2017 Cochlear Aurora Photo Contest Finalists

Cochlear Aurora Photo Contest 2017: Shine the Light on your Future

The winners and finalists, from public, catholic and independent schools, were selected through a blind judging process. The judging panel comprised twelve members (from subjects across STEM).

The awards ceremony, held on 22 November 2017 at Flinders University, Bedford Park, received tremendous support from parents and teachers and was watched by over 2,500 people on Facebook.

Roger Leigh, Senior Manager Implant Mechanical, Cochlear Limited, presented the awards to the winners. $500 was also awarded to the schools of the 1st prize winners to to further support women in STEM.


Prize Name School Photograph Title

Years 11 - 12


First Celestine Cherupallil St Marys College Precision
Second  Ellie Turner Charles Campbell College The Future Is in Our Hands
Third  Deepthi Paul Emmaus Christian College Aqua Reflection
Commendation  Athena Saothonglang Thebarton Senior College Spot the Science!

Years 8 - 10 


First Annie Lo Basso Unley High School Magic Leak Proof Bag
Second  Imogen Avery Norwood Morialta High School Mauve Drops
Third  Anais Mather Encounter Lutheran College The birth of a new generation
Commendation Claudia Mesecke Emmaus Christian College The Colours Of Dusk

People's Choice

Athena Saothonglang Thebarton Senior College Spot the Science!

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2017 Aurora Photo Contest Winning Entry
(Years 11 & 12)



Celestine Cherupallil

St Marys College

In the photograph, a pair of glasses has been placed in front of the camera lens, which creates a precise image of the plant in comparison to the blurred background. This image was created to replicate the view of a person with myopia (shortsighted). A myopic person is unable to see objects that are distant from them due to the extended length of their eyeball. This means the distance between the lenses and the retina is increased and the focal point is not able to reach the light receptors or be converted into clear signals to the brain. The lenses of the glass enable myopic individuals to gain vision of their world by converging the light so that it reaches the retina. The lenses are made to be concave as they force the light to diverge further out, which in turn extends the focal point to accommodate to an individual’s eye. In today’s society, many people wear glasses thus they have become a common part of everyday life. This small object shows that science is everywhere around us and affects us all the time.

2017 Aurora Photo Contest Winning Entry 
(Years 8 - 10)


Magic Leak Proof Bag

Annie Lo Basso

Unley High School

In this photograph, I created a ‘magic bag’ intended to contradict the audience’s expectations. One would think that poking holes through a plastic bag full of water will result in water spilling everywhere, right? Wrong. The science behind this thought provoking experiment is illustrated through everyday household materials including a plastic bag, water and coloured pencils. Most would assume that the plastic bag will behave the same way as a rubber ballon would; splitting instantly when punctured. However, the plastic bag is made out of a polymer, that is a durable barrier to moisture. Polymers are long chains of molecules that are flexible, which help form a temporary seal against the edge of the pencil, preventing the water from spilling out. Furthermore, when light travels from air to water it slows down, causing it to change direction slightly. This process is called refraction, and is occurring for many of the coloured pencils within the bag in the image. This experiment demonstrates how
indestructible plastic bags are, and their negative impacts on the environment when littered. This practical uses simple concepts, including the strength of plastic and light refraction, revealing how the complexity of science is everywhere.