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150 for 150 – Celebrating Sir Ernest Rutherford

150 for 150 – Celebrating Sir Ernest Rutherford through the next generation

August 30 would have been Sir Ernest Rutherford’s 150th birthday. To celebrate, Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies, Otago Museum’s Tūhura Otago Community Trust Science Centre and Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) have joined forces to offer 150 family passes for each museum to schools in each city.

Professor David Hutchinson, Director Dodd Walls Centre notes “Sir Ernest Rutherford was Aotearoa’s first Nobel Prize winner and his achievements have paved the way for many of the breakthroughs and technologies that we take for granted today. What better way to mark his achievements than by trying to introduce the next generation to the amazing possibilities that science offers”.

“We hope that this initiative, as well as sparking interest and passion for science for some of our youngsters, will also help schools themselves”, said Otago Museum’s Dr Craig Grant, Director, Visitor Experience and Science Engagement. “Like museums, schools often struggle for funding. They often seek prizes for raffles or fairs. This initiative gives us the chance to provide them with some passes that they can use for such fundraisers.”

Sally Manuireva, General Manager - Museum Experience at MOTAT, expressed her excitement for the initiative, “Rutherford’s had a profound impact on science and as a country we’re all so proud of his achievements. This is a chance to help to encourage the next generation to engage in science and technology and perhaps one day build on his legacy. Schools can fundraise with these family passes or award them to deserving students and help inspire the innovators of tomorrow.”

Otago Museum plans to run a series of three ballots every 5-6 months. Each ballot will be for 50 family passes, with schools being eligible to apply for 5 passes per school per ballot. The first ballot opens today, 30 August and will run for a month, with the first tranche of successful schools receiving their passes before the end of the term. MOTAT will be awarding family passes through their schools network across Auckland.

“We are thrilled that we have been able to all come together and offer this”, said Dr Grant, “it is great to be able to support schools and the future of science in New Zealand”.

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