Students urged to get their pulses racing to celebrate UN year

News release | 27-Jan-2016

Agriculture Minister Leanne Donaldson is urging students from across Australia to enter her department's Hermitage Schools Plant Science Competition, which opens today in its 20th year.

"The  United Nations has declared 2016 to be the International Year of Pulses so this  is the perfect occasion for students to celebrate and be clever with legumes by  entering a national competition," she said.

"Young  people, harness your creative and scientific potential by experimenting with  chickpea plants and designing a poster to show how pulses are feeding the  world.

"You can  also design a board game, make a video of yourselves cooking with pulses, or  even create a work of art, with the prospect of winning a prize.

"So far,  109 schools have entered the competition but many more are expected, with  entrants accepted from prep to year 12."

Department  of Agriculture and Fisheries competition organiser Kerrie Rubie said the theme  for 2016 was 'My Pulse Rules', in conjunction with the UN International Year of  Pulses.

"It is  terrific to see young Australians take an interest in agriculture and science  through hands-on experiments and classroom activities," she said.

"Students  from around the country will also learn important lessons about pulse crops,  including sustainable farming practices and health benefits."

Each year,  the competition's activities link to the Australian school curriculum, making  it simple for teachers to incorporate it into their learning programs.

Competition  entries will be showcased at various events throughout the year including the  competition's Awards Day, Warwick's Jumpers and Jazz in July festival, the  Brisbane Ekka, 'The Cube' at the Queensland University of Technology and the  Australian Pulse Conference in Tamworth.

"The  competition boasts some great prizes across all year levels, including $1000  towards resources for tertiary education, and a range of vouchers, medallions,  trophies, educational prizes and certificates," Ms Rubie said.

Winners  may also be eligible to enter their pulse project in their relevant state  Science Teachers Association Science Contests and the national BHP Billiton Science Awards.

The 2016  competition is proudly sponsored by:

  • Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC)
  • Paul Johnston Memorial Trust
  • The University of Queensland
  • Education Queensland
  • Emerald Agricultural College and Longreach Pastoral College (QATC)
  • Pioneer Seeds
  • Warwick Art Gallery
  • Grains Research Foundation Ltd
  • Susan Cruickshank Tutoring
  • Ag Institute of Australia
  • Blue Ribbon Seed and Pulse Exporters
  • NuSeed
  • The Crawford Fund
  • Selected Seeds
  • Professor and Mrs Joe Baker
  • John and Chris Purdie
  • New Edge Microbials Pty Ltd.

The 2016 DAF Hermitage Schools Plant Science Competition closes on 24 June, 2016.
Schools and individuals can register their interest in participating at any stage throughout the competition.

For more information contact the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on 13 25 23,  visit , or follow us  on Facebook Queensland Agriculture and Twitter @QldAgriculture

Media contact: Stephen Johnson, 3719 7571