In 2017 Cambridge Natural History Society decided to award a prize annually for the best student exhibit at the Conversazione, subject to the Council deciding to do so and there being sufficient competition and the exhibits having sufficient merit. The prize was for the best exhibit by an exhibitor who was a school pupil, college or university student at the time of the Conversazione.
The exhibit, which may be a poster or a display, should be aimed at educating the public or engaging interest and have either a take home message or show a route into more active participation in the subject. As an example a shell collection should also explain how shells are formed or how each shell is related to the others. It could give web or Facebook sites or details of local groups that are focused on shell collecting. The exhibit could be static, interactive or feature live shells.
Rules Entries should be booked through the normal CNHS Conversazione exhibit form. The exhibit should be labelled as a student exhibit and give details of the school, college or university. It will be judged by a panel from the CNHS Council who will be awarding marks for: a clear explanation of what is being represented, its story or specific focus, its explanation of how to find out more about the subject and how attractive the exhibit is. The judging will take place on the Friday evening and the winner announced on the Saturday.
Winners There were joint winners in 2018, with Sean Irving and colleagues from the CU Nature Society producing a stunning film of birds in Cambridge and Leah Fitzpatrick and Lauren Rouse from Anglia Ruskin Wildlife Society showing their collection of skulls and skins. Sean Irving has made a second film, showing UK sea-birds around the Shetland Islands. 2019 again saw joint winners with Sophia Upton having an exhibit on moths and the Plant Sciences Cereal Symbiosis Group exhibiting mycorrhiza. As the 2020 Conversazione had to be cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic there were no entries and no prize awarded.