Six Swinburne Sarawak Biotechnology students – Celestina Jillian-Mae Gtiumiss, Kavinda Juliyan Gunasinghe, Jonathan Lee Wen Han, Muhammad Iqbal bin Abu Talib, Alwi Nurmadi Widyananda and Kirthanaa Sakthi A/P Nagulan were selected as finalists for two Science Communication competitions – Start Talking and STEMM Infographic Competitions held on 14th and 28th October 2021.
Start Talking and STEMM Infographic competitions are Science, Technology, Mathematics, Medicine (STEMM) public speaking competition organised by School of Science, Computing and Engineering Technologies, Swinburne Melbourne open to all Swinburne students. Participants were supported with five workshops – “Professional Networking with Confidence”, “Women in STEM Networking”, “Storytelling Video by Adobe Rush”, “STEMM Infographic: Adobe Illustrator’, and “STEMM Infographic: Data Visualisation” conducted in August and September. Swinburne Sarawak participants were also mentored by Dr. Irine Runnie Ginjom (School of Chemical Engineering and Science) as part of NPS20005 Communication for Scientists activities.
The competitions were judged by a panel of prominent scientists, communicators and industry representatives – Alan Duffy (Director of the Space Technology and Industry Institute), Clare Dyson (Associate Professor Digital Literacies), Virginia Kilborn (Swinburne Chief Scientist) and Jean Oi (IAG Australia), Mike Flattley (CEO, The Royal Society of Victoria), Stephanie Stevenson (Insurance Australia Group), Peter Marcato (Media and Communications, Swinburne), and Assoc. Prof. Clare Dyson (Digital Literacies, Swinburne).
Celestina won the People’s Choice Prize for Start Talking Competition with her presentation entitled, “Malaysia, electricity and the ocean” while Alwi and Kirtahanaa team emerged as the Judge’s Choice Prize for the STEMM Infographic competition with their video entitled, “This bacteria wants to eat your plastic”. Both winning individual and team respectively bagged a $100 and $400 prize money. Their achievements are testimony that our students are among the top science communicators among their peers in both Swinburne campuses.
Science communication is part of a scientist’s everyday life. Scientists must give talks, write papers and proposals, communicate with a variety of audiences, and educate others. Thus, to be successful, regardless of field or career path, scientists must learn how to communicate. In NPS20005 Communication for Scientists unit, students have an opportunity to enhance their employability by developing their skills to use appropriate communication channels and technology to effectively communicate scientific information to a broad range of audiences. In addition, the teaching and learning activities were geared to promote Adobe Creative Campus, and graduate employability skills through Academic Innovation and Change initiatives.