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Top students trade sun for ancient tsunamis

Top students trade sun for ancient tsunamis

There’s a fair chance that New Zealand’s next Rutherford could be visiting Auckland next week.

The sixteenth Genesis Research National Science and Technology Forum will bring together approximately 150 of this country’s outstanding science, mathematics and technology Year 12 students who will be returning to Year 13 and are planning to enter tertiary programmes in science or technology.

The students will give up the next two weeks of their summer holiday to find out what a career in science and technology could be about. The forum is sponsored by biotechnology company Genesis Research and Development Corporation and is organised by Rotary and a consortium of tertiary providers.

Over the course of the forum the students will participate in intensive interactive science and technology programmes at Auckland University of Technology, the Universities of Auckland and Waikato, Massey University, and Manukau Institute of Technology.

They will also be involved in field trips and visits to research organisations where they will get first hand experience of the challenges and rewards offered by a science and technology career and exposure to state of the art research.

Professor Roy Geddes, AUT’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Inter-institutional Relations, says the forum aims to capture the students’ enthusiasm and passion for science and technology and to show them 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 enhance our science and technology cultures and they can further their careers here in New Zealand.”

Auckland University of Technology staff will run workshops on GeoScience, Microbiology, Food Science and Computer Aided Design.

On Monday January 17 Professor John Buckeridge, Director of AUT’s Earth and Oceanic Sciences Research Institute will give a plenary session on professional ethics where students will be asked to contemplate a range of real ethical dilemmas.

An expert on ethics in science, Professor Buckeridge was recently commissioned by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to help draw up a draft policy on environmental ethics. This is now before the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology, which is part of UNESCO, awaiting approval.

Over the following four days Professor Buckeridge will take groups of students to Long Bay, where they will have a chance to study the area betwixt sea and land: the tidal fringe – and look at the effects of man's encroachment into this, as well as unravelling the origins of the cliffs and rock.

“Preserved here are the remains of some enormously powerful underwater avalanches (turbidites) that may well have involved associated tsunamis. Turbidites are underwater avalanches that travel at hundreds of kilometres per hour.”


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