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Week-long science road trip for top secondary students

7 December 2012

Week-long science road trip for top secondary students kicks off this weekend

Twenty of New Zealand’s top secondary science students will meet in Auckland on Saturday to begin their trip down to Wellington for the Genesis Energy Realise the Dream event.

The students have been selected for their excellent scientific and technology projects, showcased at regional science and technology fairs throughout the country and assessed by a specialist selection panel.

They will be hosted by many science and technology organisations in the North Island, including Leigh Marine Centre, the Liggins Institute, DairyNZ, Massey University (Wellington), Genesis Energy and NIWA.

The students will get to inspect the large collection of specimens at the Leigh Marine Centre and go out in a glass-bottomed boat near Goat Island. At the Liggins Institute they will get to extract their own DNA. At DairyNZ they will learn about cow digestion and get to see the milking process first hand. At Genesis Energy in Tokaanu they will learn about different scenarios of volcanic eruptions and plan how to respond accordingly. They will participate in hands-on lab sessions at Massey University, Wellington and at NIWA they will learn about NIWA's work on climate change including ocean acidification as well as see NIWA's marine collection.

Royal Society of New Zealand Chief Executive, Dr Di McCarthy says the trip is designed to excite these young scientists to the opportunities a career in science in New Zealand can offer and to reward them for their excellent science and technology projects.

“These are our top science students from high schools around the country and they have put hours and hours into outstanding science and technology projects. We want to give them every encouragement to continue to pursue careers in science, technology and engineering and to give them a trip to remember to reward them for their hard work.”

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 organization 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.”

The week concludes with an award ceremony hosted by the Governor General at Government House on Friday 14 December where a number of travel awards and scholarships for the participants will be announced.


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