Student no geek at science awards

Casino High School student Brandon Gifford, 17, shown with his central bearded dragon Rubin has won the Australian Museum Eureka Prize 2012 University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize for the second year in a row.
Casino High School student Brandon Gifford, 17, shown with his central bearded dragon Rubin has won the Australian Museum Eureka Prize 2012 University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize for the second year in a row. Cathy Adams

CASINO High student Brandon Gifford has won the Sleek Geek Science Prize in the high school category for the second year in a row.

His 3:32 minute video The Legendary Lizard received the prize "for his insightful narration and entertaining footage".

The prize is part of the most comprehensive and prestigious national science awards, the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes, awarded earlier this week in Sydney.

Brandon won his first Sleek Geek prize last year with a 3:12 minute video called The Sensational Snake.

The Year 11 student lives at his family's property outside Casino.

His parents Adele and George allow him to keep two jungle carpet pythons, two steers, two dogs and Rubin, his central bearded dragon.

This year's video took him nine months to script, catch and handle 30 different lizards and edit the final cut of his video - all by himself.

He has a special interest in crocodiles, having completed some work experience at Currumbin Zoo Sanctuary on the Gold Coast, where he handled some small and medium-sized crocs.

Asked about his role models, Brandon explained that he would like to own his own zoo and have a career similar to Steve Irwin's.

The student is also a fan of Chris Humphreys's wildlife documentaries educating people about wildlife.

Brandon is also clear about what his conservation message is: "all our wildlife deserves our respect".

Topics:  casino high school science

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