scienceXart: spot the maths 2020 Winners Gallery

To celebrate mathematics and its prominence in science and society, the Australian Academy of Science’s National Committee for Mathematical Sciences hosted scienceXart: spot the maths, a photographic competition for school students of all ages. A collaboration with reSolve and supported by the Australian Mathematical Society and the Statistical Society of Australia, this initiative is part of the Academy’s celebration of the International Mathematical Union’s Centennial in 2020.

Open for entries from 28 June to 25 September, the competition engaged students with the mathematical sciences and highlighted the inherent creativity of maths.

We received close to 1000 submissions from students all around Australia. The judging panel and Academy shortlisting team enjoyed the high quality and creative submissions that combined maths and art.

Congratulations to all winners and shortlisted students!

Please see below galleries of the winners and shortlisted entries of each category.

Thank you to all who submitted to scienceXart!

Foundation to Year 3

Name: Aaron. Prize: First. Geometry in nature. A spiral is a curve that stems from a point, moving further away as it revolves around the point. Spirals are everywhere in nature and they are part of our daily life. Here is a photo of my garden friend, see the spiral.
Name: Samuel. Prize: Second. This photo shows the terminus of a two person chairlift. My Dad and brother are sitting on chair no. 1 and the final chair is no. 64. What is the maximum number of people this chairlift can carry at once? 64 chairs x 2 people = 128 people.
Name: Aydin. Prize: Shortlist. There are two honey frames in rectangle shapes. Each rectangle is 50 cm long and 25cm high and weighs 4 kilograms.  The bees fill up the hexagon shapes inside with honey. The hexagon has 6 sides and it is a repeated pattern with no gaps.
Name: Reyhane. Prize: Shortlist. In each group of flower buds there is 8 flower buds. This type of flower is called spring flower. Each of these flowers are 1.5cm long. All the leaves are symmetrical vertically. Each Flower has 5 petals. On each flower there is some dots.
Name: Rachel. Prize: Shortlist. 9/54, 1/6 or 0.167 squares are yellow. You can rotate a face clockwise or anticlockwise, by a quarter, half, three quarter, or full turns, even 0⁰-360⁰. Volume of a cube (L x W x H): Each side of cube= 5.5cm so 5.5x5.5x5.5=166.375cm3.
Name: Charli. Prize: Shortlist. The gate has lots of straight and diagonal lines and all different shapes. Mummy likes the triangles best because they have 3 sides. I measured the gate and it’s the same height as me.
Name: Isabelle. Prize: Shortlist. I love picking flowers and leaves from our backyard, because they are all so pretty. Mommy said it's because flowers and leaves are very symmetrical. I just think they are very pretty.

Year 4 to Year 6

Name: Setayesh. Prize: First. When the rain drops touch the water they make waves that gradually get bigger. Rain drops hit the lake and make lots of little concentric circles in the water. Some of the circles are overlapping because the rain drops were closer together.
Name: Eleanor. Prize: Second. I found this in my backyard growing on the passionfruit vine. I could see other ones wrapped around the wire fence holding up the vine. It looks like a corkscrew and this shape is called a helix in maths.
Name: Angus. Prize: Shortlist. The picture I took contains all sorts of angles including acute, obtuse, revolution and reflex angles. This has made me realize how math is almost every were.
Name: Liv. Prize: Shortlist. There are lots of maths in this flower: fractals with small purple flowers and even smaller orange ones inside;  pattern of colours repeated on each petal; shapes: circle in the middle, triangles between the petals and stars in the center.
Name: Luke. Prize: Shortlist. I made an origami icosahedron for my sister’s birthday present. An icosahedron is a 3D shape with twenty triangular faces. I made the “math” in this photo red and the rest of the image grey so the math would really stand out!
Name: Nikki. Prize: Shortlist. These shells relate to maths because each shell has a ring around it or a spiral. I wonder if these shells relate to the golden ratio. I wonder how many ways this can relate to maths, the shells are a cone shape And has a corner and edge.
Name: Meike. Prize: Shortlist. This butterfly has one line of symmetry where its body is. The butterfly has many patterns on its wings, which take up around 85% of itself. Some stalks of the flowers are parallel to each other and in the background the bricks tessellate.
Name: Mia. Prize: Shortlist. In this photograph, the board is made up of right angles. There are parallel and perpendicular lines. The 2D shapes are rectangles and squares. There is an array of 15 by 15. The board has vertical and horizontal lines.
Name: Eva. Prize: Shortlist. This is a tree that contains many obtuse, acute, and right angles. This 3-d shape has a trunk which is a cylinder and there is an array in the building behind the tree, diagonally and to the left. This tree has a mathematical structure.
Name: Maddison. Prize: Shortlist. This is a photo of a leap, as you can see my legs are at an 180° angle this means that my legs have made a straight angle. My arms have made an acute angle. The bins in the background have made a 70° angle with their lids.
Name: Karina. Prize: Shortlist. A leaf has an unique pattern of veins which are running parallel to each other. It is divided into half by a central stem and there are ten equal spaces on either side. The central stem and the veins form an acute angle throughout the leaf.
Name: Asha. Prize: Shortlist. I had this veggie for dinner a few nights ago. This veggie has big spirals on it.  The big spirals contain little lumps which also contain  a little spiral. The spirals get bigger following the Fibonacci sequence, 1+1=2+1=3+2=5+3=8. Yum!

