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Expedition to Greenland on Offer

For immediate release
From the Royal Society of New Zealand

Tuesday 31 October 2006

Expedition to Greenland on Offer for NZ Students and Teachers

The prize for the next Freemasons BIG Science Adventures secondary school DVD competition will be a place on a guided expedition to Greenland in 2007. To enter, teams of three students (Years 11-13) and a teacher are tasked with producing a five-minute programme on a local climate or energy story.

The best six teams will be chosen to go on a week long film school at the University of Otago natural history filmmaking unit. They will receive special tuition and complete a further task from which results the ultimate winner will be selected.

Each team will be supported by a film mentor - a new graduate of the University natural history filmmaking course.

The team that goes to Greenland will make a ten-minute documentary of their trip, focussing on climate and energy. They will be guided by a scientist, and accompanied by their film mentor who will work with the team to produce the documentary.

The winners of this year's competition, the team from Wellington High, are currently preparing for their trip to the Antarctic in January 2007. They will make a short documentary to contribute to the 2007 celebrations for International Polar Year and the fiftieth anniversary of Scott Base.

The three DVD competitions sponsored by Freemasons New Zealand, beginning with the Transit of Venus in 2004, have been greatly stimulating for students and teachers, and produced an impressive body of creative work. They have attracted students with a wide variety of talents, who have formed teams with complementary skills.

Grand Master of the Freemasons, David Mace, says, "The depth of satisfaction and learning students have derived from this creative challenge has driven them to spend hundreds of hours completing the programmes to the highest possible standard. The Wellington High team stayed up for 36 hours at a stretch to put the finishing touches to their winning DVD. Working as a team has its joys and its frustrations. They have learnt a lot from having to agree on ideas and approaches, sort out who's best at what - all these experiences will be useful in later life."

"By supporting education and young people in general, Freemasons New Zealand encourages New Zealanders to aim high and achieve well. Each year over $200,000 is also given away to tertiary students and making a contribution to the community"

Competition information has been sent to schools today.


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