Apii Nikao juniors are delighted to look through a telescope. 22101717
School students were thrilled to experience new scientific experiments at the inaugural Climate Change Prime Minister’s Science Expo which started yesterday at the National Auditorium
Lab in a Box, a fully equipped mobile research lab designed
to engage and get kids of all ages intrigued by science, is featured at the Science
This is the first time the University of Otago-led Lab
in a Box project which is aimed at engaging young people to learn more about
science and technology, has left New Zealand.
The portable research lab is built in a 20-foot
shipping container will run through to Wednesday, October 19.
Apii Avarua Year 7 students Rosine Vehiarii and Terii
Tuakana were both “happy” to see the new booths.
“I feel amazing, I asked some good questions and this
is a really good Expo,” said Tuakana.
The theme for the Expo is “Synergy of Traditional
Knowledge and Science – Keeping it Cool”.
In his opening address, Prime Minister Mark Brown said:
“Science is in everything we know and use in our lives today, as we have
learned from our ancestors who have knowledge of the land, sea and the sky.”
“Our traditional knowledge and science are also
important to preserve and continue. It has been passed down from our tupuna to
each of us and many things we do from planting to fishing links to this
traditional knowledge and science.”
Approximately 1500 school children are expected to
pass through the Expo, members of the public including tourists are also
welcome to attend.
Brown hopes the Expo will encourage more kids to take
up the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) for
“These will be the skills and talent that we will need
as we shift towards a knowledge economy, and I do hope that our parents also
take some time to visit the Expo and that they will also encourage our children
into these fields of study,” said Brown.
Because of the unique nature of the inaugural Science
Expo, many international and local partners have jumped on board. They include
Manaaki Whenua (Landcare Research), New Zealand National Institute of Water and
Atmospheric Sciences (NIWA), University of Auckland, University of Waikato,
Otago Museum, University of New South Wales, and Brigham Young University -
Local partners are the Ministry of Education, Office
of the Public Service Commissioner, Infrastructure Cook Islands, Ministry of
Marine Resources, Cook Islands Investment Corporation, Korero O'te Orau,
Gallery Tavioni and the Cook Islands Voyaging Society.
Each of these partners will host science/traditional
knowledge display booths at the Expo, and PM Brown encouraged school students
to take advantage of all the learning opportunities.