2022 Microblitz Graduation Ceremony
5 April 2022 | 2 Mins
This year’s Barry Marshall Microblitz students celebrated the completion of their internship by hosting a gallery of their science artwork and posters at UWA last week.
After an eventful year of community engagement training, exploring social media platforms, lab intensives and citizen science projects, each semester culminated in a field trip. Local environmental company Syrinx took the lead in Semester 1, and the CY O’Connor ERADE Village hosted the interns at their North Dandalup farm in Semester 2.
Students thanked special guests who attended the celebration, including funding partners Mrs Tonya McCusker AM LLB '95 from the McCusker Charitable Foundation, Dr Kathy Meney PhD '94 and Dr Ljiljana Pantelic PhD '06 from the Syrinx Environmental group, and Professor Tim Colmer, Senior Deputy VC at UWA. Other invited guests included safety specialist and mycology enthusiast Dr Laurton McGurk from UWA and Professor Parwinder Kaur from the DNA Zoo project.
From left to right: Tonya McCusker, Rohanne Carroll, Prof. Barry Marshall, Jemma Maxton and Ljiljana Pantelic
During the event, interns showcased their experiences of participating in a citizen science project of their choice, creating posters to promote the projects, and presenting their posters at the WA Citizen Science Conference held at UWA during National Science Week. Each intern also created a vlog to promote and review their project to an audience of high school students.
Rohanne Carroll, a Pathology and Microbiology undergraduate at UWA, got involved in SnailSnap; a WA Museum initiative recruiting the help of the community to identify and better understand the one of our native snail species, Bothriembryon (or ‘Boths’). Through SnailSnap, Rohanne discovered how little she knew about the Boths’ species, and how sensitive they are to changes in their environment, making them vulnerable to population loss or extinction. Armed with the SnailSnap app, Rohanne ventured to Kings Park in her quest to locate Both snails, take photos and upload them to the SnailSnap citizen science project.
Giselle Sugianto, a second year at UWA majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology and criminology, was captivated by the Fungi Foray held by Dr Laurton Mcgurk. To communicate the amazing biodiversity of fungi to a non-scientific audience Giselle created a collective artwork, using the traditional technique of pointillism. Interestingly, her work also references fungi spore prints, which are collected for identification and cultivation purposes. Giselle reflected on her artistic response:
It made me realise that art is quite a good way to communicate science to the general public, who sometimes don't really have any interest in science. I think my art showcased the diversity of mushrooms that we have in WA. It also gave a representation of how mushrooms reproduce. I also learned that science can be communicated non-verbally and through something that I enjoy as a hobby.Giselle Sugianto (2022 microblitz intern)
From left to right: Rohanne Carroll and her embroidery art piece, Dr Laurton Mcgurk holding Brianna Beasley's Paper art and Giselle Sugianto and her Pointilism art piece
The Microblitz internship experience can help shape the career choices of undergraduates and gives them the opportunity to inspire other young people to follow a science pathway. Since its inaugural semester in 2019, the internship has trained 54 interns and taken STEM activities and mentor talks to 2000 high school students across metropolitan and regional WA.