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Keen Young Kiwi Scientists Head Up To The Forum

Keen Young Kiwi Scientists Head Up To The Forum

132 Students Attend Genesis Research

National Science and Technology Forum

The keenest science students from around New Zealand are gathering in Auckland this weekend for the 14th annual Genesis Research National Science and Technology Forum.

This Forum’s keynote address is from Professor Alan Cooper, a kiwi scientist who heads the Department of Zoology at Oxford University. A world expert in the DNA of extinct animals such as the dodo and New Zealand’s own moa, Professor Cooper gained his PhD from Victoria University and wants to encourage young science graduates that their education will equip them to work with the world’s very best.

The annual Forum is sponsored by biotechnology company Genesis Research and Development and is organised by Rotary.

Over two weeks the 132 year 12 students will participate in intensive teaching programmes combined with field trips and visits to research organisations where they will get first hand experience of the challenges and rewards offered by a science career.

Genesis Research Chief Executive Dr. Jim Watson says the Forum aims to capture the students’ enthusiasm and passion for science and technology and to show them the opportunities to participate in ground-breaking research and development here in New Zealand.

“It is important to invest in these young students who will be the future leaders of science and technology in New Zealand. Through them we can build a science culture and they can further their scientific careers here in New Zealand.”

Research, Science and Technology Minister Pete Hodgson says the Forum is an excellent contribution to science education. “New Zealand needs innovators, researchers and citizens who understand the value of science and technology. The Forum helps communicate the value and excitement of a scientific career. I congratulate both the sponsors and the students involved.”

The students arrive in Auckland on Saturday 11 January and the Forum opens with the keynote address on Monday morning.

The rest of the fortnight is spent in sessions at the Universities of Auckland and Waikato, Massey University, Auckland University of Technology, UNITEC and Manukau Institute of Technology, as well as field trips and visits to research facilities.

Dr. Watson says that not only do the students learn about science at the Forum but they also forge enduring friendships.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for them to practise leadership and communication skills and spend time with peers who share similar interests.”

The students are selected from throughout New Zealand, with seven students coming from the Pacific Islands and Australia to attend the Forum.

In association with the British Council, two students will be nominated to attend the International Youth Science Forum held in London in August.

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