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Big Science & ICAS. What’s the difference?

The Big Science Competition is about science. We do not assess English, spelling, creative writing or anything else. Just science. Because science is our thing.

The Big Science Competition questions are written by science education professionals. The questions draw on real-life examples and contemporary issues to test skills in critical thinking, problem solving and scientific literacy. Learn more about how the questions are developed.

For example, last year students answered questions on 3D printing, faecal matter transplants, micro-beads in the environment, garbage gyres and life on Mars. Download a sample of the questions and see for yourself. 

“Our students seem to enjoy the challenge of the competition, and the questions make them think outside the square.”  Feedback from secondary science teacher 2015  

The Big Science Competition can lead to further opportunities to take part in Curious Minds, the Australian Science Olympiads and the Asian Science Camp.

The Big Science Competition offers flexibility.  Teachers choose the format; with online or pen & paper versions available.  Teachers also choose the competition day and time that suits them during the competition week.

“Students seemed to appreciate the style of the competition. I appreciate the flexibility of the date for the competition. Good job in setting the competition!” Feedback from secondary science teacher 2015

Big Science Competition (BSC) and ICAS

BSC online BSC pen & paper ICAS
cost (plus GST) $7 $8 $9
available online yes yes no
flexible sitting dates yes yes no
minimum registration numbers 0 0 3
time to get provisional score 10 days 8 weeks 6 to 8 weeks
international competition yes yes yes
students win prizes just for taking part yes yes no
aligned to the Australian Curriculum yes yes no

Information in this table is correct as of 8 September 2017.