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Snail behaviour research wins student NRC award

0800 002 004 | Putting Northland first

Date: 30 August, 2012

Snail behaviour research wins student NRC award

Studying snail behaviour has earned a Whangarei student a $1000 Northland Regional Council award at the Refining NZ Central Northland Science and Technology Fair.

The project - ‘Snail Trail’ - won 17-year-old Pompallier Catholic College student Lucy Wojcik (SUBS: crrt Wojcik) the regional council’s ‘Consistent Excellence Award’.

Lucy investigated temperature’s influence on snail behaviour. She found snails preferred cooler temperatures, even ahead of their desire for food.

The Year 13 (7th Form) student was one of 156 students from 14 schools around the wider Whangarei District competing with 136 entries at the Refining NZ - sponsored fair, now in its 34th year.

The four-day event at Forum North in Whangarei ends today (SUBS: Thurs 30 August) and is organised by Central Northland science and technology teachers and experts.

Lucy’s project was part of a senior secondary biology study for which she has just received the highest possible NCEA marks.

The Year 13 NCEA biology achievement standard requires students to investigate the behavioural effects of changes in a key feature of an animal’s ecological niche. Lucy achieved the NCEA excellence mark for her work.

Lucy has been entering science fairs since she was 11 and has now won 11 awards, six of them this year alone.

In addition to her NRC award, she this week also won the fair’s Statistical and NorthTec Awards, plus the Outstanding Experimental Technique Award, Applied Science Award and the Investigation section’s Highly Commended Award for her age group class (Y11-Y13.)

Northland Regional Council Chairman Craig Brown says judges at this year’s Central Northland Science and Technology Fair were once again impressed with the overall quality of the entries in this year’s event.

The Regional Council prize contributes $1000 towards the cost of a student’s university studies and must be used within three years.

Lucy plans to use her regional council award money to help attend a South Island university in 2014 to study in a yet-to-be-determined “people-related” field.

She’ll do this after a gap year in 2013 where she plans to boost her current youth leadership work and also travel to South America.


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