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Winners of NIWA Auckland Science Fair announced

NIWA Media Release

Winners of NIWA Auckland Science Fair announced

The winners have just been announced and the prizes presented! The 2012 NIWA Auckland Science and Technology Fair overall prize winners, in first equal place, went to Timothy Harker, Onehunga High School, for his project Duvaucel’s Gecko and Connor King, Mt Roskill Grammar School, with a device called BLURB.

NIWA's education coordinator Dr Julie Hall says, “The 2012 NIWA Auckland Regional Science and Technology Fair has again been a resounding success, with over two hundred entries.”

Fair Coordinator, Sandra Jackson says, “There was a high standard of work again this year, particularly in the Year 7 and Year 8 categories, and the quality of the senior entries was particularly pleasing. It was also great to see more entries in the senior technology section this year.”

The top prize winners:
NIWA Premier Gold Award - Best Overall Exhibit in the Fair, first equal, went to Timothy (Tim) Harker for Duvaucel’s Gecko.

Tim Harker is a restoration volunteer for the Motuora Restoration Society which works with the Department of Conservation. Tim had seen the data of the footprints of Duvaucel's Gecko. He used computer analysis of the footprints to calculate the surface area, and he used data from a captive population of the same gecko species to correlate the area of the footprint to the length of the gecko. This allowed him to gain some population statistics and he was able to show the age structure of the population, and estimate reproductive rates, thus allowing more valid predictions about the best conservation strategies for its continued survival.

Tim Harker was also awarded the First in Senior Science, Clare Butcher Bronze Award for Natural History (Entomological Society of New Zealand). He received the University of Auckland, Faculty of Science, Junior Scientist Award, along with the Environmental Department, Auckland Council, Silver Award for Senior Science.

NIWA’s Premier Gold Award - Best Overall Exhibit in the Fair first equal went to Connor King. He also won the 1st in Senior Technology prize.

Connor King developed an RFID Tag that is like a small disc stuck on your wallet - as you enter the building it is scanned and that message establishes a link with a computer server which then releases the relevant information to the shop computer. This would allow the shop to know what you may be interested in purchasing, play the music that suits your tastes or place your order, just by walking through the doors. He has a working model and is keen to develop this further in conjunction with cellphone communication and interaction.

NIWA Auckland Prize - Best Exhibit in Atmospheric and Water Science went to Samuel Davison at St. Peter's College for Wood Heat.

Samuel Davison worked with fire and smoke and investigated how much pollution was released from the chimney of his experimental fireplace. He was measuring the heat from the burning wood, and one of the difficulties he had to overcome was modifying his experimental design so the heat didn't destroy his smoke collector - the first few cotton swabs burnt up before he could measure the amount of pollutants!

Other winners:
Details of the main prize winners and the first prize winner in each class are posted at:

Auckland Council Silver Award winners:
Name School Project Category

Cameron Kelso & George Li Remuera Intermediate Clean With Green Living World Years 7 & 8
Samantha Fowler Diocesan School for Girls Don't Waste Your Waste Living World Years 7 & 8
Alex Harker Onehunga High School Down the drain or on the Garden -is greywater really safe for plants? Living World Years 9 & 10
Ryan Blackmore Remuera Intermediate Mulch it Planet Earth & Beyond Years 7 & 8
Timothy Harker Onehunga High School Duvaucel's Gecko Senior Science


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