this unique competition. And a special "Bravo! Well done!" to those who are accepting the challenge. In my book, you're all potential winners!

Describing Antarctica

Antarctica has amazing features,
It also has its wonderful creatures.
In its waters it has whales, penguin, seal
So what you may think? Big deal?

Sometimes the wind scoured snowdrifts into huge waves.
The action of the wind formed iceberg caves.
Clumsy explorers fell down crevasses.
It's so snowy and white you'll need directive compasses.
Casey Station has been designed like an aircraft wing.
It has snow sculptures, blizzards, glaciers, that sort of thing.

Some icebergs are old and capsized,
If we were under there we'd be squashed like flies!
Mount Erebus pours out boiling hot steam,
If you were thinking of trees and horses,
You must have had a bad dream!
Snowflakes that fall there are never the same shape,
They also have ice that forms like pancakes.

If you visit Antarctica the land of snow and ice,
Watch out for crevasses and icebergs,
And you'll find it very nice!

Jessica Cameron
Matthew Pearce Public School

Science Teachers Take Themselves Too Seriously

Oh great, double science in three and four
I just can't take it anymore!
This subject is such a bore
Oh how embarrassing, I'm starting to snore!

Molecules, electricity, minerals and space,
When I hear these words I scrunch up my face,
Science is put there to pass people's time,
So they can act important and earn a dime.
There's so many things we don't need to know,
So why not just sit back and go with the flow?
Don't get me wrong, if it interests you
Then study it all day and all night too.

But if you force us to tediously study it,
You can't complain when we don't care a bit.
Quite frankly I couldn't care less how plants eat
So I just sit here, rocking my feet.

The Earth itself knows how to run,
So why must we always jump the gun,
And assume there's things we need to know...
And make school hours go so slow.

The Earth will continue to spin and rotate,
Whether or not we study it in Year 8.
What does it matter about the Earth's core?
When all you want to do is get out of the door?
I'd rather learn about something interesting
Like poetry, drama or how to sing . . .

But as I sit and stare out the window,
At the little girl sneezing down below,
I realise she is suffering from the flu -
She could use an antibiotic or two!
I guess some things we just need to know
To keep this world up and on the go.
Take penicillin; it would not exist
If it weren't for Fleming, the scientist.

Here comes Mrs Bowern, arriving in her car.
I wonder if she lives close by the school, or far?
It's because of science we have this machine -
I guess I've been really quite mean
Science gave us TV's and hair dryers,
It even gave us the equipment to put out fires!

So in the end I've come to see,
The many ways science has helped me.
Maybe Science doesn't take itself too seriously -
It's the teachers who teach it that make us bored,

Learning about chemicals, rockets and space
Really shouldn't make me scrunch up my face.
Perhaps the teacher should liven the pace
Without the white jacket and sterile lab,
Who knows . . . Science could even be quite FAB!

Stefanie Valenti
Tara Anglican School for Girls

Science Lesson Ever!

I was sitting in class the other day
When my teacher, Miss Dayle, started to say...
"Today we're being visited by a man,
A scientist! By the name of Dr. Stan."

Then suddenly, the door slammed open wide!
A man in white came inside.
He said... "Hallo, my name is Dr. Stan!"
We all sat, and stared at the crazy-haired man.

"Today I'm supposed talk to you about Space,"
Then he stopped, and a smile came across his face...
"But, today I won't just talk to you,
To make it more interesting ...

He put on his gloves and his eye-goggles too,
Then started to mix his chemical brew.
"Now it's ready ... I think!" he said,
He poured it all over us then UP we sped!

In space I felt as light as a feather,
and that (I think) was the
EVER !!!!

Luke Volker
Year 6
Dalby State School

Bunsen Burners

Outside our classroom we waited in the shade,
Looking at surroundings which the gardeners had made.
"Our teacher must be sick," I heard some students say,
So we have a different person teaching us today.

"Take your seats," he said out loud,
As he moved around the Year 8 crowd.
We were placed in groups of two and three,
Luckily my friends were next to me.

I looked around and saw the board change,
Our teacher was drawing something very strange,
"This is called a bunsen burner," he said, as he looked under the table,
And he handed us an object which looked very stable.

The drawing on the board was quite well done,
Then the lesson started to become more fun,
We were handed a box of safety matches
And allowed to light them in small batches.

One of my friends lit the match; the other held the taper,
I turned on the gas tap and recorded notes on paper,
Suddenly the room was full of light,
With red and blue flames in our sight.

This dazzling object amazed us all,
Our smiles and laughter bounced off the walls,
We were progressing so well, it wasn't a bore,
We didn't even use the taper anymore.

