Concussion conundrum solved by secondary school student


A Year 13 student from Ormiston Senior College in South Auckland has taken out the top prize in this year’s NIWA South and east Auckland Science and Technology Fair.

Dylan Townsend was awarded the premier award of $1000 for a device he created that can be integrated into headgear worn when playing sport. The device is able to detect when a player has suffered concussion.

The judges admired the relevancy of the project, entitled Concussion Conundrum, and commented that Dylan’s solution was well thought out and executed.

Runner-up Ethan McCormick discovered that the invasive Mediterranean fan worm is an effective bioindicator of bacteria. Ethan, a Year 10 student at Howick College, found the fan worm can filter enterococci and phosphates which the judges said had great potential to be used by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Ethan was awarded $500 and the Eric Claque Kiwanis Award.

About 120 entries competed in the annual fair and were received from almost 200 students representing schools around the region.

Organiser Catherine Hunter of Mission Heights Junior College said the standard of entries continues to be extremely high.

“Science and technology fairs are all about getting students to think about the world around them and solve real-life problems. The students come up with new ideas and technologies that have real potential to become business enterprises.

“We congratulate all this year’s winners and believe the future of science and technology research in New Zealand is in great hands."