Alexander (Alex) Malcolm, from Mokoia Intermediate School, spent many weekends working on a scientific project which has won a supreme award.
His scientific project exploring the use of artificial intelligence and traps to identify and photograph catfish underwater to monitor population numbers has taken out the Te Arawa Lakes Trust's Ngā Karu Atua Supreme Award at the inaugural Te Tūkohu Ngāwhā Science and Design Fair.
Alex was one of 80 entries from tamariki and rangatahi from across the Te Arawa rohe.
He said he decided to look at alternative ways of monitoring catfish after spending more than five years being involved in Te Arawa Lakes Trust's catfish programme.
"I wanted to come up with a project that would help the work we're doing with catfish netting, get a better understanding of what's happening in the lakes and the different types of fish that are there."
Alex won the sustainability category, as well as the Scion Ngā Huarahi ki Te Ao Award.
The results were announced at a prizegiving held at Motion Entertainment last night.
The entries were judged by Tracey Burton (LINZ), Katerina Pihera-Ridge (SCION), Soweeta Fort D'arth (Bay of Plenty Regional Council) and Deniz Özkundakci (University of Waikato).
The fair featured five categories - water quality, biosecurity, biodiversity, mātauranga Māori and sustainability, with the winners in each category being eligible for the Supreme Award.
A joint kaupapa between Te Arawa Lakes Trust and Bay of Plenty Regional Council, the mātauranga Māori science fair is believed to be the first of its kind, specifically targeting environmental issues through a te ao Māori lens.
The fair showcases range of topics from restoring native species, through to pest control and measuring and creating habitats to improve biodiversity.
William Anaru, Te Arawa Lakes Trust operations manager – biosecurity and jobs for nature, said local tamariki and rangatahi were incredibly enthusiastic and passionate about being kaitiaki for the environment and it had really shone through in their mahi.
"The projects are so impressive – and around 10 kura have visited the fair over the past two days.
"This kaupapa gives tamariki and rangatahi a chance to kōrero about the state of te taiao, and the more they know about the environment and how to care for it, the better it will be for their tamariki, and future generations after then."
He said, "It's an opportunity to showcase what's in their brilliant little minds, and I think with the climate and environment the way it is at the moment, it allows them to express some concerns they may have with how the future is looking.
"All the exhibits are awesome, high-quality exhibits that have shown the world will be in good hands in the future.
"The kids have put so much time and energy into their work, and so much pride into getting them [the exhibits] where they are."
It felt great to be able to make the fair happen, which had been quite a long process, he said.
Anaru said they wanted to hold the fair every year, to grow and include all the schools in Te Arawa rohe, and to get more support behind it from other organisations that want to see the things kids can put together.
Te Arawa Lakes Trust environmental officer Keeley Grantham said they were happy with the response and hoped it would grow in the future.
Grantham said it felt special when the kids came in and started setting up their exhibits.
"They brought amazing energy to the room and seeing their excitement about setting up was pretty special."
There was also a furry biosecurity advocate on site during the fair - Aspen the pest fish (koi carp) detecting dog from Waikato University.
3rd place - Lachlan Hoggard and Dane Napier, Rotorua Lakes High School
2nd place - Archie Graham, Giselle Yee, Vienna Ropotini, Koki Hara and Aurora Flay Bourkram, Lynmore School
1st place - Lachlan Hoggard, Rotorua Lakes High School
3rd place - Ellie Smith, Sophie Bell, Tegan Auld and Candice Chen, Lynmore School
2nd place - Calais Eru, Peter Hawkins, Moewhare Butler, KC Goodfellow and Dante Teka-Corbett, Kaitao School
1st place - Siwan Lloyd-Jones, Rotorua Lakes High School
Water Quality category
3rd place - Hunter Russell and Prince Ocana, Malfroy School
2nd place - Emma Pol, Rotorua Lakes High School
1st place - Liam Heighway, Rotorua Lakes High School
Mātauranga Maōri category
3rd place - Haylee Wilson and Lucas Howes, Kaitao School
2nd place - Jennika Kumar and Riley Cameron-Dyde, Malfroy School
1st place - Amelia Foote-Webb, Malfroy School
3rd place - Zayed Imtiyas, Malfroy School
2nd place - Christian Foote-Webb and James Collins, Malfroy School
1st place - Alexander Malcolm, Mokoia Intermediate
Recipient of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Te Mana o te Wai Enhancement Supreme Award: Liam Heighway
Recipient of the Scion Ngā Huarahi ki Te Ao Award: Alexander Malcolm
Recipient of the Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand Award for Excellence in a project focused on the whenua: Siwan Lloyd-Jones
Recipient of the Te Arawa Lakes Trust Ngā Karu Atua Supreme Award: Alexander Malcolm.
