Eureka widens its reach

Issue: Volume 95, Number 10

Posted: 7 June 2016
Reference #: 1H9d2H

As the Eureka programme enters its fifth year, the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka Awards continue to encourage and inspire students in science communication.

Secondary school and tertiary undergraduate students have three weeks to enter the 2016 Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka Awards. Entries close on June 30.

Once again students will be competing for prize money and scholarships worth more than $50,000. But more than the prize money, the students are competing to be known as the Sir Paul Callaghan Premier Award winner and to take home the Premier Award winner’s trophy.

“Teachers and lecturers are the key to participation in these awards. They are the people who know which students have the capacity and ability to take on the challenge these awards present,” says Eureka national convenor Francis Wevers.

“They will often have a mentoring role as well.”

Royal Society of New Zealand president Dr Richard Bedford will present the Sir Paul Callaghan valedictory address at the awards dinner to be hosted in Wellington on 8 September.

The awards were first held in 2012, shortly after the renowned New Zealand scientist and science communicator for whom the awards are named passed away.

Established to honour Sir Paul Callaghan’s contribution to New Zealand, the award programme also seeks to encourage students to become leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

If they make the national finals in September, contestants will have to deliver a 12-minute presentation to a live audience and a judging panel about how a specific application of science or technology will deliver economic, social and possibly environmental value to New Zealand.

The Rotary Eureka Trust has this year developed an online workshop featuring a competition guide, tutorials and practice exercises to give intending students all the background information and presentation skills they need to participate successfully. Since the online workshop was launched at the beginning of May it has generated huge interest.

This development means the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka Awards competition is available to all qualifying New Zealand students, irrespective of where they study. Next year the Rotary Eureka Trust will develop a virtual region to ensure that students living outside the university centres can still participate in the regional competitions.

The success of the Eureka programme is evident from the achievements of previous contestants who have gained entry to prestigious universities overseas based in part on their success as award finalists.

This year the Eureka programme is also being extended to primary school students through the Junior Eureka pilot programme, in which more than 30 schools are participating.

More information on the programme can be found at http://eureka.org.nz(external link)

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 12:36 PM, 7 June 2016

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