The University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize is awarded for a short (90-second) film that communicates a scientific concept in an accessible and engaging way.

Communicating scientific ideas and discoveries to the world is a tricky task. Each year, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki (Julius Sumner Miller Fellow at the University of Sydney) and Adam Spencer (Mathematics and Science Ambassador for the University of Sydney) enlighten thousands of Australians with their knowledge and communication of science.

This film competition encourages school students to communicate a scientific concept in a way that is accessible and entertaining to the public while painlessly increasing their science knowledge or, as Dr Karl and Adam like to say, "Learn something without even noticing". It is intended to support budding young scientists across the nation, who will be our future leaders in research, discovery and communication.


Assessment criteria

Judges will assess each entry and make their selection based on:

  • accuracy of the science content
  • display of science communication skills
  • originality in capturing the theme ‘Water’

While sound and image quality need to be good enough for judges to assess your entry, production quality will not be a major consideration in assessing entries. The Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize is about scientific content and communication of that content, not production values and investment.

Judges will take into consideration the number of participants involved in each entry to ensure that small teams and individuals are not disadvantaged. The year and age of the entrants in each category will also be considered.

Entrants must also provide a brief statement on:

  • the nature and extent of any assistance they receive from teachers, parents/guardians etc. (200 words maximum)
  • what their film is about and why it is important (200 words maximum)

Prize specific conditions of entry

Films must be based on the 2020 theme, ‘Water’.

Films must be 90 seconds in duration and no longer.

Judges will make their selection based the accuracy of the science content, your science communication skills and your originality in capturing the theme.

Films must focus on a scientific concept, discovery, invention or your own scientific hypothesis – anything goes, but keep the science in the story, and keep the science real!

Entry is free and open to all primary and secondary school students studying at schools in Australia and its territories (as defined by the Australian Government). Students that are educated at home in accordance with the relevant state or territory legislation are also eligible to enter.

Entries may be submitted by an individual student or a team of no more than six students. Entries comprising more than six students are ineligible. If an entry was created by more than one person, it should be entered in the appropriate category for the oldest member of the group.

An individual can enter once in any year, whether individually or in a group.

Films may be in any language or have no dialogue at all. Non-English audio (or important on-screen text) must have English subtitles.

Films should be submitted in .mp4 format. A display resolution of 1280 x 720 will be accepted but 1920 x 1080 is preferred (aspect ratio of 16:9).

Entrants must ensure that all content in their film is their own. It is the sole responsibility of the entrant to secure permission from any third party owners of content included in their film, including footage, music and images. The AM takes no responsibility for any failure by an entrant to obtain the necessary permissions. Films found to contain unauthorised content will be disqualified. For more information on copyright, click here.

Entrants aged under 18 years of age may only enter the University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize with the consent of a parent/guardian. The parent/guardian of the entrant must read and consent to be bound to these Terms & Conditions on behalf of the entrant.

Films must be independently financed and produced primarily by the individual entrant/s. Entrants are required to indicate on the entry form the nature and extent of any assistance they receive from teachers, parents/guardians, etc.

By submitting your entry, you give the AM a non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable licence to use and reproduce your entry in whole or in part for the purposes of the Eureka Prizes or the purposes of the AM more generally.

All entries must be submitted online by the Entry Deadline. If you experience issues in uploading your entry or have concerns about what has been uploaded, you must contact the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes via phone (02) 9320 6230 or email eureka@austmus.gov.au before the Entry Deadline. The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes administrators cannot modify or add to an entry after the Entry Deadline.

In addition to the prize specific conditions of entry all entrants need to comply with the General Terms and Conditions of Entry.


Prizes to be won

Primary school

  • First place: $2,000 plus a $350 book voucher from Abbey's Bookshop, Sydney
  • Second place: $1,250 plus a $150 book voucher from Abbey's Bookshop, Sydney
  • Third place: $750

Secondary school

  • First place: $3,000 plus a $350 book voucher from Abbey's Bookshop, Sydney
  • Second place: $2,000 plus a $150 book voucher from Abbey's Bookshop, Sydney
  • Third place: $1,000

Prize money is divided equally between the winning student/s and their school, with the school to receive 50% of the prize money.

For team entries, book vouchers are shared equally amongst the students.

Representatives from the three finalist teams (for both primary and secondary school) will also win a trip to Sydney to visit the University of Sydney and attend the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes Award Dinner.


How to enter

  • Review prize information and start making a film!
  • Register an account with the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes online entry system
  • Start online entry form from Wednesday 4 March (save it in-progress).
  • Submit an online entry form, including uploading your short film, by the Entry Deadline, 7pm AEST Friday 15 May 2020. Late entries will not be accepted.


Helpful resources and more information

Additional resources, including a list of frequently asked questions, are available here.