Exploring animal adaptation
Who Genevieve S., Bucasia State School
What In Adaptation: Now That’s Change! Genevieve examines how animals fit into their environment and what they must do to survive if their habitat changes. Combining graphics and close encounters with cuddly — and not-so-cuddly — creatures, she shows how adaptations happen over time and the sort of features that develop to help animals thrive.
Winner, 2022 University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize – Primary
Why did you decide to enter the Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize?
I decided to enter because my three favourite subjects are science, technology and visual arts. The Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize was a great opportunity to combine my love of these subjects while having fun and learning something new.
The Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize was a great opportunity to combine my love of these subjects while having fun and learning something new.
This year’s theme was ‘Change’. How did you decide on your topic?
I decided on my topic, animal adaptation, because I love animals and want to be a wildlife carer when I grow up. I had also listened to a podcast that informed me of a zebra’s adaptations, specifically their stripes, which helps to keep flies from biting them. I found this very interesting and wanted to learn more about how animals adapt, so I decided to start researching. I found lots of information and decided it was a good topic.
Making a film takes a lot of planning! Where did you start?
The first thing I did was choose my topic. Once I was satisfied with it, I started collecting information by researching. I used this research to write my script, learning what information was important and consistent throughout the research and using it to structure my report. I also explored videos on how to make a story engaging. Then came the fun part: filming! When I had finished filming, I put my video together, then I was done.
What was the best part about making your film?
The best part of making my film was the filming, because I got to go to Billabong Sanctuary and interact with the animals I’d been learning about. I also had the opportunity to listen to and speak with the park rangers, which helped to confirm my information. I was able to learn new things, and experience what it would be like to work as a wildlife carer.
What was the most interesting thing that you learnt?
The most interesting thing I learnt was how adaptations are passed down through generations. In particular, I enjoyed learning about DNA, chromosomes and cells. I found this the most interesting because I’ve always wanted to know what organisms are made of. Although I found it very interesting, it wasn’t easy to understand. I had to ask my parents for help and together we did further research in books and online, watched videos and drew diagrams.
Although it was nerve wracking walking up onto the stage to accept my prize, I also felt very excited and honoured.
What was it like accepting your Eureka Prize on stage in front of so many people?
When I heard my name announced as the winner, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe I had won! Although it was nerve wracking walking up onto the stage to accept my prize, I also felt very excited and honoured. I was proud as my video was shown on the big screen and enjoyed talking with Dr Karl on the stage. I’m very grateful for the experience and would like to say thank you to everyone who was involved in making it possible.
Sponsored by the University of Sydney, the Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize encourages students to communicate a scientific concept in a short film. It is intended to support budding young scientists across the nation, who will be our future leaders in research, discovery and communication.