A team of students from the School of Science has won the inaugural Victorian Inter-university Soil and Environment Quiz, hosted by RMIT.
The quiz was established to provide an innovative way to promote scholastic excellence through healthy competition and to provide an opportunity for students to interact with peers in other universities.
The competition was open to students studying environmental, agricultural, soil science, engineering or related courses at all levels.
The event attracted five teams from four universities: LaTrobe University (two teams), Melbourne University, Monash University and RMIT.
In a nail-biting finish, RMIT PhD candidate Nihal Albuquerque answered the tie-break question and helped his teammates, Christine Close and Dexter Villanueva, to win the event.
“The quiz was fun and very competitive and a well organised night,” Nihal said.
“Our team performed well. I was nominated to answer the tie-breaker!
“I was very nervous as it was a geology question; which I don’t have any background in.
We got lucky because I knew the answer and so we won. The win was exhilarating since it was not expected."
Academics from the competing universities and industry representatives collaborated on a range of questions covering knowledge of soil, agriculture, water, climate and the environment.
There were six rounds for each team to complete including multiple choice, questionnaire sheet, ‘What’s in the Box’, audio-visual enabled questions, a rapid fire round and a Guess Who.
Dr Rashda Zafar from the School of Science came up with the idea for the competition which was overwhelmingly supported by students, peers, other universities and industry representatives.
“I’m very pleased with the overwhelming success of the event and am grateful for all the people who worked together to make it happen including our very generous sponsors, volunteer judges, Graeme Allinson from the School of Science for his unconditional support and Hannah Mikkonen for her organisational assistance,” Zafar said.
The quiz was such a success that plans are underway to make the event annual one and include interstate universities in future.
The event was proudly supported by Meg Humphrys and Westernport Water, Soil Science Australia, and RMIT’s Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Remediation (EnSuRe) and School of Science.
Industry representatives Dr Robert van de Graaff (Van De Graaff & Associates) and Steve Faulkner (Faulkner Viticulture) made up the panel of judges.