Year 7 to Year 9

Name: Max. Prize: First. When bubbles merge, various shapes can form, due to one key property: maximisation of volume relative to surface area. While one bubble is spherical, as more join, it starts to form a hexagonal pattern, with its very efficient 120° angles.
Name: Otylia. Prize: Statistics Prize. This photo shows Welcome Swallows sitting on a fence. There are five rows of nine squares and twelve squares are taken by a swallow therefore 26.67% of the boxes in the fence are occupied by swallows.
Name: Niamh. Prize: Second. This image represents the non-Euclidean geometries and the theory that parallel lines meet at infinity. When I took this image, I realised how this angle creates the illusion of the parallel lines meeting, thus reflecting the theorem.
Name: Ava. Prize: Shortlist. The overall shape is an equilateral triangle. It has 6 individual hexagon shapes along each equal side of the triangle, each angle 60º. The 21 individual hexagons tessellate. Each hexagon encloses a circumscribed circle. This object contains a unit of measurements to calculate the area using formula A=√3/4 x a², -area 15.588 pens².
Name: Tang and Sarethaveekul. Prize: Shortlist. It is the tower that is made with blocks. It is from largest to smallest. Its start by 5x5 and getting smaller by 1 dimension each time until it gets into 1x1.  These can shows the areas and perimeter.
Name: Matilda and Kate. Prize: Shortlist. Pascal’s triangle: the group of logs creates the illusion of a pascal’s triangle. This is seen within an ordinary playground.
Name: Brianna. Prize: Shortlist. There is a tessellation pattern that includes triangles that are placed together to look like a sharp 3D Pentagon, they’re all different types of triangles ie; scalene and Isosceles. How many triangles are in there? what angles are they on?
Name: Jan. Prize: Shortlist. The growth and self-renewal of cell populations leads to generation of hierarchical patterns in tissues that resemble the pattern of population growth in rabbits, which is explained by the classic Fibonacci's sequence demonstrated in this!
Name: Ciara. Prize: Shortlist. We use money for a lot of different reasons. We can use it for buying things, which requires calculating a total, and budgeting, which requires saving the right amount of money while keeping the money we need to live and feed our families.
Name: Andre. Prize: Shortlist. The clustered high-rises in this photo appear as column graphs, which are visualisations of data. High-rise occupancy and demand is normally high but statistically, 80% of these high-rise rooms were unoccupied during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Year 10 to Year 12

Name: Natalia. Prize: First. This is a photo of an island and its reflection. It displays geometry in the form of symmetry where the island and its reflection becomes exactly like another when you fold it.
Name: Samuel. Prize: Shortlist. The perfectly-coordinated timing and calculations of a tree are interrupted by a scratch. It seeps out sap like crystal fire. Light refracts and reflects through the tree's transparent blood. With a Refractive Index of n = 1.55, it shines.
Name: Janay. Prize: Shortlist. When observing the glorious sunrise captured over the Flinders Ranges, two concentric circles are seen. Formed through a lens flare, the circles share an origin point, but differing radii. Nonetheless, they share a squared relationship.
Name: Zayne. Prize: Shortlist. The petals of the rose are arranged in a Fibonacci spiral. The Golden Ratio (Phi) from which it derives is the basis of all life. The Fibonacci numbers on a rose show that each petal is dependent on the others preceding it. 1 2 3 5 8 13 21
Name: Caitlyn. Prize: Shortlist. Mathematical models show that the leaf arrangement of aloe vera plants follow the Fibonacci sequence to create a spiral, with one leaf per node called alternate phyllotaxis. This mathematical phenomenon occurs frequently within nature.

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