Showing scientific swagger

James Mustapic (left) and Ella Cameron (right) after being named age group winners in the New...
James Mustapic (left) and Ella Cameron (right) after being named age group winners in the New Zealand International Science Festival Science Idol competition at the weekend. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The lyrics from one of teen heart-throb Justin Bieber's love songs have been turned into a more intellectual song about science.

John McGlashan College pupil James Mustapic (16) won the 15- to 21-year-old age group in the New Zealand International Science Festival Science Idol competition with his song Covalent Love - a scientific musical parody of one of Justin Bieber's latest releases.

His song about the workings of the heart were in tune with the theme of the festival, "What makes us tick?", which takes place in Dunedin from June 30 to July 8, 2012.

James was not the only Dunedin pupil to win in Science Idol. Tahuna Normal Intermediate pupil Ella Cameron (13) won the 8- to 14-year-old age group with her fun-filled factual rhyming clip The Heart Goes Boom.

The 22+ age group was won by Nelson science teacher Justin Lee Tripp, who created his clip Auditory System using innovative visual techniques and lyrics.

The judging panel consisted of Fulbright graduate fellow, University of Otago master' student and United States science rapper Tom McFadden, and festival associate director Laura Madden, who critiqued the scientific content, lyrical ingenuity and performance of the songs.

Mr McFadden was impressed with the quality of the entries.

"I was really proud of the creativity and scientific swagger shown by all."

The trio were among 27 submitters from across New Zealand who will now be considered for the Science Idol grand prize.

The winner will be announced on July 6 and perform live in Dunedin with Mr McFadden at the public festival event Whose Science Is It Anyway?

The winner will also record their audio at the University of Otago's Albany St studio, and shoot a music video.

- john.lewis@odt.co.nz

 

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