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Wellington’s young scientists on show

NIWA Media Release 22 August 2012

Wellington’s young scientists on show

The NIWA Wellington Science and Technology Fair will be showcasing our young Kiwi scientific talent next week from 29 August - 1 September.

NIWA’s education coordinator Dr Julie Hall says, “We want to see these young people really excel, and go on to help drive New Zealand’s economy. The future achievements of our young scientists and technologists will lead the way to growing New Zealand’s prosperity.”

More than 400 projects from students in Years 7-13, have been entered, from 39 schools throughout the Wellington region.

The entries for the fair include projects about sight technologies that assist blind people, colon cancer, human body proportions, how different seaweeds affect the growth rate of blackfoot paua and what effects global warming will have.

There is an interesting project in Te Reo, Ka taea te wai ki te poito ki runga te wai, about the density and salinity of water.

On 30 August a team of judges, all professional scientists and educators, will interview the students, and select the best projects in each of the five age classes. The prize winners will be announced on 31 August.

Dr Gillian Turner, Chief Judge and Judging Coordinator, who is also a senior lecturer in physics at Victoria University says, "The University is delighted to be hosting the fair in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, again this year. Participating in the science fair is often the first step towards a career in scientific research."

“Science and Technology Fairs provide a great chance for students to actively participate in science projects. Their enthusiasm is clear to see, and the fairs are a great way to get school students to make scientific research part of finding solutions to problems. They learn that science experiments must be researched, designed and analysed. These are very valuable life skills to learn,” says Dr Hall.

Students are competing for over $10,000 in prizes, donated by a range of businesses and science organisations.

The Royal Society of New Zealand Wellington Branch Prize is $1,000 for the best overall project in the fair, taking into account the student’s year and level.

There is also the Victoria University Science and Technology Fair Innovation Prize of $4,000 towards fees in the first year of a Victoria University undergraduate science or engineering degree. This prize is offered to the best overall Class 5 (Year 11-13) project and must be taken up in the year following completion of secondary school.

The Victoria University Faculty of Science Prize is an iPad for the best project in Classes 1-4 (Year 7-10).

There are also cash prizes for first, second, third, and fourth within each class.

NIWA offers prizes to the value of $200 for exhibits related to water and atmospheric quality.

NIWA is a crown-owned research and consultancy company, with a global reputation as experts in water and atmospheric research. NIWA provides major sponsorship for many of the Science Fairs throughout New Zealand.

Important information about this event:
Public viewing: FREE Entry
Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 9am - 12pm
Venue: School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, Laby Building, Victoria University of Wellington
Prize giving 1:00pm Saturday 1 September


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