Chairpersons Report 2019

Once again, The EIT Hawkes Bay Science and technology Fair was a roaring success, with over 550 students participating across our four events. This year’s prize giving had so many in attendance it became standing room only. It was absolutely to amazing to see so many young people passionate about Science & Technology and to see so many of their parents supporting students in this endeavor.

 

The Fair continues to have strong sponsorship. Thanks to the financial support of sponsors like EIT, New Zealand Apples & Pairs and the Hawke Bay regional Council. Thanks to our sponsors we were able to hand out well over $8000 in cash prizes this year. Dozens of local businesses also showed their support with thousands of dollars in spot prizes. No student went home empty handed.


Congratulations to Lexi Trotter (Karamu High School), who was awarded both 'Best in Fair' for our senior category and the very prestigious Otago Hands on Science Prize for her project "Particulate Matters". The Otago Hands on Science Award includes an all expenses paid trip to a week-long residential camp at Otago University, where students get the opportunity to interact with researchers and learn about their discoveries. Jessica White and Sofia Lumbreras (Havelock North High School) won 'Best in Fair' for years 9-10 for their project "Trash to Cash". Sofia actually returned as reigning champion of the junior category last year. Oliver Stubbs (Napier Intermediate) took out 'Best in Fair' for years 7-8 with his project "Which Wash for Wax Wraps". 


We also had a great turnout at our other three events, the EIT Titrations Challenge, the NZ Apples & Pears Science Quiz and the Hawkes Bay Regional Council Technology Challenge. Full details of all our winners can be found on our website www.sciencefair.co.nz


As Chairperson, my job is to assess any vulnerabilities that could threaten the future of our wonderful fair. We have strong sponsorship and community support. We have fantastic participation, with very strong numbers for a region of our size. I have served on organizing committees for fairs in Auckland and I honestly believe we punch well above our weight, with more participants and prizes than fairs that draw on populations more than two or three times our size. We have also managed to retain and bolster our senior entries, something many fairs have found a challenge since the introduction of NCEA. I would like to thank EIT for hosting our pilot 'Senior Science Fair Workshops' programme this year, an initiate we hope to offer all Hawkes Bay secondary schools next year. So where are we vulnerable? Our Science and Technology Fair would not be possible without all the hard work of our organizing committee. For many years now the fair has been run by a small team of predominantly secondary school teachers who give up their time without any renumeration or release from their other teaching duties. As some members of our committee are looking to retire, we need fresh blood to fill some vital roles. We are calling on the wider community for volunteers, especially from our participating intermediate schools (from which the bulk of our participants come). We ask anyone who might be willing to join the organizing committee to contact our fair secretary Ann-Marie Hills (ahills@nghs.school.nz).


The EIT Hawkes Bay Science and Technology Fair is an amazing opportunity to get hands-on with Science / Technology and to have some fun with it. I encourage all students from year 7-13 to consider entering a project or to participate in one of our other competitions next year. Not only is it an amazing experience, students learn so much and it really can open up opportunities including university scholarships. A big thank you to all the students who participated this year for all their hard work.


~Benjamin Himme

(Chairperson, Hawkes Bay Science & Technology Fair)