Young writers are the storytellers of our future. To help facilitate excellence in science writing in high schools, Refraction Media has teamed up with UNSW Press and UNSW Science to extend the Bragg Prize for Science Writing to high school students across Australia.

The Bragg Prize is an annual award celebrating the best non-fiction science essay written for a general audience. For the first time this year the prize is expanding to include a special category for students. The UNSW Bragg Student Prize for Science Writing is designed to encourage and celebrate the next generation of science writers, researchers and leaders. For an aspiring university Dean of Science or Walkley Award-winning journalist, this could be the first entry on their CV.

The Bragg Prizes are named for Australia’s very first Nobel Laureates, the father-and-son team of William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg. 2015 marks the centenary of their Nobel Prize win in Physics for their work on the X-ray analysis of crystal structures. William Henry Bragg was a firm believer in making science popular among young people, and his lectures for students were described as models of clarity and intellectual excitement

This year, students from Year 7-10 are invited to submit their essay on ‘mind-blowing experiments’, whether that’s their favourite science experiment conducted in class or watched on YouTube, or a great scientific discovery in history. The winners and runners up will receive some great prizes, with the winning entry published in popular science magazines: CSIRO’s Double Helix and Cosmos Magazine’s online blog.

The prizes are supported by materials for teachers and students, including tips for great writing and inspiring experiments that have changed how we think about the world.

“Storytelling is part of our human identity. It is a key element of all human cultures and essential to the extension of our language and understanding,” says Refraction’s Creative Director Heather Catchpole, one of the judges of the prize.

“In science, using language is a great way to communicate the foibles, fallacies, and fun stuff that happens around experimentation. Even the kitchen microwave was invented because of the accidental melting by radio waves of a chocolate bar in the pocket of a research engineer. There are some amazing stories to tell in science.”