Waikato Science Fair to showcase young talent

This weekend is the NIWA Waikato Science Fair.

The annual National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Waikato Regional Science and Technology Fair, will be held at Hamilton Gardens Pavilion Cobham Drive, Hamilton East, 19 - 22 August.

"The Fastest Fermenter", "Bubbles vs Bacteria", and "Chromatic cabbage", are just three of the science projects produced by students in the annual National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA),

There are 268 projects from students in Years 7 – 13, from 29 schools throughout the Waikato region.

This Thursday 18 August, a team of 36 judges, all professional scientists and educators, will interview the students, and select the best projects in each of the five age classes. The prize winners will be announced on 19th August at the official prize giving ceremony held at the Waikato University, L1 Lecture Theatre.

Dr Julie Hall says, "NIWA is proud to sponsor this event as part of our commitment to fostering scientific excellence and knowledge among young people. The Science and Technology Fairs are a great way to get school students to think about and engage with science. As well as gaining knowledge of science and the scientific process, they develop critical thinking skills that can be applied in all walks of life."

Students are competing for over $6,000 in prizes, with a number of special prizes also donated by a range of businesses and science organisations.

Top cash prizes include $500 for Best in Fair and $300 for Best in Fair Runner Up which are accompanied by gold medallions. There are also $200 dollar prizes for Best Material World Exhibit, Best Physical World Exhibit, Best Our Planet Our World Our Resources Exhibit, Best Inventions and Technical Innovations Exhibit, Best Senior Biological Services, and Best Environment Exhibit.

One of the most highly anticipated supreme awards is the NIWA Work Experience Scholarship which offers a senior student paid work experience at NIWA Hamilton to experience the delights of science over the summer.

NIWA is New Zealand's leading provider of scientific research and consultancy services. Providing major sponsorship for many of the science fairs throughout New Zealand is part of NIWA's long-term commitment to enhancing science and technology for young New Zealanders.

NIWA is also a major sponsor of the Auckland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington Science and Technology Fairs.

"NIWA hopes that many of the students with projects at these fairs throughout the country will take up careers in science," says Dr Hall. "These students will go onto help drive New Zealand's economy in the future."

Public viewing: FREE Entry

19 August 2010 - 9:00pm - 22 August 2010 - 2:00am

Venue: Hamilton Gardens Pavilion Cobham Drive, Hamilton East

Public Viewing times:

Friday 9am - 10pm Saturday 9am - 2pm

Prizegiving: Friday 19 August, 7pm

University of Waikato, L1 Lecture theatre.