The future of Hawke's Bay science is in good hands, with 533 students problem-solving their way through challenges at EIT Hawke's Bay Science and Technology Fair last week.
Chair of the Hawke's Bay Fair, Benjamin Himme said it was encouraging to see so many students participating given the region's small size.
He said allowing Year 11-13 students to submit one of their NCEA assessments meant Hawke's Bay had retained senior entries.
"Since the introduction of NCEA, because students are being assessed throughout the year their workload and the pressure on them is immense, we've had a massive decline in senior entries since NCEA came out," Himme said.
"It's probably one of the reasons the Hawke's Bay fair has at least held on to some senior entries."
Hawke's Bay Regional Council's environmental science manager Stephen Swabey said it was promising to see students paying keen attention to science.
"It's great for the future of science in Hawke's Bay that school children are enthused and encouraged in their interest in science," Swabey said.
"Without students continuing to show an interest in science eventually we'll end up having a problem of there not being enough scientists in New Zealand."
Fwabey said all Hawke's Bay residents should be grateful to the science and technology fair's organisers for "the immense value that initial interest, and encouraging that initial interest, provides for everybody in the region".
Hawke's Bay students could also participate in a titration competition, a SciPad technology challenge and a science quiz.
This year 140 Hawke's Bay kids created 125 projects, with some students working in groups.
Twenty-one teams of senior chemistry students took part in the Titration Challenge on Thursday, a technique used by chemists to work out how concentrated a substance is.
A total of 132 students work in pairs in the SciPad technology challenge, building solutions to a problem they were given using household products.
There were 65 teams in the Science Quiz, with three people per team.
The winners of the events will be announced on August 16.