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Kids’ science project NZ finalist in Stockholm Challenge

Media Release: Friday 19 November 2010

Kids’ science project only NZ finalist in Stockholm Challenge

A nationwide school science project “Meet a Metre” launched in 2009 by the New Zealand International Science Festival and the Department of Conservation has been shortlisted as the sole New Zealand finalist in the prestigious 2010 Stockholm Challenge Awards.

Established by the City of Stockholm in 1994, the Stockholm Challenge runs as a biennial awards programme the awards are selected by a jury chosen from the world’s leading global IT entrepreneurs.

From Auckland to Southland, thousands of school kids have been down on their knees getting their hands dirty, exploring their local flora, fauna and fungi and learning about the things that live underneath their feet. The project combines hands-on science skills with information technology. It has given 32 participating schools around New Zealand an opportunity to share their findings online with scientists from DOC and Landcare Research– planting the seeds of tomorrow’s new scientists.

Festival Director, Sue Clarke said our primary aim was to inspire future generations to have fun and make science much more accessible. “This project offered an interactive platform for kids to experience hand-on science and share their ideas with other schools in New Zealand.”

Project moderator Monika Fry said that being selected as a finalist is a huge honour. “It’s a massive achievement for a project of this nature. We are up against finalists from all over the world. To get kids looking at a micro level and consider what we are losing as part of our bio-diversity in terms of bugs and seeds is really important.”

Sue Barker, Conservation Awareness Officer, Department of Conservation added that DOC are always looking for innovative ways to connect young people to their natural environment. “This project has engaged school students and introduced them to learning of scientific terms and methods in a real context ¬– in their own school grounds.”

A total of 134 projects across six categories were selected for the finals. The awards will be announced in Stockholm on 1 December 2010, and the most innovative and viable projects will be rewarded with the top Stockholm Challenge Award.



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