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Awards support the future of agricultural science

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article image The Hon. Sid Sidebottom with PICSE/Dow AgroSciences Science Education Officer Professional Development Award winner Susanna Greig

Dr Matt Cahill of Dow AgroSciences Australia  believes that recognising the work of promising students and inspirational teachers is an important part of promoting careers in the primary industries sector.

Dr Cahill is Dow AgroSciences Research and Development Leader for Australia and New Zealand. Dr Cahill recently presented the 2012 Primary Industry Centre for Science Education (PICSE)/Dow AgroSciences Travelling Scholarship Award and the PICSE/Dow AgroSciences Science Education Officer Professional Development Award.

Now in their second year, the awards are available to outstanding students who have participated in PICSE scholarship programs and to PICSE Science Education Officers who help provide support and resources to science teachers. Dr Cahill presented the awards alongside the Hon. Sid Sidebottom, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

The PICSE/Dow AgroSciences Travelling Scholarship Award includes an all-expenses paid placement at the Dow AgroSciences Global Discovery Research Station in Waireka, New Zealand. The 2012 winner is 18-year-old Alana Johnson from Tamworth who is considering a career as an agronomist.

Alana completed a number of PICSE placements before winning her award, including a placement with the Australian Cotton Research Institute at Narrabri.

The PICSE/Dow AgroSciences Science Education Officer Professional Development Award went to Susanna Greig, who is based at the University of New England, Armidale. Susanna has worked with PICSE for seven years and is interested in learning more about the new national science curriculum for high school students.

Dr Cahill said it was essential for industry to encourage initiatives such as the PICSE, which is focused on developing the next generation of agribusiness leaders.

Dr Cahill offered his congratulations to both award winners, and said the company was looking forward to supporting other agricultural science students and educators through its association with PICSE. Dow AgroSciences entered into a three-year sponsorship agreement with PICSE last year, including sponsorship of the awards.

As well as sponsoring the student and science education officer awards and various science workshops, Dow AgroSciences has also teamed with PICSE to present the annual Science for Growth Awards, which is open to all NSW and Queensland students in years 9 and 10.

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