More than 150 school students will showcase their science talent this week.

The NIWA Bay of Plenty Regional Science and Technology Fair will be held at Rotorua Convention Centre on August 30 and 31 and is sponsored by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

NIWA's education coordinator Dr Julie Hall said: "We want to see these young people really excel, and go on to help drive New Zealand's economy. The future achievements of our young scientists and technologists will lead the way to growing New Zealand's prosperity".

The entries include a project about environmentally friendly soap, one about how temperature affects how long batteries last, and one that investigates whether the stalk colour of an avocado can help you pick a ripe one.


The entries are from year 7 - 13 students, from more than 15 schools throughout the Bay of Plenty region. Their projects cover all areas of science and technology.

On Thursday a team of judges will interview all the students, select the best projects in each of the age classes and award over 20 special prizes. Several thousand dollars' worth of prizes are being donated by science organisations.

Judge Jonathan Harrington said science and technology fairs provided a great chance for students to actively participate in science projects.

"Their enthusiasm is clear to see, and the fairs are a great way to get school students to make scientific research part of finding solutions to problems. They learn that science experiments must be researched, designed and analysed. These are very valuable life skills to learn."

The fair is open to the public on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Entry is free.

NIWA is a crown-owned research and consultancy company, with a global reputation as experts in water and atmospheric research. NIWA provides major sponsorship for many of the science fairs throughout New Zealand