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Sharing Science with Community ‘a Real Buzz’

6 October 2008

Award-Winning Science Educator says Sharing Science with Community ‘a Real Buzz’

Interactive and memorable science presentations to many Waikato community groups have earned Dr Elizabeth Carpenter of AgResearch this year’s Science Teacher /Educator/ Communicator Kudo award, sponsored by Wintec.

The Science Teacher/Educator/Communicator award is one of eight awards that make up The Kudos awards.

The Kudos awards are New Zealand’s only regional science excellence awards. They are held annually to celebrate and honour scientists and science educators in Hamilton City and the Waikato region.
The Kudo award for Science Teacher/Educator/Communicator and $4,000 is awarded for a major, recent contribution toward encouraging an understanding and appreciation of science to Waikato young people and the wider community.

Carpenter is well known for her tours and talks at AgResearch labs for high school students and teachers. Carpenter also teaches an evening community education class at Fairfield College in Hamilton called “What makes you sick? What makes you tick?”

Carpenter says that she gets ‘a real buzz’ out of sharing her knowledge with her audiences and encouraging interests in science.

Carpenter was up against three other finalists from around the Waikato region to win the award.

Kudo finalist Beverley Cooper, a senior lecturer at The University of Waikato, was nominated for her work for initiating new teaching and learning methods amongst practising teachers in the Waikato region since 1992. She has been directly involved in training over 250 students as science teachers in the past 10 years.

Paul Lowe of Morrinsville College was a finalist for the Science Teacher/Educator/Communicator award for the second time. He has implemented Problem Based Learning In Teams (PROBLIT), a successful teaching approach which encourages students to find solutions as a team for science-based problems of real life situations.

Annette Taylor and David Riddell were also finalists and were nominated as a team for their work together as science writers for the Waikato Times and as editors for various publications. Taylor has a background in journalism and Riddell’s background is in science.

This year $46,500 in cash and in-kind prizes were handed out to eight winners at The Kudos Awards presentation on 23 September at a dinner attended by over 240 people.

Prizes were sponsored by local organisations, including: Hamilton City Council, Environment Waikato, Waikato District Health Board, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Wintec, Waikato Innovation Park, WaikatoLink and The University of Waikato.

Other key supporters of The Kudos Awards are King St Advertising, NZBio, HortResearch and Waikato Times.

Visit to see videos of this year’s finalists and award winners talking about their latest research.


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