Queen Margaret student wins NIWA award, best of 410 school projects

Press Release – NIWA
The winners of the NIWA Wellington Science Fair have just been announced. The overall prize winner is Lydia Hingston, a Year 13 student from Queen Margaret College, for her project “Antibiotics versus Probiotics”.

NIWA’s education coordinator Dr Julie Hall says, “The 2012 NIWA Wellington Regional Science and Technology Fair has again been a resounding success, with over 500 intermediate and secondary school students taking part.”

The fair, sponsored by the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA), is open for public viewing on Friday and Saturday morning at Victoria University of Wellington. The prizes will be awarded on Saturday.

“The fair provides plenty of evidence that science and technology are alive and thriving in the secondary and intermediate schools of Wellington and the Hutt Valley,” says the Chief Judge Gillian Turner, from the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Victoria University.

“The 410 exhibits which pack the undergraduate laboratories of the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Victoria University show the enormous enthusiasm and innovation of the next generation of scientists, and the dedication of their teachers, parents and caregivers in supporting them. Each project is individually conceived, designed and carried out, and almost all explore applications well beyond the traditional school curriculum showing, for example, concern for the environment, for sustainability, and health issues.

“The team of 26 judges was hard pushed to select prize winners from the many excellent projects such as bacterial growth in pizzas, building and bridge designs to survive earthquakes, and a lego reconstruction of the legendary “enigma” encoding machine.

“If the fair is any indication, we will be in excellent hands when this generation of students moves through tertiary education and into the work force.”

The top prize winners
Lydia Hingston, a Year 13 student from Queen Margaret College, won the $1000 Royal Society of New Zealand Wellington Branch prize for best overall exhibit with her project “Antibiotics versus Probiotics”. Lydia conducted an experiment to determine the best probiotic to take after being on a course of various antibiotics. Lydia also won a nomination for Genesis Energy Realise the Dream, and was also judged first in Class 5 (Year 11- 13).

Kate Bielby, a Year 13 student from Queen Margaret College, won the Victoria University Innovation Prize of $4000 towards the fees in the first year of a Victoria University of Wellington undergraduate degree in science or engineering. Kate’s exhibit “Jet Laaaag” investigated how long it takes to recover from jet lag. Kate also won a nomination for Genesis Energy Realise the Dream.

Merryn Thompson, a Year 8 student from Northland School, won the Victoria University Faculty of Science prize of an iPad for the best Class 1 – 4 (Years 7 – 10) exhibit. Merryn’s project “Do Different Seaweeds Affect the Growth Rate of Blackfoot Paua and What Effects Will Global Warming Have?” was also judged first in Class 2.

Other age class winners
Keiran Lewellen from Wellington Home Education Network with “The Beaches are moving” was judged first in Class 1 (Year 7).

Danielle Watson and Olivia Macrae from Tawa College with “Mighty Magnets” were judged first in Class 3 (Year 9).

Adrina Venayagam from Tawa College was judged first in Class 4 (Year 10) for “Wood ash to the rescue”.

Other winners
Katie Hughes and Tessa Eyre, Year 11 students from Wellington Girl’s College, won the University of Otago prize of a trip to the 2013 Hands on Science summer school. Their exhibit was “Amazing antioxidants”.

Details of the main prize winners and the first prize winner in each class are posted at: www.sciencefair.org.nz.

Public viewing:
Laby Building, Kelburn Parade, Victoria University of Wellington,
9am – 5pm, Friday 31 August,
9am – 12.30pm, Saturday 1 September.

Prizegiving:
Maclaurin Lecture Theatre 3, Kelburn Parade, Victoria University of Wellington,
1pm, Saturday 1 September.

http://www.realisethedream.org.nz/

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