Ko to ringa ki ngā taonga o te ao hou
Tērā tētehi kaupapa whakamiharo e whakatōmene atu ai ki te mōhiotanga horihori me ngā tārore, hai tautohu me te whakaahua i ngā ika kumikumi kia mātau ai te iwi ki te tokotini o tēnei momo ika kai ngā roto moana, kua wikitoria i te kaupapa Te Arawa Lakes Trust's Nga Karu Atua Supreme Award i te huinga o Te Tūkohu Ngāwhā kaupapa pūtaiao me te whakakitenga whakaahua. Ka nanakia te wā e whakapau kaha ana a Alexander (Alex) Malcolm, tētehi o ngā tauwhawhai e waru tekau, nō te kura tuarua o Mokoia. Ehara ko ia anake engari te tokomaha hoki o ngā tauira o Te Arawa i uru atu ki tēnei whakataetae nui.
Ka toko ake te whakaaro ki a Alex ki te whakatakoto rautaki hou e pai ake ai tana mātai i ngā ika kumikumi nei, Kua rima tau kē ia e mahi ana mā Te Arawa Lakes Trust e hāpai ana i te kaupapa pēhi ika kumikumi. Hai tāna" Ko te aronga matua ki ā mātou mahi hopu ika kumikumi ā kupenga , engari anō, kia mōhio hoki ai mātou ki te āhuatanga o ngā roto moana me ngā momo ika hoki e kaukau haere ana'. Nāna te wāhanga 'toitūtanga' i wikitoria ai me te wāhanga, Scion Ngā Huarahi ki Te Ao Award. Nō te ahiahi o te paraire kua pahemo i whakaputaina tēnei toatanga āna i te wāhanga tuku taonga i Motion.
Tokowhā ngā tiati. Ko Tracey Burton (LINZ) ko Katerina Pihera-Ridge (SCION) ko Soweeta Fort D'arth (Bay of Plenty Regional Council) rātou ko Deniz Özkundakci (University of Waikato). E whā ngā wāhanga o te whakataetae – ko te ora o te wai, ko te haumarutanga, ko te mātauranga Māori me te toitūtanga. Ko ngā toa o ia wāhanga ka whai take ai rātou ki te taonga kāmehameha o te whakataetae nei.
He waka hourua tēnei kaupapa e mana ai a Te Arawa Lakes Trust me te Kaunihera ā Rohe o te moana o Toi te huatahi.
Ko te wāhanga Mātauranga Māori he tuatahitanga tēnei e ai ki ētehi, ka rua, e mana nui ana hoki tana aronga ki ngā take o te taiao e ai ki a tātou te Māori.
E ai ki a William Anaru, te pouwhakahaere haumarutanga mā Te Arawa Lakes Trust, ka nui te ngākau whitawhita o te hunga rangatahi me ngā tamariki e aro pono nei ki te haumarutanga o te taiao , tirohia ā rātou nā mahi. ' He tuahangata kē ētehi o ā rātou kaupapa i oti i a rātou me te mea hoki, he kotahi tekau o ngā kura o te takiwā nei kua tae kē mai ki te whakakitenga i ngā rangi e rua kua tahā ake nei'. "Nā tēnei kaupapa rangatira e whai waha ai ngā tamariki me te rangatahi ki te tuku i o rātou whakaaro me te āhuatanga o te taiao – mā te mātauranga rātou e pakeke ai, whaihoki me ka pēneitia te haere, ka tupu matomato hoki te taiao e takoto āio nei mō ngā whakatupuranga e whia kē atu". I whakapūarengia te kaupapa Te Tūkohu Ngāwhā pūtaiao me te whakakitenga whakaahua i te rāhoroi kua tahā ake nei i Motion. E pūare ana ki te hāpori whānui nō reira e hoa mā, nau mai, piki mai, kake mai. Tirohia ngā mahi kua oti nei i ngā tamariki o te takiwā.
Me te whānui hoki o ngā kaupapa e whakaatuhia nei, pēnei me te whakarauora i ngā aitanga a Tāne, tae ki te whakapēhi kararehe wetiweti, ā, me te ine me te whakaara taiao ora e whakawhanake ai te rerenga raupoi. —Na Raimona Inia i whakamaoritia tenei purongo