Young minds to ponder big questions

Forty of New Zealand's greatest young minds will work together next month in an attempt to find answers to some of the biggest questions facing the world today.

Among them will be Otago and Southland secondary school pupils Tahlia Braithwaite (Bayfield High School), Samantha Couper and Lucy Davidson (Otago Girls' High School), Aaron Hewson (King's High School), Rosa Latton (Kavanagh College), Ben Hamlin (Taieri College), Archie Ritchie (Wakatipu High School), Robert Beck (James Hargest College) and Olivia Gray (Southland Girls' High School).

They have been selected to attend the Powering Potential event, in Wellington, from December 16-18.

Organised by the Royal Society Te Aparangi, in partnership with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and Freemasons New Zealand, the event will bring many of New Zealand's most promising science pupils together to work alongside leading scientists and specialists from Niwa, Lincoln University, University of Auckland, Environmental Science Research (ESR), Sleep Wake Centre, Infometrics, and Curious Minds ambassadors from Otago and Taranaki.

Royal Society Te Aparangi chief executive Dr Andrew Cleland said the pupils would be given a question by one of the scientists/specialists, and would work in teams of five to research possible solutions and provide recommendations.

''To be selected for Powering Potential, each student was required to submit an in-depth application and video, which focused on their own science strengths or how they have contributed to an area of science in their school or community.

''The students have been selected because they are serious about going on to study science at a tertiary level and have demonstrated a passion for science.

''The calibre of the students who applied was excellent and some tough decisions had to be made by the selection panel to get the number down to 40,'' he said.


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