Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Bioengineering researchers showcase work

Bioengineering researchers showcase work at Waikato Māori school

Researchers from the University of Auckland’s Bioengineering Institute (ABI) will step outside their laboratories tomorrow and spend a day with 40 Year nine and ten pupils at Ngā Taiātea School in Hamilton.

They will work hands-on with students demonstrating things like the intricate workings of our noses and eyes and how a baby breathes in vitro.

This is the second year in a row the ABI, in partnership with Medical Technologies Centre of Research Excellence (MedTech CoRE) Outreach, has held an innovation day at Ngā Taiātea Wharekura.

“The Outreach programme aims to build strong relationships with students at high school level and then provide support as they progress to University,” says Diana Siew, MedTechCoRE’s Strategic Relationships Manager, based at ABI.

The MedTech CoRE Outreach has been co-designed with Ngā Taiātea Wharekura and aims to target the Māori community, particularly lower decile schools giving a little extra support to interested students to help them pursue STEM-related subjects.

“Our goal is not necessarily clinically oriented,” says Siew. “Students moving into tertiary education through our programme will have a chance to be mentored by our researchers adding support during their studies and potentially even achieve postgraduate qualifications.

“Last year we ran our pilot innovation day with Ngā Taiātea Wharekura, this year we have extended the invitation to include the wider high school communities of the region.”

Mel Veituna, Head of Learning in the Community at Ngā Taiātea, says: “The students of Ngā Taiātea Wharekura benefit from the interactions with MedTech CoRE because it opens their eyes to a whole range of career possibilities out there.

“These students are passionate about science, and it is inspiring for them to see people working in these types of careers. To hear about it is one thing, but our students are lucky enough to be able to see it with their own eyes.”

Five Bioengineering Research Groups will be showcasing their work tomorrow. These include NIHI, the National Institute for Health Innovation, which is developing an app and website aimed at reducing risks of diabetes, obesity and heart disease for Māori and Pasifika Communities.

Research fellow Dr Hari Kumar and his team will use a printed replica of a human nose to show the “inside” of the nose including sinuses. “We shall explain flow resistance and why breathing becomes difficult when the nose is obstructed. We will also use basic geometry and relate to functioning of the nose,” says Dr Kumar.

Senior Research Fellow Dr Alys Clark will take students through the life of an unborn child. “There is no air in the womb so babies have to get all their oxygen from the mother via the placenta,” she says. “We’ll do some experiments to show how this works, and what effects smoking and diet can have on this delicate process.”

Members of ABI’s Eye Group, Dr Jason Turuwhenua and Dr Peng Guo will demonstrate eye structure with a tangible model. “To inspire our students, we will also show some computer technologies used for visual acuity measurement, including some face tracking and eye tracking devices,” says Dr Turuwhenua.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Howard Davis: Christopher Marlowe & 'The Tragedy Of Dr. Faustus'

Previous versions of 'The Devil's Pact' can be traced back to the fourth century, Marlowe deviated significantly by depicting his protagonist as unable to burn his books or repent to a merciful God in order to have his contract annulled... More>>


Gold For RNZ: Muslim Post-9/11 Series, Kim Hill Win In New York

The Radio New Zealand podcast series Public Enemy has won a gold award for excellence for its presenter, Mohamed Hassan, at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards announced in Manhattan today. RNZ National’s Saturday Morning host, Kim Hill, also received a gold award for Best Radio Personality. More>>

Human Rights Commission: Give Nothing To Racism

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people. More>>

Louis Vuitton Series Win: Emirates Team NZ Will Challenge For The America’s Cup

By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup match starting next weekend. More>>


Monterey: Rodger Fox Big Band Invited To Celebrated Festival

The Rodger Fox Big Band has received an invitation to perform at the 2017 Monterey 60th Anniversary Jazz Festival in the USA in September of this year. More>>

AntARTica: Scientist’s Painting Discovered In Antarctic Hut

The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust has discovered an almost perfectly preserved 118 year old watercolour painting among penguin-excrement, dust and mould covered papers found in an historic hut at Cape Adare, Antarctica. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland