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Science And Technology Fair In Hamilton Next Week

Monday, 26 November, 2001

2001 Genesis Energy National Science And Technology Fair In Hamilton Next Week

Twenty six young people from around New Zealand are packing their bags for "the big one" in Hamilton next week - the 2001 Genesis Energy National Science Fair at Exscite, 3-8 December.

They qualified as winners from their own regional and school science fairs and have gone through rigorous judging to get this far.

The stakes are high - prizes include overseas travel and scholarships ($2500 and $1000). The premier winners (two categories: science and technology) will each have the choice of attending the USA Space Camp in Alabama or the London International Youth Forum. There is another travel prize funded by IPENZ (Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand) to attend the Taiwanese Science Fair.

Royal Society Fair Manager, Debbie Chan, said that there is quite an increase in the number of technology exhibits this year and some "pretty neat" inventions..

"There's a ready-to-market safety walking stick, which student Neftaly Hernandez (Pompellier College, Whangarei) developed when he heard about an elderly woman falling in a ditch and not being able to summon help. Neftaly's stick has a light and an alarm. He has even got a website up and running to sell the product, which has been trialled by a physiotherapist. And Lloyd Matthews (Colenso High School, Hawke's Bay) has responded to the latest spate of tragic fires by developing a detector for the kitchen - the place where most house fires start - which automatically switches the stove off. Lloyd's detector has been tested by the local fire service." Exhibits will be open to the public on the 6th and 7th of December until 4.30pm in the afternoon.

Winners will be announced on Friday the 7th at 5.00 p.m. by M.C. Ruud Kleinpaste, television's well-known "bug man", and Minister of Research Science and Technology, Hon. Pete Hodgson.

Note: We plan to give journalists prior information about the winners next Thursday, under embargo. Details about participants from your area follow.

If you want more information, contact Debbie Chan, 04 470 5762 (till Friday), 025 229 6380 (3-8 December inclusive), or Glenda Lewis, 04 470 5758, 025 210 0997.

Ja-Yeun (Ann) Lee
Phone: 09 832 3972
Age 17

School: Massey High 09 833 9029
Exhibit Title: "Who moved my sand?"

Ja-Yuen (Ann) Lee will represent the Waitakere region at the Genesis Energy National Technology Fair in Hamilton.

Ja-Yuen had taken Geography and Physics as her core subject for the past two years. When she studied the principle of longshore drift and mass movement of earth, she was fascinated and it naturally lead to this investigation about the different factors which affect the rate of sand erosion. Ja-Yuen chose to study four factors which may bring about the change in speed of erosion: densities of sand, the gradient, frequency and wind. Ja-Yuen particularly enjoys tennis and badminton and also likes painting and photography.

Azin Emami Age 13 Blockhouse Bay Intermediate School, phone 09 626 6414

Azin will represent Auckland City at the Genesis Energy National Science and Technology Fair in early December.

Concern over the exposure to X-rays of young people having spinal curvature measured, led Azin Emami to develop a "curvemeter", a device to measure curvature without using X-rays. Azin learnt that such measurements can be made annually, resulting in X-ray exposure every year for young people during a very active growth period. Essentially her device consists of a fixed vertical rod from which the distance to the node of each vertebra is measured. The measurements are then tabulated and recorded for future comparisons.

Graeme Fielder Age 16 Home phone 09 267 3167 School: Manurewa High School 09 268 3888

Title: "Neptunes Pharmacy"

Graeme Fielder will represent Manukau City at the Genesis Energy National Science and Technology air next week in Hamilton.

He set up an experiment that enabled him to test the anti-bacterial properties of the enzymes secreted by marine fungi.

Graeme discovered that marine fungi are located in such places as decaying woody tissue, leaves, fruit of marine plants, algae and seaweed. He also found that the fungal enzyme extracted was effective in stopping the growth of E.coli bacteria.

Glenda Lewis, The Royal Society of New Zealand
PO Box 598, Wellington ph +64-4-4727421, fax +64-4-4731841

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