Toby’s Flying High

Imagine being 10 years old and understanding the science behind what makes aeroplanes fly.

Now imagine that same 10 year old explaining the principles behind flight in a clear, and concise manner, while giving us an entertaining visual medium and in the process winning one of the state’s top science awards. Well, that’s exactly what Virginia Primary School Year 5 student, Toby Trenwith has done.

Toby’s entry into the esteemed science-based South Australian Oliphant Awards, “How Planes Fly”, took out first prize in the Year 3-5 Multimedia category.

Toby was also named the winner of the South Australian Department for Childhood Development’s Young Scientist Award.

And to add another feather in this young scientists’ cap there was a “highly commended” award in the University of Sydney’s 2015 Eureka Sleek Geeks Eureka Prize recently.

This prize is awarded to a short film that communicates a scientific concept in an accessible and engaging way.

Toby’s entry was the only South Australian entry recognised this year.

This Lower Light resident certainly has a love of science, fostered and supported no doubt by his award-winning science teacher and proud mum, Anita, who currently works at the University of South Australia.

“Neil Hyland the head of aviation at the University of South Australia was so impressed with Toby’s video that he arranged for Toby to have an introductory training flight,” Anita said.

“Toby got to fly a Cessna 172 over St Kilda in the training grounds.”

Virginia Primary School principal, Ilia Tsoutouras, hopes Toby’s success and enthusiasm will encourage other students to give science a go and try something new.

Mr Tsoutouras said his achievements were impressive and his understanding of the topic even more so.

“If anyone is ever doing anything about flight at the school we’ll definitely show this video,” he said.

“It’s such a really different learning experience, it’s just fantastic and he should be so proud.”

Mr Tsoutouras said the school was looking to establish a science club as an extra curricula activity to foster a love for the subject.

Meanwhile, Toby is already looking ahead to next year’s entry, considering possibly the science behind 3D printing or computing coding.

Whatever he chooses it’s bound to be engaging and informative. Keep an eye out for this young scientist; he’s already making a name for himself.

Congratulations Toby.

You can view Toby’s Eureka Sleek Geeks entry by visiting

It’s well worth a look and may just teach you a thing or two.

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