St Peter's students take out top Waikato science fair prizes

St Peter's School students dominated the top awards at last week's NIWA Waikato Regional Science and Technology Fair in Hamilton.

More than 320 projects from students in Years 7-13 were entered in the annual fair from about 28 schools around the Waikato.

The 2013 NIWA Premier Award winner was Thomas Duncan from St Peter's School, Cambridge, for his project Ko Te Waihou Te Awa – My River is the Waihou.

Thomas looked at changes in the turbidity of the Waihou River using a homemade turbidity meter. Through his own observations and measurements at several points along the river he produced some good results followed up with his own research into the possible causes of turbidity and changes to water quality.

The judges said they were impressed by Thomas' ability to present his results in an interesting and informative way. He won a gold medallion and $500.

The runner up, who won a silver medallion and $300, was fellow St Peter's schoolmate Hayley Haskell for her project Determining Dissolved Oxygen.

Hayley also won the Hill Laboratories Trophy for the Best Material World exhibit and was awarded the NIWA Work Experience Scholarship for the top senior student which gives her paid work experience at NIWA in Hamilton.

NIWA biologist and science fair co-ordinator Tracey Burton said there were some outstanding entries in this year's competition and she was excited about the enthusiasm and attention to detail shown by the students.

Kelvin Hogg, chair of the science fair committee and head of science at Hamilton's St Paul's Collegiate, said the students had worked extremely hard to produce some sound scientific analysis.

"I am very encouraged by the complexity of some of the topics they chose to examine and the thoroughness of their research."

For full results and photographs see

David Gilmore
NIWA scientist Tracey Burton, right, presents St Peter's School student Thomas Duncan with his prize for the overall winner in the NIWA Waikato Regional Science and Technology Fair 2013.[David Gilmore]
David Gilmore
Hayley Haskell made it a St Peter's School double when she was presented with her runner up prize by NIWA scientist Tracey Burton at the NIWA Waikato Regional Science and Technology Fair. [David Gilmore]