Celebrating plant science enthusiasm and competition

April 7, 2022

The Crawford Fund Queensland Committee is celebrating a decade of support for the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) Hermitage Research Facility annual Schools Plant Science Competition. It’s a brilliant initiative harnessing young minds into the wonderful world of all things plant science.

This year has lots of birthdays! In this, our 35th year, the competition has a ‘Native Foods’ theme in celebration of the 125thAnniversary of the DAF Hermitage Research Facility and the 25th Anniversary of the Schools Plant Science Competition with a focus on both agricultural science research and traditional, native foods and food production systems in sustaining people today and for the past 60,000 years.

The competition already has over 125 schools from across Australia registered and just over 3,450 students from years P-12 engaging in the various experiments and activities, with something for everyone across several competition areas:

  • The ‘Plant Science Project Awards’section focuses on growing/experimenting with native food plants, creating a native food plant herbarium, performing a marketing activity using a native flavour wheel, cooking with bush tucker and researching the science behind using native plants from across the world for food production. 
  • The ‘Art in AgRiculTure Awards’section links art and science in a fun, interesting and creative way to enhance students’ learning of native foods with an exciting opportunity for budding young artists this year – two artworks will be selected to be incorporated into the new, permanent, mosaic art installation at the Hermitage Research Facility as part of the 125-year celebrations. 
  • Students are also again encouraged to get outdoors and discover the pest insects, animals, weeds and plant diseases that invade our native plants and interferer with agricultural production in the ‘QuestaGame ‘Pest Invaders’ BioQuest’.

For all the competition details, including how to get your school involved, visit:


And don’t forget, the Crawford Fund has free project-based high school learning materials which aim to excite educators and students to the impact of work around global food and nutrition security and the broad range of career pathways to involvement. To learn more, teachers may like to check out a webinar coming up based on how to use the  materials which cover:

  • Climate Change & Food and Nutrition Security
  • Climate Smart Technologies
  • COVID-19 & Food and Nutrition Security
  • Australia – A Powerhouse of Agricultural Research
  • Gender Dimensions in Agriculture
  • Genebanks – More than Saving Seeds
  • Food Loss & Waste

We hope to have lots of schools on board for the teaching materials and the competition!