Burnie High School

Solo student scientist in search of success


HAVING FUNGI:  Burnie High School grade 8 student Maeve Grieve is a finalist in the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards.  Picture:  Grant Wells, The Advocate. 

A BUDDING young scientist from Burnie High has impressed judges with her science, investigation and research skills.

Maeve Grieve, a grade 8 student, has been named as a finalist for the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards.

Maeve said she entered the same project into the UTAS Science Investigation Awards and won the Best Environment prize and then decided to adjust her work to tailor it to suit the BHP awards.

She is no newcomer to science, having previously won other local and state science awards, the same project received an award at the Tasmanian Science Talent Search.

The grade 8 student said she conducted her own research in order to complete her investigation which involved using fungi isolates to remediate heavy metals from the environment. 

"What happens when the remediation happens is the organisms use contaminants as a food source.  When I looked at how they grew I could determine whether that process was ocurring - some didn't grow at all because the contamination level was too high and some thrived completely and grew from the edge of the petri dish," she said.

"I've always been really interested in the environment and these particular subjects are really important to the North-West Coast," she said. 

She said winning a trip to the US would be an amazing experience and one to add to her resume.  Burnie High Science Leader Simone Summers said she was thrilled to hear that Maeve had been named as a finalist but she would face tough competition, going up against more senior applicants. "Her investigation was really interesting," she said.  "It's not something we teach in school so she has gone off on her own bat and has been very proactive."

Story by Rachel Cocard, The Advocate.