Enter the 2019 Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards

Enter the 2019 Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards

Undergrad and secondary school students have ten days left to submit their entries for the 2019 Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards. Competitors can take home a range of awards, scholarships and internships worth over $90,000, to meet other bright students and to connect with some of New Zealand's best organisations.

Eureka! Board welcomes two new Trustees

The Eureka! Trust is  delighted to welcome two new Trustees to the Board.

Debbie Chin is the former Chief Executive of the Capital and Coast District Health Board and is a member of the Rotary Club of Wellington. She completed her BCA in Accounting at Victoria University of Wellington. Prior to her role at CCDHB, Debbie was Deputy Director General of Health from 1999-2007 and Chief Executive of Standards New Zealand from 2007-2013. Debbie brings valuable executive management and leadership skills.

Eureka! also welcomes on board Jennifer Palmer, who will to take up the Alumni Trustee position, which is nominated by the Eureka! alumni group. The role was previously filled Dr Evan Brenton-Rule, who has recently been awarded his PhD by Victoria University of Wellington and is working for the Ministry for Primary Industries. Jennifer was the first secondary school winner Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Premier Award in 2015 and also the first female winner  She is in her final year of studying for a BSc in neuroscience at Otago University.

Farewell Tim von Dadelszen


This month we are saying farewell to independent trustee Tim von Dadelszen and thanking him for his valuable contribution to the work of the Eureka! Trust.

Tim was appointed as a Trustee in April 2017 – when the Trust Deed was amended to allow the appointment of eight Trustees including two independent Trustees.  He brought his considerable expertise as an innovator, an entrepreneur and start-up business manager.  As a specialist in technology intensive enterprises Tim was a most valuable contributor around the Trust Board table.

An appointment to a new executive leadership position based in Auckland meant he couldn’t contribute to the work of the Eureka! Trust to the extent he felt necessary so he stands aside for another Trustee who replicates his skills and interests.  The Trust Board is seeking registrations of interest for the vacant position.

Stuff - Shalini's Science Box experiments lift lid on kid's curiosity

Picture Credit: Mark Taylor/Stuff

As a young girl, Shalini Guleria would look at milk heating on the stove and wonder why it took longer to boil than water.

Her curious nature caused her to ask questions about the world around her and eventually led her to study science at Waikato University. An inquiring mind is a trait she's hoping to kindle in children.

The 24-year-old recently set up Science Box, a collection of science experiments she takes to schools.

"All the experiments that I have in my box are basically things I've found at home. I use them to set challenges for the children and help them understand the science behind it," she said.

In one challenge, students are asked to clean a tarnished 10 cent coin using only a lemon. Students discover the citric acid in the lemon can remove the tarnish, whereas water alone can't.

After completing the challenges, students present their findings to their peers.

"In science, you need to be able to present ideas. Anyone can be a scientist, you just need to be curious about things around you. It's curiosity which makes you wonder why something happens rather than just accept the fact that it does."

Guleria's two-hour science sessions are free to any schools who want to host her. The sessions are aimed at children aged five to 10.

Eventually Guleria hopes to secure funding and expand her Science Box initiative by having other university students create science boxes and visit schools.

To date, she's visited two schools - Te Totara Primary School and St Peter Chanel Catholic School.

Guleria is currently studying toward a masters degree, focusing on tissue engineering for breast cancer research.

Her studies involve using commercially available cancer cells to create three dimensional models of breast cancer tumours. It's hoped her studies could lead to more effective treatments for women with breast cancer.

Prior to her masters study, Guleria tutored high school students in science.

"I seem to be able to connect to kids and the feedback from teachers has been really positive. I had one child who said he didn't like science but at the end he came and pulled on my white lab coat and said when he grows up he wants to be a scientist like me. That brought tears to my eyes."

Making a difference - Eureka Alumni

Shalini Guleria first entered the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards in 2014 and then reprised her participation in 2015 and 2016.

Shalini is one of several alumni who epitomise what the Eureka! Trust is doing to identify and then support young science leaders.

She demonstrates the value of science in the community and also the need to communicate that value to a wider public.

Recently she produced a video which explains who she is and what it is that motivates her. We salute Shalini for her scientific endeavour and her commitment to spreading the message.

Here’s Shalini’s VIDEO about making a difference to the treatment of cancer

2018 Video Awards

Entries more than doubled for this year’s Eureka! Video Awards from 4 last year to 15 this year.

Papatoetoe High School students Imran Hamid, Siua Tui and Khalil Telfer were one group of 13 group entries from their year 9 class who took on the Eureka! Video competition as a class project. Their video Vortex Turbine suggested this new technology was a powerful solution for small scale power generation for the agriculture and rural sector. The judges awarded them the prize for the Year 9 & 10 category.

Three Year 7&8 students (Ellie Pillar, Tyler Rawcliffe and Jonty Porter ) from St Andrews School Timaru won their age group prize with a great little video about the school’s project to help the critically endangered mudfish Kowaro in Canterbury. .

Year 13 Kings College students Roy Luo, Dimitris Potusa and Angela Cheng continued the focus on the application of scientific research for environmental benefit with their winning entry Saving our Water: Aquatic Microbiotics Solving Macro Problems

The winning videos can be seen at this link

All the entries can be seen here

The Future of Women in STEM - Sophie Mance

Published in the New Zealand Science Teacher, Issue 137 - Sophie was a finalist in this year’s Sir Paul clllghan Eureka!Awards


This year marks the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in New Zealand; a major step forward to achieving gender equality. However, 125 years on, how close are STEM reliant industries to achieving gender equality? Since 1903, there have been a mere 21 female Nobel laureates in science, a shocking comparison to the 629 male laureates. Even today, New Zealand’s STEM industry is alarmingly male dominated with no female CEOs of any of our Crown Research Institutes.

My name is Sophie Mance, I'm a year 12 student at Wellington High School. I'm a keen science student taking physics, biology and chemistry, which I hope will lead to a career in molecular biology, genetics or engineering.

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