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Posted by Oliphant Science Awards

on 15/04/2021

by Elizabeth Anderson, Mitcham Girls High School

Over the years of involvement with the Photography section of the Oliphant Science Awards I have been lucky enough to have judged work from Years 2 through 12 and to have supported our own students produce some outstanding work.  It’s amazing the quality of photos that students take now because they almost all have a camera with them all the time. 

Encourage students to take lots of photos, they will then have lots to choose from for their final product. Make sure each student does something different as when 5 or so students from the same school enter similar photos it becomes too hard to judge as the projects are hard to differentiate.

The photos all have to follow the same theme and be related to the topic or title of the entry, and the captions should be concise and relevant, as these will distract from the project if they draw attention away from the photos. You always have to remember that this is a photography competition so the photos have to be the hero. The science content is also really important, as we wouldn’t have this competition if it wasn’t for the science!

I am always blown away by the creative entries submitted each year, it is so exciting to find that the science content could qualify students for a sponsors prize and there are many sponsors that will reward students over a variety of areas, such as engineering, sustainability, and research.

Before you register your entries, please check the rules. If there are too many entries in the category the judges may have to shortlist entries based on them not meeting the requirements for the competition. The things to look out for are:

  • the size and number of the photos,
  • the details of the camera used,
  • too many students working on the one project,
  • and the captions not linking to the title.

Photography is a popular choice for our girls at Mitcham Girls High School. Our students look through all of the photos that they have taken on the topic, and select their photos carefully. We encourage them to choose coloured card that will make the photos “pop”. We don’t always agree with the student’s choice but it is their decision and sometimes they surprise us with contrasting borders and lettering. We get our students to lay out their poster card with photo and caption sized shapes to get an idea of what their finished product will look like with each part (photos, captions and lettering) carefully positioned. Our students are so keen they are often in the labs at lunch time checking things with the science team and seeking different opinions.

The photography section of Oliphant Science Awards allows the students to get creative while still engaging in Science class, the titles can be interpreted in different ways and students sharing ideas creates a unique learning environment

We have an Oliphant Science Award display in our science corridor where all of our winning and outstanding entries are on show for the school to see. These act as an incentive to produce a beautiful final product when we start prepping the girls for the new competition each year. 

Elizabeth Anderson has been a judge of the Photography category of the Oliphant Science Awards for many years.

You can view all the 2020 Photography winning entries here.