The Science Exchange, 55 Exchange Place, Adelaide SA 5000 [View map]

Can you Sci-ku?


Inspired by the Japanese haiku, Sci-ku is a short three-line poem about sciences. Sci-ku is a small, modest and humble poem that depicts the everyday world around us, aiming to give a flash of insight into that world — like a scientific ‘Eureka!’ moment expressed briefly in words. This year we asked that your Sci-ku reflected the National Science Week theme “Making waves – the science of light”, which ties into the UNESCO International Year of Light and Light technologies.

Primary Category

First Place
Aged 12
Midnight blue fabric
and a sprinkle of sparkle,
so near but so far
Second Place
by Domenic Adams
Aged 6
How do we
fix the pencil
take it out of water
Third Place
by Chris Roussos,
Aged 9
Green photons bouncing
mirrors all around
laser beam

Secondary Category

First Place
by Emma Hartley,
Aged 17
Veins across the world
light from the kite in the storm
Earth’s nervous system
Second Place
by Andrew Yerondais,
Aged 13
That beautiful sunset
gleaming eight minutes ago
enjoy the past now
Third Place
by Annie Shu,
Aged 17
Teary weather
just one extra reflection in water drop
double rainbow

Open Category

First Place
by Alexey Andreev, Moscow, Russia
First chill
in my son’s telescope
trembling moon
Second Place
by Frances O’Brien, New South Wales, Australia
Surrounded by trees
blue haze rises before me
Rayleigh’s scattered gift
Third Place
by Peter Smith, Victoria, Australia
Fish hiding behind glare
polarised lens
we eat tonight

Sci-ku is supported by


2014 Winners

About the 2014 Competition

The theme for the 2014 competition was food, in recognition of 2014 being the UN International Year of Family Farming, and linking with the Australian National Science Week theme of ‘Food for our Future’.

First Prize Winners


by Leslie, Nova Scotia, Canada

Unassuming pods
guard blessed theobromine
for ambrosial trysts


by Elizabeth (16yrs), NSW, Australia

silver parabola
carving deep through layers
of acidic tears


by Sretana (11yrs), WA, Australia

A seed will grow strong
Sprouts of science grow bigger
A tree of science

Second Prize Winners


by Damien, Tas, Australia

when black angus belch
do burger consumers care?
Cape Grim’s instruments do


by Anna (17yrs), SA, Australia

Hidden E numbers
Tiny flavoured chemicals
A bittersweet taste

Third Prize Winners


by Laurinda, NSW, Australia

Gentle monster
led by an orbiting guide,
heading, threshing, winnowing

by Carmelo (13yrs), SA, Australia
Lemons can be used
For electricity but
Best on fresh sea-food



by Michelle (12yrs), California, US

Injecting my meals
no taste no color no feel
the future cuisine

High Commendations


by Tom, SA, Australia

Sweet, squishy berries
Add some small, dry, lifeless cells
Now it’s party time



by Simon, SA, Australia

in the heart of seed space
in a slow dance of helices
GM the old way



by Angela, SA, Australia

beta crystals need
time, movement, temperature;
to temper chocolate



by Genevieve (14yrs), Vic, Australia

yeast activating
a chemical change occurs
hot, golden brown bread



by Maya (13yrs), Colorado, US

chemical changes
heat releasing gases
sweet smells wafting up



by Sarah (17yrs), SA, Australia

Monsanto lament
Litigation over food
Sow seeds of despair



by Storm (11yrs), WA, Australia

Sustainable is
Hard to find when you
Have everything.



by Cade (10yrs), WA, Australia

stomach acids flow
breaking down bacon and eggs
my tummy gurgles



by Kai (9yrs), NSW, Australia

studying the seed
breaking it up in the lab
future of mangoes?

2013 Winners

About the 2013 Competition

In 2013 we asked for Sci-ku poems with a statistics or mathematics theme, in recognition of 2013 being the International Year of Statistics and the International Year of Mathematics of Planet Earth. Unleash your inner science poet.

First Prize Winners



by Kristin Hannaford, QLD
On the gentle curve
of catenary lines –
clothes billowing.




by Matthew (17yrs), SA
Asymptotic function
Curving to a limit: a journey to infinity
And still just out of reach




by Raevn (9yrs), SA
To subtract numbers.
In columns, work from the right.
When in need, borrow.


Third Prize Winners

Circumference of love!


by Deborah Osterhage, TAS
2 pi r
the length of my arms
around him


Bar Column Towers


by Y-Van (13yrs), VIC
Bar column towers,
Reaching up to the graph sky,
Some small, others high.


Piggy Bank


by Elle (5yrs), SA
What is maths to me?
Adding up, taking away,
Coins in piggy-bank.

Second Prize Winners

Wave Motion


by Russell Fitch, SA
Ducks landing with a splash
Ripples on a still winter pool
Harmonic interference.


Two Adjacent Signs


by Biafra (13yrs), NSW
Two adjacent signs
Plus, plus equals positive
minus, minus same



by Emily (10yrs), VIC
A single number
so lonely
add me up


High Commendations

Statistics Hunting


by Jennifer Fell, VIC
statistics in my Pocket Oxford,
between statuary and stationer,
where n equals 49,000


Under Pressure


by Dave Gower, UK
Say I was Newton
And stood in a metre square
Would I be Pascal?


Romanesco broccoli


by Matthew (17yrs), SA
A Fibonacci spiral of florets
Mesmeric, psychedelic fractals
An edible amalgam of maths and art


Problem Solving


by Sanan (9yrs), TAS

When you find out a
hard math problem it feels like
a joyful brain storm

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