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Free Solway College Science Programme for Primary Students

Free Solway College Science Programme for Primary Students


3 July 2014


Solway College is offering a free science workshop to girls in years 6, 7 and 8.

This innovative and fun programme, entitled ‘SOL-SCI’, takes place on the first Monday of the winter break, is already vastly over-subscribed with places being snapped up by the region’s primary and intermediate schools.

Solway’s Head of Science, Rozleen Chand, believes the programme’s popularity is in response to a perceived lack of interest from girls in taking up the subject as a career. “As a girls college we would like to encourage more girls to become excited about and involved in science,” she explained. “The workshops will give girls a fun and engaging introduction to the subject.”

“Girls traditionally shy away from the sciences, but in the last few years at Solway we have seen a number of our leading students take up science at a tertiary level. We believe we are getting it right.”

Former dux Katherine Murray was New Zealand's top scholar in the 2012 NZQA Scholarship Science Examination and on leaving Solway was awarded a Massey University Vice-Chancellor's Academic Excellence Scholarship and a NZ Pharmaceuticals Massey University chemistry bursary.

Whilst Katherine was studying in year 13, she completed an extramural paper on cell biology at Massey University in which she achieved the top mark of 96.7 per cent in the term test, which was the highest mark of all extramural students, and the top mark of 92.7 per cent in her assignments. She is currently studying biology and chemistry at Massey University.

“A number of our former science students will be returning to the college next week to assist with the programme: 2013 dux Alex Sinclair, who is currently in her first year studying veterinary science at Massey University, Victoria University biomedic student Kelsi Taplin, Rose Collis who is studying second year microbiology and Sarah Whiteman studying agricultural science, both at Massey University. They will also be joined by the Principal’s son, William Rogerson, who was dux at Wairarapa College last year, and is now studying biomedical engineering at Auckland University,” she said.

“It’s both encouraging and motivating to see our students pursuing science-related subjects. It’s the way forward for New Zealand, particularly in careers involving biotechnology, agriculture and medical research,” concluded Chand.

Office Max has kindly donated stationery packs and book bags for the 40 participants.

Due to its popularity, the programme will be extended over two days in 2015.

In 2013, Solway College achieved 100 per cent pass rate at NCEA Levels 2 and 3, and 93 per cent at Level 1. The SOL-SCI programme will be held on Monday 7 July.

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