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Young Bay of Plenty scientists on show

Young Bay of Plenty scientists on show

Over 150 hopeful school students will showcase their science talent at the NIWA Bay of Plenty Regional Science and Technology Fair this week. The fair, sponsored by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), will be held at the Rotorua Convention Centre on 30 – 31 August.

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.”

The entries include a project about environmentally friendly soap, one about how temperature affects how long batteries last, and one that investigates whether the stalk colour of an avocado can help you pick a ripe one.

The entries are from year 7 – 13 students, from more than 15 schools throughout the Bay of Plenty region. Their projects cover all areas of science and technology.

On Thursday 30 August, a team of judges will interview all the students, select the
best projects in each of the age classes and award over 20 special prizes. Several thousand dollars’ worth of prizes are being donated by science organizations.

“There are 60 judges, mostly teachers and scientists from SCION and NIWA, so when we get together on the judging morning, as well as being a chance to engage with the wider community, it’s also a good networking opportunity,” says judge Jonathan Harrington.

“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.

The fair is open to the public on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Entry is free.

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.

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