Girls Faster To See Future In Science
Two thirds of students at Genesis National Science and Technology Forum are female
AUCKLAND, 19 December 2000 – Places for 123 of the country’s most promising young scientists at the Genesis National Science and Technology Forum have been finalised – with two-thirds of the total being girls.
Starting on January 13 and running for two weeks in Auckland, the Forum aims to help fix a shortage of science graduates by introducing talented Sixth Formers to science as a career.
Selected from all over the country, the students are top performers in mathematics and science.
“We want to show how exciting and rewarding a career in science can be,” says Genesis CEO Dr Jim Watson.
“Too often bright students have been encouraged to look to medicine or other vocations as obvious choices. We want them to see that science really is a good option for the future. We also look forward to showing them a little of what we do at Genesis.”
That girls seem more ready to respond to this message might say something about the greater enthusiasm of their teachers, says Forum Director Pat Moore.
“The disproportionate number of girls shows a very welcome interest in science, but it also suggests women science teachers are more switched on to advancing their students’ interests than their male colleagues are.
“We have been struck by the enthusiasm shown by women teachers, although it is also possible boys are less willing to give up their time off over the summer.”
In its twelfth year, the Forum is sponsored by Genesis Research and Development Corporation and organised by Rotary.
Students participate in intensive teaching programmes combined with field exercises and visits to advanced research laboratories including the Genesis facility at Parnell.
Senior staff from Auckland and Waikato Universities, the Auckland University of Technology, Unitec Institute of Technology, Manukau Institute of Technology and Massey University at Albany run the academic programme.
Students from last year were among this year’s winners of Education and Science Trust scholarships and will attend this year’s Forum as staff advisers.
In association with the British Council, two students will be eligible to go on to the International Youth Science Forum held in London.
Six students have already been chosen to attend the National Youth Science Forum in Canberra. Six Australian students will fill their places in Auckland under an exchange arrangement between the two Forums.
Genesis is a biotechnology company based in Auckland, New Zealand, with genomic programmes in human health, forestry and agriculture. Genesis builds EST databases that provide the genomic platform for discovery of novel genes with commercial value and has considerable experience and expertise in high-throughput DNA sequencing, functional genomics and development of therapeutics. Partnerships with biopharmaceutical, agricultural and forestry companies have been important for funding research to effectively develop potential products. In addition to the extensive forestry gene technology, Genesis is undertaking clinical trials for an asthma therapeutic in Wellington, New Zealand. For more information, please visit www.genesis.co.nz.