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Rio Tinto Big Science Competition

Posted on 21 Sep 2011

Rio Tinto Big Science Competition (RTBSC) and the Australian Science Olympiads National Qualifying Exams (NQE)


30 April 2011 RTBSC Registrations Close
1 June 2011 RTBSC Competition Date
8 July 2011 NQE Registrations Close
15 August 2011 Physics National Qualifying Exam Date
17 August 2011 Chemistry National Qualifying Exam Date
18 August 2011 Biology National Qualifying Exam Date

The RTBSC is a one-hour competition open to students of all abilities, and has 30 multiple choice questions. There are three papers in the Competition: Junior (Years 7-8), Intermediate (Years 9-10), and Senior (Years 11-12). The questions in the competition are developed by the Australian Council or Education Research (ACER) and are aligned to the Australian Curriculum: Science.

Key Dates:

Registrations close: 30 April 2001
Competition date: 1 June 2011

Why participate?
Benefits for students:

  • It provides students a means to discover their science talent while encouraging critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • All students receive a certificate based on their competition results
  • The top scoring students have the opportunity to attend an awards ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra and can go on to compete in the national qualifying exams for the Australian Science Olympiads
  • Benefits for teachers:
  • It provides a means to engage your students and challenge their knowledge and skills
  • It assists diagnostic and formative assessment
  • It provides data on students performance against strands and sub strands
  • It compares individual, school and national results.
  • Cost:$6.00 (+GST) per student entry. A minimum registration of 10 students per school applies.

Register now at


The Science Olympiads are programs for high achieving students in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Eligible students who achieve the highest results in the NQEs will be invited to attend a summer school in one of these disciplines.
The top students at the Summer School are selected to represent Australia in the International Science Olympiads. In 2010 Australian teams won 4 Silver medals, 7 Bronze medals and 2 Honourable Mentions. This was a great result.

Key Dates:
Registrations Close: 8 July 2011
Physics NQE: 15 August 2011
Chemistry NQE: 17 August 2011
Biology NQE: 18 August 2011

Cost:$8.00 (+GST) per student, with a maximum of 24 students registered per school or further fees apply.

Both competitions are run by Australian Science Innovations, a not-for-profit organisation, committed to providing high quality science programs for students and teachers.
Our aim is to promote science by engaging students and encouraging their natural enthusiasm.

Register now at



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