They know their science.
Students from Rotorua Seventh-Day Adventist School and Taupō-nui-a-Tia College are the winners of this year's GNS Science school geothermal science competition.
The primary and secondary school science competition was part of NZ Geothermal Week 2022, which was hosted by Amplify and kicked off in late July. A total of 21 entries were received with more than 100 students from Taupō and Rotorua getting involved.
The event aimed to spark curiosity about geothermal energy in New Zealand amongst younger people, and the judges say there was plenty of evidence of inquisitive minds.
GNS Science geothermal geophysicist Dr Anya Seward was part of the judging panel and says primary school teams were challenged to create a model of a geothermal system, explaining how they form and work, and where they are found.
Anya says Rotorua Seventh-Day Adventist School produced a phenomenal entry that showcased all aspects of a geothermal system, from the heat originating from the Earth's core to geothermal features found at the surface, including bubbling mud.
"This entry was an excellent effort! It provided thorough coverage of geothermal features in general and included some fantastic models with supporting explanations. The judges loved how all the different components were considered and came together into an integrated display."
Secondary school teams were tasked with creating a national portfolio of future energy sources to enable New Zealand to meet its Net Carbon Zero goals.
Judges say the Taupō-nui-a-Tia College entry was thorough, well-researched and comprehensive.
"The team clearly understood the brief, spent a lot of time investigating many aspects around the topic and developed a comprehensive and insightful report," Anya says.
"There were some good insights into the challenges of transitioning to a renewable energy future, including the need for government investment, communication with the public, and redeployment of the workforce."
She offered congratulations to all the winners and says all entries expressed great creative thinking and sound problem-solving, with some excellent communication of students' scientific knowledge.
The competition was judged by geothermal specialists Lucy Carson, Anya Seward, Moira Appleby and Mark Gibson.
Final Results and Prizes
Primary school competition
1st: Rotorua Seventh Day Adventist School (Years 1-8)
Prize: A one-year subscription to House of Science with three science kits delivered each fortnight to their class/school.
2nd: Tirohanga School Junior Class (Years 0-2)
Prize: A one-year subscription to House of Science, with two science kits delivered each fortnight to their class/school.
3rd Equal: Waterside Energy Team, Year 6, Wairakei School (Harry, Oscar, Finn, Adam, Mithesh), and, Team 1, Waipahihi School (Reid, Eva, Kaira, Tea)
Prize: A one-year subscription to House of Science, with a science kit delivered each fortnight to their class/school.
The secondary school competition was won by Team Slay from Taupō-nui-a-Tia College (Momo, Nanami, Amelia, Anastasia). Each member of the team won a 10.2" iPad