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Budding scientists again test convention

Media Release
Kaikohe – Thursday, 3 September 2009

Budding scientists again test convention

Secondary school students from all over the Far North region are about to exhibit their ideas at the Top Energy 2009 Far North Science & Technology Fair.

Believing the Fair to be an effective way to promote science and technology to students, local electricity generation and lines network company, Top Energy, is again to sponsor the event. 2009 will be the 8th successive year the company has sponsored the Fair.

Open to Years 7 through 13 students and covering any area of science or technology, exhibitors are invited to choose a topic which challenges their imagination and encourages development of investigative and problem-solving life skills.

Top Energy CEO, Russell Shaw says it’s gratifying to see so many students continue to show a high level of interest and participation in the Fair. “It’s great to see so many students involved each year. I understand in the past their exhibits have shown high levels of innovation and creativity and I’m sure this year will be no exception. I also understand some of our past exhibitors have gone on to represent the Far North at the national science and technology event "Realise the Dream" and that several have taken their interest in science and technology through to their tertiary studies”, he said.

The senior prize winner in last year’s Far North Science & Technology Fair was Lauren Wing. Then at Kerikeri High School, Lauren’s exhibit analysed the effect of temperature on the feeding rates of Monarch butterfly caterpillars. She was invited, along with 25 other students from around New Zealand, to exhibit at the national event hosted by the Royal Society. She won a $2,000 prize.

Lauren is presently studying biomedicine at Auckland University and says her experiences with the Far North Science & Technology Fairs and Realise the Dream had prepared her well for her tertiary studies. She is to attend this year’s Fair prize giving, as a guest speaker.

Shaw believes the Far North Science & Technology Fair fits well with other experiential education programmes his company sponsors .These include the Nationally acclaimed WaterSafe Programme, which teaches Far North primary school children graduated learn to swim and survival skills to keep them safe around water and for the first time this year, a Northland-wide sponsorship of the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES), partnering with The Lion Foundation.

YES is part of the broader Education for Enterprise Programme the company has sponsored in the Far North for many years. Its purpose is to foster an enterprise culture in secondary schools, by focussing the curriculum in a way where students can see the relevance of their learning – and to help them develop into enterprising people. Year 11 through 13 students form start-up companies, become directors and follow their own business plans to develop products/services which they market and sell, throughout the year.

This year’s Far North Science & Technology Fair will be held on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 September, at The Centre, 43 Cobham Road, Kerikeri. Winning exhibits will be open to the Public on Friday, from 9:30am to 1:30pm and again on Saturday, from 10:00am to 12:30pm. Prize Giving will follow from 6:00pm onwards.
ends

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