First place: Georgia Souyave-Murphy and Ella Woods, 'Cry Stoppers' Second place: William Martin, 'Why is Seaweed Brown?'

No need to shed tears over Australia’s scientific future

Georgia (Gigi) Souyave-Murphy and Ella Woods, fifth-graders from St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Brisbane, have won the University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize – Primary.

Their entry, Cry Stoppers, explains the science behind the infamous, unpleasant effect that onions have on our eyes.

The ten-year-olds adopted the roles of detectives to solve the mystery of how onions make people cry, as well as some ways to avoid the tears.

Sponsored by the University of Sydney, the Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize is named in honour of Dr Karl (Kruszelnicki) and Adam Spencer.

The Prize recognises excellence in communicating scientific ideas ‘painlessly’ or, as the Sleek Geeks like to say, “help people to learn something without even noticing.” It rewards the best of hundreds of submitted short films – each communicating a particular scientific concept in an accessible and engaging way.

“Gigi and Ella’s short film is a lot of fun, but it’s informative too,” Kim McKay AO, Executive Director and CEO of the Australian Museum said. “Who knew onions were so complex?” Passionate, engaged schoolkids like these will form the next generation of Australian scientists,” she said.

Established in 1827, the Australian Museum is the nation’s first museum and one of its foremost scientific research, educational and cultural institutions. The Eureka Prizes are the most comprehensive national science awards, honouring excellence in Research and Innovation, Leadership, Science Communication and Journalism, and School Science.

Second prize in the primary section of the Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize went to sixth-grade student William Martin from Trinity Grammar Junior School (NSW) who created Why is Seaweed Brown? – an explanation of photosynthesis, including experiments to show how low underwater light explains seaweed’s dark colour.

Watch the first place video.

Watch the second place video.