Would you care to learn about the potential for “Synthetic Spider Silk”, “Placebos vs. Nocebos”, or how about “Struvite Crystallisation”?   Then, plan to join in next year’s EUREKA! Awards.
Parliament buildings in Wellington was the venue on 8th September for the awards ceremony of the Rotary Eureka Trust’s 2016 “Sir Paul Callaghan EUREKA! Awards”.  Twelve students from throughout New Zealand competed in the National Finals, after earlier progressing through regional competitions organised by Rotarians in six regions. Students at regional level delivered before a panel of four judges their six-minute illustrated presentation on an area of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM), that demonstrates environmental, economic, or social benefit to New Zealand.  The National Finalists develop this further into a 12-minute presentation before five judges, including searching followup questions from the formidable RadioNZ interviewer Kim Hill.
The Rotary EUREKA! Trust was established by the Rotary Club of Wellington, with the logistics of the event ably led by Francis Wevers and his assistants among the Eureka Alumni. In just the fourth year of the awards, prize money includes $10,000 for the overall winner across both secondary and tertiary student categories. There are many other monetary prizes as well as scholarships provided by sponsors. This year’s overall winner was secondary school student Andrew Tang from Scots College, Wellington who spoke on “Algae as Biofuels” including a novel origami-formed harvestable support for marine algal growth.
Rotarians from St Johns Rotary assisted with the Auckland Regional Eureka competition, attracting the largest number of applicants. Aucklanders Dana Lawson from Orewa College (speaking on “Mind over matter – The Placebo and Nocebo Effect”) achieved second place nationally among secondary students, and Richard Todd from University of Auckland (“Subcritical Water Extraction of Antioxidants from Food and Food By-Products”) won the tertiary student category.
The mission of the EUREKA! Trust is to “identify and foster young leaders who through their knowledge of science, technology, engineering or mathematics, their entrepreneurial drive and persuasive communication skills will bring about the vision of New Zealand as foreseen by Sir Paul Callaghan”. For further details see:  www.eureka.org.nz