The Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards are designed to encourage and develop young leaders within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subject areas. A key part of the Eureka! Awards is showing how your STEM idea can benefit New Zealand’s economic, environmental and social wealth and well-being.
A successful Eureka! presentation has three key components:
- Explanation of a STEM idea
- Explanation of a New Zealand problem (that your STEM idea solves)
- Explanation of how your idea solves the problem and in doing so increases New Zealand’s economic, environmental and social wealth and well-being.
Contestants first present a six minute summary speech at one of the Eureka! regional competitions, held in key centers, or by submitting a video of their presentation through the virtual region.
From the regional competitions twelve students are selected to compete in the Eureka! National Finals. The twelve compete for Highly Commended Awards and the Sir Paul Callaghan Premier Award. At the National Finals presentations are twelve minutes in length followed by up to five minutes of questions from the judges.
The Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards also feature a number of Scholarships awarded for the best presentations across a range of specified subjects.
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The 2016 Sir Paul Callaghan Permier Award winner Andrew Tang explains what he has got out of participating in Eureka!
Francis sat down with Gill MacDonald, the head of the science department at Scots College, to talk about her experience of running the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka Awards at Scots College.
"I would thoroughly recommend the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards to any student. The Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards was a fantastic opportunity where I met other passionate like-minded youth and spread awareness about the importance of diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) fields. The Eureka! awards were exciting, inspiring, challenging, and just plain awesome!"
"My association with the Awards has provided me with a number of opportunities, including the chance to participate in a Ministry of Education reference group and to Chair the Alumni Trust. Beyond the obvious financial prizes and networking opportunities, I think it is this ongoing commitment to alumni that makes the Eureka! programme so valuable and unique. No other programme that I am aware of provides continuing development opportunities - and lifelong friendships - to students who have completed the programme."
"Participating in Eureka helped me understand the importance of being able to communicate complex scientific minutiae in a useful and accessible manner. This essential skill has helped me talk about my research to key stakeholders - participants, clinicians, other researchers, and funding bodies through grant applications.
I loved participating in Eureka and have found the experience continually valuable as I build my career."