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Corporate Boost For Tomorrow’s Scientists

Some of tomorrow’s scientists and technologists are expected to benefit from an injection of corporate funding into school science departments.

Bayer New Zealand has today announced the names of eleven schools in which it will sponsor science during the year 2000.

The schools have been selected from throughout New Zealand on the basis of their commitment to excellence in science education. Each of them is to receive a science resource package worth $3,500 from the Auckland-based company.

Along with the sponsorships comes the right to nominate a student for one of five tertiary science scholarships, funded by Bayer and worth between $7,500 and $10,000 each. In total, the company is to contribute more than $90,000 to science education this year, through a combination of school sponsorships and tertiary scholarships.

The schools chosen for sponsorship are Avondale College, Manurewa High School, Te Puke High School, Whakatane High School, Opotiki College, Nga Tawa - Wellington Diocesan School for Girls (Marton), St Patrick’s College (Wellington), Oxford Area School, Avonside Girls’ High School (Christchurch), Inangahua College (Reefton) and Southland Girls’ High School.

Bayer’s Managing Director, David Hope-Cross, describes this year’s sponsored schools as sharing a passion for science education and an understanding of the importance of science for New Zealand’s future.

“As a country, we should be doing everything possible to encourage the scientists and technologists on whom the success of our economy depends. For a science-based company such as Bayer, it’s a privilege to be assisting some of tomorrow’s scientists and technologists along with the schools which are helping them towards their goals.

“It’s also marvellous to be able to help young people acquire the critical skills which are part of a scientific education and which can aid them in making rational and informed choices in many areas of life,” he says.

“A high proportion of the schools which have qualified for Bayer sponsorship this year are in less affluent urban areas or relatively remote and under-resourced rural areas. This is encouraging as it suggests the pursuit of excellence by school science departments is widespread throughout New Zealand,“ Mr Hope-Cross adds.

The schools selected for sponsorship have also been congratulated on their strong science focus by Education Minister, Trevor Mallard.

“Science education is an area of crucial importance. As we develop as a nation, we are becoming more reliant on knowledge industries to keep our economy vibrant,” he said.

“Getting a good grounding in science at school will help prepare young New Zealanders to take up jobs in areas where we have the potential to lead the way internationally. Congratulations to the sponsorship recipients,” Mr Mallard added.

This is the eighth year running in which Bayer has provided sponsorship for school science departments. The company’s contribution to science funding has drawn praise from Gillian Ward, Head of the Centre for Science Education at the Auckland College of Education, who selected the eleven schools to receive this year’s sponsorships.

“Science in schools is an expensive subject to operate because it involves the use of a wide range of equipment and materials. In recent years, pressure on funds has increased further as science departments attempt to purchase more up-to-date, high-tech resources to meet the demands of change in science and technology. This is necessary if students are to continue finding science interesting, relevant and exciting,” she says.

“Bayer’s sponsorship has made it possible for many schools to purchase vital pieces of new equipment which might otherwise be beyond their means. The company’s involvement is a source of encouragement to science departments in the schools it sponsors and sets an excellent example which other corporates might do well to follow,” Gillian Ward adds.

Bayer New Zealand is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, the German multinational chemical and pharmaceutical company. The New Zealand company’s science sponsorship programme has become recommended practice for other Bayer companies around the world.

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