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Science Festival wraps up with ‘science idol’

Media Release – Sunday 11 July 2010

Science Festival wraps up with ‘science idol’ competition at Fun & Food Fiesta

2010 New Zealand International Science Festival

New Zealand’s first ever science idol competition took place as part of the seventh New Zealand International Science Festival, themed ‘Everyday Science: Food for Thought’. The festival began on Tuesday 6 July and culminated in a Fun & Food Fiesta on Sunday July 11, 2010 in Dunedin.

The inaugural Fun & Food Fiesta was held at the Lion Foundation Arena, Edgar Centre and was organised by Cadbury, the Dunedin City Council and New Zealand International Science Festival.

Workshops were held during the week of the festival with visiting science rapper from the US, Tom McFadden helping twelve young competitors aged between 8 and 15 years to develop their rap music songs about an aspect of science and perform on the day.

The festival featured over 200 events opening up the world of science to everyone.  Highlights of the festival included the search for the ‘ultimate’ southern cheese roll competition, a dining in the dark experience, Dante’s Laboratory – science of sin live theatre, and popular workshops for kids including extracting DNA from a tomato; incredible edible gardens and the ‘Feed the Mind’ University of Otago Science Expo.

Sue Clarke, Festival Director said the response and numbers attending the six day food themed festival had been incredible with visitors from Invercargill to San Francisco, USA.  “Many of the workshops were booked out well in advance and the ‘science of’ events including beer, curry, seafood and wine had been extremely popular.  Our events were deliberately designed to be entertaining experiences but also thought provoking - giving people a taste of how science plays a part in our everyday lives.”

The festival included interactive events and workshops with visiting experts; Tim Jarvis AM, a British environmental scientist; Tom McFadden, a biologist and ‘science rapper’ from Stanford, USA; Mr Andrew Greensmith, a Melbourne-based plastic and craniofacial surgeon; NZ chef and author Julie Biuso and Julie Woods (aka ‘that blind woman’) and an Australian science educator and performer, Chris Krishna Pillay. 

 “Thousands of hours have gone into organising the festival. The hard work, commitment and support from the festival team, external event organisers, volunteers and a range of local and national sponsors and funding partners has been has been paramount to the success of the festival,” Festival Director Sue Clarke said.

The winners of the ‘science idol’ competition in the 8-10 age group were;  Kate Truman and Helen Knott, both 9 years and from George Street Normal School, Dunedin. The winner of the 11-15 age group was Ella Cameron, 11 years from St Clair School, Dunedin. Winners receive a print revealing a map of their own DNA by sponsors The Otago Institute and Genetics Otago.

The winner of the Cadbury dessert competition judged by Pier 24 chef Greg Piner was Ironic Bar and Restaurant, 2nd place Dunedin City Hotel and third place Mecure Hotel, Princess Street, Dunedin. The Cadbury fun colouring in competition 5-8 year group was won by Luca Holloway and the 9-12 year group by Khata Pearce, both receiving a Cadbury World Family Pass.


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