2018 - a new record for Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Award entries

The late Sir Paul Callaghan would have been thrilled to see that this year's Eureka! Awards has attracted a record number of entries.

Nearly 60 secondary school and tertiary students submitted entries for the 2018 Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards by the time entries closed on Saturday.

Over the next few weeks, the contestants will take part in the two-stage selection process for the National Finals in September where they will present their ideas on applications of science, technology and engineering which will have an impact on New Zealand's economy, society and environment in the future.

The outstanding twelve will be selected for the finals following regional events. 

The previous highest number of entrants was in 2015 when 56 students made it to the start-line.

This year's contestants include 19 from seven tertiary institutions and 40 from 22 secondary schools.

There is relatively even gender balance with 32 male students only barely outnumbering female students.

The students will compete for $100,000 in prize money, scholarships and internships and the prestigious Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Premier Award and Trophy.

Sir Paul was one of New Zeland's most eminent scientists on the global stage and was renowned for his passion or New Zealand and for the benefits to be derived from science, technology, engineering and mathematics.