The Hermitage Research Centre at Warwick, which is a division of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, has run this National Competition for 22 years. The competition is open to all School levels from Prep to Year 12 or equivalent in other states and territories.
Two of our Year 10 MSE classes entered the competition as individuals and as classes. The competition involved many aspects of practical agriculture, experimentation, Scientific Reviews, Scientific research and Reports, Simulated Drone programming and video making using Timelapse photography.
Two crops of Sorghum were planted in adjacent beds. One bed received Water and Fertilizer at regular intervals and the other just water. Photos were taken at regular intervals from the same location. These photos were used to
(a) Make a Timelapse video of the crops progress over three Months
(b) Use Digimizer program to measure the growth each week, and compare and contrast the germination and growth rate. This was analysed using Excel Spreadsheet.
A Scientific report was written to document the experiment and the analysed results.
Students also conducted a literature review of how Drone Technology is used by Australian Farmers and Graziers. This review was presented in Powerpoint.
Students also used the Scratch Program to simulate the path of a drone over a field using NDVI imagery to analyse the health of a crop.
Additionally the students conducted a review of literature of emerging technologies in World Agriculture, specifically how it may help developing countries. Again these reviews were presented using Powerpoint. These could be used to present at a conference.
Centenary Heights were very successful in this competition once again
Hollie, Ria and Sathmi at the DAF Hermitage Research Centre, Warwick