I lit the match and jumped away from the bright, blue flame,
This bunsen burner experiment was better than any game!
Suddenly the teacher said, "You have five minutes to go!"
We were having so much fun, we didn't even know.

I received my Bunsen Burner Licence, printed in yellow,
And our teacher turned out to be a very nice fellow,
"Congratulations!" he said and I gave him a smile,
My friends and I were overjoyed and could have jumped a mile.

That afternoon I went home and looked at my yellow card,
The experiment was really fun and it wasn't very hard,
I told my family what I'd done that day,
And I knew it couldn't be better any other way.

Miranda Cass
Year 8
Victoria Point State High School

"It's Change ... "

Mum I don't want to go to school today,
'cause I fear our world is in decay.

I feel my teachers are part of the plot,
I'm the only one who sees through the rot.

Scientists are cloning pigs and sheep,
Saying, it's change-a quantum leap.

Biologists are making stem cells grow,
Saying, it's change-the way to go.

Geologists are finding cracks in our earth,
Saying, it's change-predicting it's birth.

Archaeologists are digging up fossils and bones,
Saying, it's change-time for clones.

Yes, scientists are causing me great concern,
Giving us kids too much to learn!!!

Emma Gorrie
Year 8
St. John's College, Dubbo

 (Adjudicator's comments:  This shorter poem is very well structured. It sets the theme in the opening lines, uses repetition to effect, is quite accurate with rhyme, nearly accurate with rhythm, and is quite a good theme that comes to a suitably-rounded conclusion.)

I Want to be a Scientist

I want to be a Scientist
I want to own a lab
I want to be a specialist
You might think I'm mad
I want to use a laser beam
I want to win awards
I want to measure gravity
and study different laws
I don't want to be a circus clown
I don't want to be a nurse
I don't want to be an undertaker
and drive around in a hearse
I don't want to be a fireman
and battle fires all day
I want to be a scientist,
A scientist of today!

Adele O'Driscoll
Year 6
St Peter's School, Rockhampto


I sit in the laboratory and look slowly about.
My daydreams are disturbed by the teacher's hoarse shout.
"Do not sit down, get your books off the bench.
It's a science practical, not a lesson of French!
Put on your safety glasses! What are you - a fool?
Stop swinging that wire about, your friends don't think you're cool.
Quick! Get the mop! You have spilt Methyl Blue.
Don't step IN it .... I can't take much more of you!
You're a VHA student, you'd think you'd have half a brain!
An experiment isn't some carefree game!
This is serious stuff! You had better clean up your act!
PLEASE, don't graffiti on the school's test tube rack!
I've had enough of you, you're wasting my time!
If you don't want to learn, well, by me that is fine!"
Her attention was captured by my mates further down
who were firing up the burners, they were "just muckin' around."
I don't know what happened, maybe a bolt from the blue
to be perfectly honest I haven't a clue, But ....
I seriously considered the teachers' message loud and clear.
Clean up my act and get my brain into gear.
So I read the practical and then I read it once more.
I found this prac' interesting and not such a bore.
I measured the acids, A, B and C, added the zinc AND ...
What did I see?
Bubbles were frothing all over the place.
Fizzing and fuzzing as if in a race.
I watched very carefully, then wrote down what I'd seen.
The next step says ... "Equipment must be returned clean."
I walked over to the deep, square sink.
As I washed out the test tubes, I began to think.
If I put in more effort and tried a bit harder ...
I could end up becoming a real cool professor!
So, I sat down and studied my Year 9 Science Book,
trying hard not to notice my teacher's odd look!

Samantha Bennington
Year 9
Mirani State High School



Science is quite interesting,
Especially on science day!
I liked the really slimy stuff,
That drives you crazy all the way!

We added lot of liquids,
Colouring and water too!
And then we mixed it all up,
It looked just like slimy glue.

But the fun thing really was,
What it really does.
Drop it, not one stain
Throw it, drives you insane!

Aneesh Acharya
Year 5B
Townsville Grammar Junior School


I went into the science lab one day,
to find my teacher slaving away.
What he was working on I could not guess,
all I know was he was making a mess.
Test tubes and beakers,
even stinky old sneakers.
Everything in a muddle,
I nearly slipped in a puddle!
Then suddenly, BANG!!
I heard things clang.
I began to choke,
as I was surrounded in smoke.
Then all I could see,
was my teacher smiling with glee.
He'd invented an acid
which I thought looked quite placid.
It had a greeny-blue hue,
(more green than blue)
When I asked how it worked,
he went quite berserk.
It went on and on,
nearly turning into a song!
Then when he stopped
he looked ready to pop!
I think he'd gone mad
which was really quite sad.
I was annoyed at how far he got off the track,
'cause all I wanted was my test paper back!

Jane Benham
Year 9
Albany Creek State High School