Sciences academy a chance to attain goals

Adelia Latu
Adelia Latu
Mixing matauranga Maori with Western science, and becoming just the third person in their family to attend university, are the goals of two of New Zealand’s top Maori science pupils.

Kaikoura High School year 13 pupil Ruslan Ataria-Ivannikov and Bay of Islands College year 13 pupil Adelia Latu are in Dunedin this week attending the first of two camps in this year’s Otago University Advanced School Sciences Academy (OUASSA).

The Maori duo were sponsored to participate by New Zealand’s quantum research institute The Dodd-Wall’s Centre.

A DWC spokeswoman said it was a great opportunity to provide young people who would not usually have this opportunity the chance to attend a university-focused programme and further delve into the sciences.

Ruslan Ataria-
Ruslan Ataria- Ivannikov
Ruslan said he previously went to a Maori immersion school, but now that he was at a mainstream school he was really enjoying science.

He said his experiences in both educational environments had inspired him to pursue science after school, and bring together understandings of Western science and matauranga Maori — the body of knowledge originating from Maori ancestors, including the Maori world view, perspectives, creativity and cultural practices.

Adelia, who is of Tongan and Maori descent, was also delighted to be selected for the academy.

She said she would like to become the third person in her family to go to university and to pursue her dream of becoming a Maori doctor.

The programme takes place over the whole year and includes virtual online sessions and two in-person camps in January and July.


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