"The top prize went to 17-year-old Bailey Lovett of James Hargest College in Invercargill who won the Genesis Energy Supreme Award of a $7000 cash scholarship and an all expenses paid trip to the European Union Young Scientist Competition in Finland in 2011. Her winning project was on microbial contamination of shellfish in the Riverton and Aparima area in Southland. It led to Environment Southland changing its guidelines for collecting shellfish after heavy rainfall.
Outstanding Awards were won by Yufei Chen, 17, of Auckland Grammar School and Sarah Pirie, 17, of Kerikeri High School. Yufei’s physics project focused on the behaviour of light interacting with a water drop. Sarah’s project looked at bacteria growth rates for oysters in storage.
Realise the Dream is organised by the Royal Society of New Zealand and celebrates top school students who have carried out an excellent piece of research or technological development.
Chief Executive of the Royal Society of New Zealand Dr Di McCarthy said the level of detailed investigation the students went into with their projects was outstanding.
“Many of these students’ projects have produced valuable findings which is a wonderful testament to their research. It is very encouraging having talented young people such as these coming through in science.”
Albert Brantley Chief Executive of awards sponsor Genesis Energy saw the standard of projects submitted as a representation of the incredible talent resident in New Zealand communities.
“Our communities are home to bright and motivated students who, with the right support now, will make exciting contributions to New Zealand in the future.
“Genesis Energy is proud to support New Zealand’s future thought leaders.”
The prize giving event concluded a week-long trip for 23 students travelling from Auckland to Wellington visiting science and technology organisations along the way.
In Auckland they were hosted by the Liggins Institute where they learnt about extraction and analysis of their own DNA, gene cloning and explored genetically modified organisms. In Hamilton where they were hosted by DairyNZ and learnt about plant physiology, cow types and their feed and visited the mastitis lab. They were given a special insight into the animals at Hamilton Zoo and had the opportunity to feed many of them.
In Tokaanu they were hosted by Genesis Energy where they were presented with the scenario of a massive volcanic eruption. The teams had to look at biological considerations; how they would rebuild the Trout Centre Hatchery; engineering and re-design of structures, and also the recreational impacts. At Massey University in Palmerston North they participated in a day of hands-on activities ranging from atomic force microscopy, to robotics and mechatronics. In Wellington they visited Zealandia- Karori Sanctuary and the Carter Observatory."