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Realise the Dream: national winners announced


Realise the Dream: national winners announced

Genesis Energy's Realise the Dream, organised by the Royal Society of New Zealand, announces the 12 winners for their projects in science, social science or business.

Award presentation will take place tonight Thursday 11 December at a formal dinner at Te Papa with the Hon Marian Hobbs and CEOs from many organisations in attendance, and Miranda Harcourt as MC.

The prizes are:

DEXCEL DAIRY FUTURE SCHOLARSHIP AWARD

3 Year Undergraduate Scholarship to any University in New Zealand

BRIDGET NICOLSON, 17, DIOCESAN SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, AUCKLAND

Participant: NIWA Auckland City Regional Science & Technology Fair

Bridgets interest in plant growth and manipulation began during part-time work at a plant nursery. One of her tasks was to prune plants to different lengths and at different times according to species to stimulate lateral shoot growth. This led her to investigate the optimal pruning regime to stimulate bushiness. Her resulting recommendation is to the remove one set of leaves every six weeks.

KIWANIS/EXECUTIVE TRAVEL AWARD

Travel Award to San Diego Science & Engineering Fair in 2004

NATALIE CRIMP, 14, LINWOOD COLLEGE, CHRISTCHURCH

Participant: Lincoln University Canterbury/Westland Regional Science & Technology Fair

Most people want to get rid of used nappies as fast as possible, but Natalie had other plans. Calling on the services of the babies at the local day care centre, she worked out that once shredded, used nappies made good compost. She also investigated the safety of the compost, and the economics of setting up a citywide recycling scheme.

INSTITUTION OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS NEW ZEALAND AWARD

Travel Award to attend The Science & Technology Fair in Taipei, February 2004

STEVEN MCCABE, 16, MORRINSVILLE COLLEGE, EAST WAIKATO

Participant: CREST Award Scheme, ETITO Bright Sparks, Inghams East Waikato Science & Technology Fair

In his quest to design a remote operating underwater vehicle for search and survey of the marine environment, Steven had to create five different systems that worked in harmony. His attempts led him to design propulsion, manoeuvring, diving, imaging and control systems. Tests in a local pool helped him waterproof his design and he plans to test it at greater depths with the hope that it will be commercially viable.

GENESIS ENERGY EXCELLENCE IN TECHNOLOGICAL PRACTICE AWARD

$2,000 Education Scholarship

ESME ONEILL 17, NICOLA WILLIAMS 17, COLUBA COLLEGE, DUNEDIN

Participants: Young Enterprise Scheme

Esme and Nicola were worried at the prevalence of drink spiking that was being reported. Wanting to improve personal safety for young women, they evaluated several concepts and have settled on a simple cork design that is designed to deter the unscrupulous.

GENESIS ENERGY EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH AWARD

$2,000 Education Scholarship

LYDIA RANDALL, 13, ST CUTHBERTS COLLEGE, AUCKLAND

Participant: NIWA Auckland City Regional Science & Technology Fair

Lydia set out to investigate the feeding behaviour of Zebra fish by analysing video clips to find the angle and distance travelled to capture food particles. She was able to calculate the distance and angle of each type of food and work out how the fish hunted their food.

ROYAL SOCIETY OF NEW ZEALAND AWARD

$1,000 Education Scholarship

HILLARY MCCONNELL, 12, COBHAM INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL, CHRISTCHURCH

Participant: Lincoln University Canterbury/Westland Regional Science & Technology Fair

Hillary wanted to avoid the ghastly experience of coming home to dead fish after school holidays. After two unsuccessful ideas, she designed an effective slow opening slide mechanism. Another success was persuading her sister to let her tear apart her clock to use for parts.

ROYAL SOCIETY OF NEW ZEALAND JAMES DUNCAN MEMORIAL AWARD

$1,000 Education Scholarship

ZOE BROOKS, 13, HIBISCUS COAST INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL, AUCKLAND

Participant: North Harbour Regional Science & Technology Fair

Zoe refused to take a developers word at face value when he said that one 37-storey tower cast less shadow than three 10 storey towers. Surely, if they were both the same size wouldn't they cast the same area of shadow? Using simple models, her initial results appeared to show that both options would generate the same amount of shadow. But taking into account the annual movement of the sun, she was surprised to find that one tall tower would cast an even greater shadow proving the developer wrong.

INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH LTD

Most Commercial Idea Award $1,500 Education Scholarship

PETER SMALLFIELD, 12, BALMACEWAN INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL, DUNEDIN

Participant: Aurora Otago Regional Science & Technology Fair, ETITO Bright Sparks Competition

Peter made the surprising discovery that amongst his acquaintances 70 percent of the boys used hair gel. A hairdresser also told him that the fat residue from hair gel was best removed by dish washing liquid. Keen for an alternative, he decided to exploit the versatility of the cabbage tree, which he investigated for another project last year. Knowing one of its chemical properties is to break down fats, he's concocted a special recipe for hair gel that he reckons is just as good as anything in the shops.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF WATER & ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH AWARD $1,000 Education Scholarship

LINA SHROETER, 15, AWATAPU COLLEGE, PALMERSTON NORTH

Participant: Fonterra Manawatu Regional Science & Technology Fair

After hearing reports of arsenic in the Waikato River, Lina wanted to find a way to warn people if levels got too high. Choosing three aquatic plants, she tested their arsenic-absorbing capabilities and concluded that the one with the highest arsenic-absorbing capability would be a good bio-indicator and arsenic decontaminant to make drinking water safe.

DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION

Making Science Count Award $1,000 Tertiary Education Scholarship

HUGH MCKENZIE, 12, WHANGAREI INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL, WHANGAREI

Participant: NZ Refining Company Central Northland Regional Science & Technology Fair

DOC's dirty trucks provided an ideal sampling ground for Hugh, who wanted to investigate if four wheel drives were spreading weeds around native reserves. He identified 506 plants that were transported by the vehicles of which Kikuyu, veld grass, wallflowers and white clover were a major concern. He's since recommended DOC wash their vehicles and they've responded by giving him a 'weed-buster' Tshirt that he wears with pride.

ELECTRICITY SUPPLY INDUSTRY TRAINING ORGANISATION AWARD

All Expenses paid two-week work placement at Waikato Museum developing interactive exhibits.

JUSTIN & BRENDON PORT, 16, GLENFIELD COLLEGE, AUCKLAND

Participant: ETITO Bright Sparks Competition

Justin has built a Quad Walking Robot and has also jointly built a Path Finder Robot with his brother Brendon.

STATISTICS NEW ZEALAND AWARD

$500.00 Education Scholarship

HANA CHRISTENSON, 14, WELLINGTON GIRLS COLLEGE, WELLINGTON

Participant: NIWA Wellington Regional Science & Technology Fair

Hana was concerned about the effect painting her parent's boat with anti-fouling paint would have on the environment, when she learned that the highly-toxic metals, copper and tin, were used in anti-fouling paint. Taking soil and sediment samples from Wellington Harbour, Hana investigated the effect that amount of metal being leached into the harbour appeared to be having.

From 15-21 December the public will be able to see the award winners at a free display at the Wellington Central Library.

A full list of their projects, prizes, and sponsors is at our web address:

http://www.rsnz.govt.nz/education/dream

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