Eureka! Scholarship winners announced

Eleven students will come to Wellington for the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards National Finals next month secure in the knowledge the work they have done has already been recognised for its excellence.  The eleven are the winners of a range of Scholarships available to entrants in the competition based on the National Science Challenges and encouraging Maori and Pasifika students to pursue their dreams of a science or technology based career.

The winners are:

Lan Mai from Rangitoto College who wins the Beca Silver Scholarship for the presentation which most clearly provides a creative and innovative engineering solution to address issues of economic, societal and environmental value for New Zealand.  Lan’s presentation is entitled “Aerospace engineering – New Field for a New New Zealand”

Xavier English from St Patrick’s College, Wellington who wins the Ministry of Social Development Silver Scholarship for the presentation which, through its understanding of the capacity of science, technology and mathematics to generate critical information for positive social change in an innovative way, demonstrates affinity with the National Science Challenge of “Improving the potential of young New Zealanders to have healthy and successful lives” and the MSD Mission Statement “Helping New Zealanders to help themselves to be safe, strong and independent.” Xavier’s presentation is entitled “Virtual Reality in Health and Safety”.

Xavier also wins the Ministry of Education Gold Scholarship for the best presentation by a secondary school student of Pasifika heritage.

Hana te Puni from Palmerston North Girls High School who wins the Ministry of Education Gold Scholarship for best presentation by a Maori secondary student. Hana’s presentation is entitled “New Zealand’s environmental hero of the future – the dung beetle”

Joshua Tan from Westlake Boys High School, Auckland who wins the Federated Farmers of NZ Gold Scholarship (generously supported by South Pacific Sera Ltd) for the best and most creative science and technology based solution(s) to deliver outcomes which ensure New Zealand maintains a profitable and viable primary production sector while improving the management of land and water quality for future generations. Joshua’s presentation is entitled “Making the Cut: CRISPR-Cas9, A Genetic Breakthrough”

Logan Williams from University of Canterbury who wins the Ministry of Health Gold Scholarship for the most innovative and creative scientific, technological and/or engineering based solution which addresses issues at the core of the National Science Challenge “Healthier Lives”. Logan’s presentation is entitled “Polar Optics”

Jonathan Chan from Auckland Grammar School who wins the NIWA Gold Scholarship for the most innovative and creative science, technology and/or engineering solution which addresses issues at the core of the National Science Challenge “Sustainable Seas”. Jonathan’s presentation is entitled “The Future of Farming: Restorative Ocean Farming”

Isaac Rusholme-Cobb from Hutt International Boys School who wins the Ministry for Primary Industries Gold Scholarship for the student who delivers the most innovative and creative STEM solution which addresses an aspect of Ministry for Primary Industries' major systems: Biosecurity, Food Safety, Primary Production. Isaac’s presentation is entitled “Driving Possums to Extinction”

Maddison McQueen-Davies from Palmerston North Girls High School who wins the Summerset Group Gold Scholarship for the most knowledgeable, innovative and creative presentation focused on the importance of emerging science and technology to meet the objective of the National Science Challenge, Aging Well, which aims to enhance the independence and tino rangatiratanga of older individuals and their whānau, and encourage age-friendly physical environments. It is working to ensure older people continue to live a meaningful life through social integration and engagement, in a society that values their ongoing contributions of knowledge and experience. Maddison’s presentation is entitled “rhSDF-1α: The Miracle Gel”

Claire Elliott from University of Canterbury who wins the Treasury Gold Scholarship for the student whose presentation most clearly provides a creative and innovative solution to improve New Zealanders Living Standards based on application of scientific, technology and engineering disciplines. Claire’s presentation is entitled “Creating a human computer connection”

Jason Su from Scots College, Wellington who wins the Watson and Son LP Gold Scholarship for  the student who presents the most knowledgeable, innovative and creative presentation focused on the importance of emerging science and technology to meet the objective of the National Science Challenge to develop and produce high-value foods with scientifically-proven health benefits. This Scholarship will focus on results from transformation from traditional areas of food production in New Zealand. Jason’s presentation is entitled “My two scents on reducing obesity”

 

Two of the available thirteen Scholarships were not awarded this year.  The student who had put her entry in for the Weta Digital Gold Scholarship for; the best presentation focusing on Science for Technological Innovation in New Zealand by a secondary school student or an undergraduate tertiary student, withdrew her entry at the last moment.

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) Gold Scholarship for the student who presents the most innovative and creative technology and/or engineering solution which addresses issues at the core of the National Science Challenge “Resilience to Nature’s Challenges” was not awarded because the standard of presentations submitted was not high enough to warrant grant of a Gold Scholarship.