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Record enrolments at Vic's Science Experience

Victoria University will be hosting up to 98 sixth formers next week as they arrive for three days of the Siemens Science Experience, a record enrolment for the programme.

The Siemens Science Experience is a three day workshop hosted by Victoria's Science Faculty and organised by Margaret Brown of the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences.

"The students have the unique opportunity to experience science in action in the areas of chemistry, physics, earth sciences, maths and computing, and biology" says Associate Professor Jim Johnston, Head of the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences in Victoria’s Science Faculty.

"They can get their hands on some high-tech equipment, talk to scientists working at the forefront of their fields and interact with students who are studying science right now," he says.

The students will perform experiments and participate in interactive classes which range over both specific topics, such as how to construct a light-stick and why Wellington is prone to landslides, and the more general fields of genetic engineering, physics and computer science. The students will also visit Crown Research Institutes in the region.

"This sort of experience is invaluable for young scientists" says Johnston. "This year we have students who did the Experience a couple of years back returning to help us out—it’s a very popular programme."

The Experience is a national programme directed and sponsored by Siemens New Zealand and organised and supported by Rotary. Each tertiary institution develops and organises its own programme of hands-on classes and activities.

"Siemens is committed to encouraging young people to continue with science to a high level," says National Coordinator, Ian Sage. "At the moment science and engineering are just not attracting students and that’s going to lead to a real shortage of skilled professionals in this country".

"It is crucial that more students continue with the sciences. If we don’t help remedy the shortage now New Zealand will really fall behind," he says.

Students apply for admission to the Experience early in the year and are allocated places on a first-come, first-served basis. The students visiting Victoria come from as far afield as Napier and Nelson.

ENDS

Issued by the Communications Unit of Victoria University of Wellington. For further information please contact Zoë Triggs of Victoria University on 0-4-463 5233 ext 8075 or e-mail zoe.triggs@vuw.ac.nz or Margaret Brown on 0-4-463 5946.

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