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1000s attend Incredible Day of Science for kids

Thousands attend Incredible Day of Science for kids

More than 5000 school children from across Auckland and wider districts chose to swap holidays for education today when they attended Incredible Science at The University of Auckland.

Thomas Whitakker imagines himself trekking through Antarctica at The University of Auckland's Incredible Science day.

Incredible Science was a full-day of science-based activities organised by the Faculty of Science. The aim of the day was to show children how much fun science can be, and to demonstrate the wide variety of opportunities a career in science can offer.

Children were able to have a hands-on experience of sports and exercise science, optometry and forensics science, manhandle some ancient fossils and explore life in an Antarctic tent, as well as a Chemistry Magic Show which once again proved to be one of the most popular events.

Faculty of Science Dean Dick Bellamy says the one-day festival is an effective way of interesting children to science from an early age.

"The event is targeted at 7 - 12 year olds because they are the scientists and researchers of the future. If we can foster a child's interest in science at a young age, we can provide New Zealand with the scientists that the country needs for the future. Our development as a knowledge society will depend on them.

"More than 5000 kids came to this event on the first day of their school holidays. I think that goes to show children really can be encouraged to take an interest in science."

Professor Bellamy says many children already have an interest in technology through computer games, and parents and teachers must build on that interest and show them how exciting maths, physics, chemistry and other subjects can be.

"The challenge for our staff and volunteers was to show the region's school children the other areas of science that are equally exciting. The feedback we have received from both parents and children has shown that the festival achieved that," he says.

This is the third year that Incredible Science has been held at the University and it is now an annual event.

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