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Auckland’s young scientists are on show

NIWA Media Release 27 August 2012

Auckland’s young scientists are on show

The NIWA Auckland Science and Technology Fair will be showcasing our young Kiwi scientific talent next week from 30 August - 1 September.

NIWA’s education coordinator Dr Julie Hall says, “We want to see these young people really excel, and go on to help drive New Zealand’s economy. The future achievements of our young scientists and technologists will lead the way to growing New Zealand’s prosperity.”

Twenty-two schools in the Auckland area have entered projects. The fair is open to all intermediate and secondary schools in the Auckland City region. Over 250 projects have been entered.

The entries include a project looking at the visibility of different coloured t-shirts in the dark, and relating that to the stopping distances of cars. Another investigates how the shape and size of a container affects the cooling rate of hot chocolate.

There is also a project that looks at how gravity has an effect on a person’s height over a week. In the morning you are a tiny bit taller than in the afternoon!

On 30 August a team of judges, all professional scientists and educators, will interview the students, and select the best projects in each of the five age classes. The prize winners will be announced on 10 September.

This year’s judging team consists of many teachers and scientists.

“Science and Technology Fairs provide a great chance for students to actively participate in science projects. Their enthusiasm is clear to see, and the fairs are a great way to get school students to make scientific research part of finding solutions to problems. They learn that science experiments must be researched, designed and analysed. These are very valuable life skills to learn,” says Dr Hall.

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Prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third in all categories. Students are competing for at least $8000 in prizes, donated by a range of businesses and science organisations. Also being awarded are special prizes that include books, and a chance to work with scientists.

Auckland Council is involved in the Auckland City Fair with two staff members from their Research, Investigations & Monitoring Unit, Dr. Fiona Curran-Cournane and Simon Tredgett, on the judging panel. Auckland Council is also donating a cash prize of $750 to the winning student.

NIWA is a crown-owned research and consultancy company, with a global reputation as experts in water and atmospheric research. NIWA provides major sponsorship for many of the Science Fairs throughout New Zealand.

NIWA is also a major sponsor of the Wellington, Bay of Plenty, and Waikato Science and Technology Fairs.

Important information about this event:
Public viewing: FREE Entry
Friday 5pm - 8pm
Saturday 10am -12pm
Venue: Flicking Centre, 3 Kings Mt Albert,Auckland
Students will receive their prizes at an awards ceremony on 10 September.

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