Top Energy Far North Science and Technology Fair

Congratulations to…Faith Hohepa and Jacky Edwards who along with Jonty Kirk have been named joint winners of the Northland Regional Council’s new ‘Environmental Excellence Award’ at the recent Top Energy Far North Science and Technology Fair in Kerikeri.

Jonty Kirk with his science project.Jonty Kirk from Kerikeri High School with his award winning project, 'Does Organic Matter Matter'.

Faith and Jacky’s project – ‘What’s Growing On’ – examined which seedlings were growing beneath the pest plant Tradescantia, while Jonty’s project ‘Does Organic Matter Matter’ examined pollution of soil and waterways.

The regional council has been a long-time supporter of the annual science fair, but this year shifted focus from offering its usual ‘Consistent Excellence’ award to one rewarding environmental excellence instead, in a bid to better reflect the council’s community outcomes and vision.

The refocused award – worth $1000 – recognises creative and innovative students whose projects demonstrate a strong scientific approach to solving environmental issues and concerns which will in turn protect and enhance Northland’s environment.

In awarding the council prize to the three youngsters (and with each of the two projects receiving $500), judges felt their efforts were impressive with a lot of potential and relevance. Their projects had stood out among the 17 senior projects, all of which had been notable for their very high standard.

All three winning youngsters attend Kerikeri High School; Faith and Jacky in Year 12 and Jonty in Year 13. (Jonty who heads to Auckland University next year also won the science fair’s Dairy New Zealand prize for the best project related to farming.)

The science fair showcases the work of Year 7-13 students from Kaitaia to Russell, Broadwood to Kerikeri (including some home-schooled students) with a record number of projects and more than 180 students taking part this year.