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Secondary school science talent rewarded - prestigious event

2 November 2012

Secondary school science talent rewarded at prestigious event

Twenty of New Zealand’s most talented science students have been selected by the Royal Society of New Zealand for the Genesis Energy’s Realise the Dream. This prestigious event rewards and celebrates secondary school students who have undertaken an excellent science or engineering project.

The Chief Executive of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Dr Di McCarthy, said the students have shown great determination and imagination with their projects. “The inventiveness that comes through in these projects is quite outstanding. Many of them have the potential to solve some very tricky problems. We believe all the students selected show great promise and we hope they will continue with their studies.”

According to Albert Brantley, Chief Executive of Genesis Energy, sponsorship of the Realise the Dream initiative is linked to one of the organization’s key values. “As an organisation we believe in challenging how things are done today in order to change tomorrow. Consequently it is great to be able to support these students to do just that through the Realise the Dream initiative. Having tackled a problem and come up with an inventive response, these students are epitomizing the behavior we, as an organization, try to work by each day.”

Genesis Energy’s Realise the Dream begins in Auckland where the students will be hosted by scientific organisations such as the Leigh Marine Science Centre and the Liggins Institute. They travel down the North Island by coach and in Hamilton will be hosted by DairyNZ for the day. In Tokaanu the participants will visit Genesis Energy and in Wellington they will be hosted by Massey University and NIWA. The purpose of these visits is to inspire and introduce the participants to the many different science and engineering careers that are possible, and to experience first-hand cutting edge science in New Zealand.

“To get selected for this event is not easy, and it’s not meant to be,” says Debbie Woodhall, Talented School Students’ Programmes at the Royal Society of New Zealand. “We are rewarding only the very best pieces of research and technology. These students have worked on their project for a year or more and have gone through several judging stages before they are even nominated for Genesis Energy’s Realise the Dream. There are only so many places available at Realise the Dream and so unfortunately students do miss out.”

The week concludes with an award ceremony hosted by the Governor General at Government House on Friday 14 December where the following awards will be announced.


Genesis Energy Supreme Award - $7,000 cash award plus all expenses paid trip to attend the European Union Young Scientist Competition in Prague in September 2013.

The New Zealand Commission for UNESCO Award - $4,000 cash plus three days in Sydney which will include the Antarctic fly-over trip.

DairyNZ Award - $4,000 cash plus three days in Sydney which will include the Antarctic fly-over trip.

US Ambassador’s Award – An all expenses paid trip to attend the International Science & Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona

2 x Royal Society of New Zealand Travel Awards - $1,000 cash plus three days in Sydney including the Antarctic fly-over trip.

Royal Society of New Zealand Peter Spratt Memorial Award - $2,000 cash scholarship

Institution of Professional Engineers NZ Award – All expenses paid to attend the Taiwan International Science & Engineering Fair in 2013.

DairyNZ Travel Award – All expenses paid to attend the Taiwan International Science & Engineering Fair in February 2013.

All participants receive $500 for being selected for Realise the Dream.


Amber Kirk, Yr13 student at Kerikeri High School
Timothy Richardson, 13, student at Springbank School, Kerikeri

Daniel Davis and Kahurangi Ross-Hoskins, 14, from Huanui College, Whangarei (joint project)

Timothy Harker, 17, Onehunga High School
Hannah Ng, 17, St Cuthbert’s College
Sohail Abdulla, 17, Mt Roskill Grammar School
Conor King, 17, Mt Roskill Grammar School
Tzu-Jui Lin, 16, Botany Down’s Secondary College

Jonathan Everett, 14, Whakatane High School

Nicolette Adamson, 17, Morrinsville College

Kate Gear, 13, Taradale High School, Napier

Minushika Punchihewa, 16, Palmerston North Girls’ High School
Kyle Robertson, 15, Palmerston North Boys’ High School

Lydia Hingston, 18, Queen Margaret College, Wellington

James Watson, 17, Burnside High School, Christchurch
George Moon, 17, Burnside High School, Christchurch
Rachel Cottam, 17, Lincoln High School, Canterbury

Hamish McMillan, 17, John McGlashan College, Dunedin

Robert Tucker, 17, James Hargest College, Invercargill

About the Royal Society of New Zealand

The Royal Society of New Zealand promotes science, technology and humanities in schools, in industry and in society. We administer funds for research, publish peer-reviewed journals, offer advice to government, and foster international scientific contact and co-operation.


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