Internship day for next generation of scientists


 

Tamati Durie-McGrath and Thomas Warnock participate in a colour changing chemistry experiment.


Local intermediate school pupils were on the Massey University campus today participating in a Sciences Internship Day.

Eight pupils from Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School, Ross Intermediate and Palmerston North Girls High School, spent a day of their school holidays participating in science-based activities with university lecturers.

The pupils were also given guided tours around some of the university’s world-class facilities, including the Riddet Institute, Food Pilot Plant, and the Wildbase Hospital.

The eleven and twelve year olds were hand-selected by Massey University during the Manawatū Science and Technology Fair in August.

Event organiser Kelly Weaver says the pupils were selected based on the quality of their science projects. “These kids demonstrated excellence in research and science understanding so we believe they have exceptional promise for a career in the sciences”.

“Today was about fostering that love of science.”

Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School pupil Chris Patrick developed a guidance system hat for the blind based on the echolocation of bats. He used ultrasonic sensors which would relay information about the environment, such as if they were getting too close to an object, to the user through vibration.

“This was a cool project and I’d love to do science later too, at high school or uni.”

The pupils participated in personalised sessions on chemistry, physics, animal anatomy, computer science, engineering, and food technology.

Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School pupil Hannah Rhee says the best part about the day was getting hands-on with the experiments.

“We get to do a few experiments at school” she says, “but it was really cool to do them in the lab. My favourite was cracking the glove dipped in liquid nitrogen and watching it spread across the floor.”

Massey University Information Technology lecturer, Dr Rachel Blagojevic, led a computer science activity on artificial intelligence. She enjoyed taking part in the day, saying, “It’s always wonderful to see young people so passionate about science, and to show the range of science opportunities available to them at university.”

From left, Tamati Durie-McGrath, Thomas Warnock, Ciaran Carroll, Christopher Patrick from Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School and Madeline Williams from Ross Intermediate School seeing the effects of liquid nitrogen on a glove filled with air.


 

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