Watch the video to see hopw one group of Year 5 boys got a kick out of participating in Junior Eureka!
Jonathan Chan, a Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards finalist two years in a row in 2016 and 2017, was today awarded the Prime Minister's Future Science Prize worth $50,000 for his 3D spiders web invention.
Seventeen-year-old Jonathan Chan today received the $50,000 Prime Minister's Future Science Prize for his sophisticated, 3D-printed mesh, which emulates a spider web.
The innovation's purpose is collecting fog to provide good-quality drinking water in developing nations that most need it.
His fascination with the idea came after reading about a global, million-dollar competition to harvest water from the air.
With help from his teachers at Auckland Grammar School, and Auckland University researchers Dr Duncan McGillivray and Shinji Kihara, he began exploring where he could take the concept.
While there were already some basic fog collection systems, Jonathan sought to make a mesh that mimicked wetted spider silk or cactus spine, by controlling its size and structure, and adding a chemical coating.
Using detailed calculations and sophisticated lab tests, he found a suitable mesh coating of polystyrene, a hydrophobic polymer, and refined the concentration of the chemicals to overcome problems of clogging the mesh's pores.
"Mine is more fringe research and could be applied to the real world but whether it can be simplified and taken to a mass scale depends on demand," he said.
"I hope there is a future for this technology."
The Eureka! Trust would like to take this opportunity to express its gratitude to the many supporters and sponsors who make our work possible.
"We continue to be fully committed to our work to encourage young New Zealanders to.develop their passion for explaining why science, technology, engineering and mathematics matters to New Zealand, " said Trust Chair Russ Ballard.
The Eureka! Programme and, in particular, the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards, has been based on our desire to provide a pathway for young New Zealanders to make a similar contribution to public understanding and appreciation of the value of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Since its inception, the Trust Board has included a representative from the Callaghan family. Following the resignation of Sir Paul's brother, Dr Jim Callaghan, earlier this year we have been looking for a replacement. Thus the following Request for Expressions of Interest.
The inaugural Eureka! Video Awards proved to be a great success for students from Christ's College, Christchurch and Cobham Intermediate, also Christchurch.
One of our Judges, Weibke Finkler who teaches film making at the Otago University School of Science Communication was so impressed by the quality of the top two entries that she said they showed more competence in some areas than first attempts she has seen from post-grad students at the film school.
Everyone is excited and full of anticipation - the question we ask is: What's not to look forward to?
This year's Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards National Finals Symposium promises to be the best so far - we have fantastic and diverse student presenters, great diversity of subjects grounded in fabulous science, live streaming of the whole afternoon from our website, and we are back at Government House for the Governor General's Awards Dinner thanks to HE the Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy accepting our invitation to continue Vice-Regal patronage.