Francis Douglas Memorial College ākonga William Hopkins and his sister Maddi, who attends New Plymouth Girls High School, cleaned up at the fair for not only winning the Year 11 to Year 13 Scientific Investigation category but they were also awarded the Grand Prize for Overall Top in Fair.
Of their win, Maddi wrote: “As one of two winners of the WITT Taranaki Science and Technology Fair this year, I would like to thank you immensely for your support of the fair and your generosity surrounding the prizes - it has opened a massive range of opportunities.”
Their project ‘Tiny Butt Deadly’ delved into the effects of cigarette butt pollution on both water and soil, specifically focusing on kowhai seed germination and plant growth. Judges said the investigation was very interesting, with the majority of their experiments revealing significant impacts and highlighting the urgency of addressing this environmental issue.
The fair has a long history of promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in the region and provides opportunities for young people to undertake projects and engage in unique learning experiences outside of school that build on the broad area of science and technology.
WITT Te Pūkenga Acting Director Engineering, Energy and NZIHT Jill Warner says supporting the fair is obvious: “Science and technology plays a big part in our daily lives and in our local industry so supporting the fair and showcasing our engineering pathways makes sense.”
WITT has been a sponsor of the fair since 2017.