There was plenty of inspiration on show and being shared at a regional science and technology fair held in Rotorua.
The Niwa Bay of Plenty Science and Technology Fair 2019 was held on Thursday and Friday at the Harvest Centre, with the prizegiving yesterday afternoon.
Tauranga Intermediate’s Anamaya Taylor, 13, was this year’s winner of the Best in Fair 2019 award.
She won with her experiment Avocado Time Machine and said she was shocked and mesmerised when her name was announced.
Anamaya said she entered for the experience and came out with way more than she expected.
She said what prompted her experiment was that everyone struggled with buying fruits and vegetables which were not yet ripe, so she wanted to look into a way of ripening fruit and vegetables, like avocados, on demand.
She started with old wives tales and different methods and then worked out that ethylene was the most efficient way to ripen fruit and vegetables, she said.
She tested it in a lot of different ways and came up with ways to make it marketable.
“I reckon everyone should just give it [the fair] a go… it’s an amazing experience and I learnt so much on my journey.”
She said thank you to everyone who helped her with her project, which included her science teachers.
Chief judge Louise Sandford said it was great to interact with these interesting and inspiring students and to know the future was in safe hands if they continued on into the science world.
She said there were about 100 entries from around the Bay of Plenty, but that entries were low for high schools, especially Rotorua high schools and intermediates.
There were only four entries from the senior secondary division and even the junior secondary entries were starting to decline, she said.
“We encourage our local schools to start preparing for the science fair next year.”
Sandford said the fair was rewarding, fun, there were huge prizes involved, and students got to interact with cool scientists.
“Science is so important, it’s part of our every day lives. Lots of the biggest challenges in the world are all science.”
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick went along to the fair’s prize giving and presented the Rotorua Lakes Council mayoral awards.
During the prizegiving ceremony, she said she was blown away and loved these awards – “I want to thank the judges, it would have been very challenging”.
“Science is incredibly important to give us as decision-makers the answers that we need to build strong communities and protect our places.
“You are very special students, so thank you for sharing your knowledge with us today.”
This event for the Western Bay of Plenty region is co-ordinated by the Kiwanis Club of Roto Whenua.
Niwa is the major sponsor and judging is overseen by members of the Royal Society.