Young budding scientists from Ōhaupō have received a major accolade at the Waikato Science Fair Awards for their school.

Last week Ōhaupō School was awarded the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Shield for best overall school in the fair.

The finals and awards ceremony was held on Tuesday, August 11 at St Paul's School in Hamilton.

The science fair was held on Friday, August 7 at the Hamilton Gardens and six Ōhaupō School students placed first, advancing to the finals.


"During lockdown we weren't even sure there would be a science fair and if so, we didn't know if it would be digital or an actual fair. In spite of this the students soldiered on and were well rewarded for their hard work," says Ōhaupō School's science tutor Valerie Millington.

Liam Hollinshead and Naomi Martin – both Year-8 students - plus Ekam Minhas of Year 7 each placed second in the finals with their science presentations.

Year 8 student Ryan Ingram received a highly commended award with his "Spray Away" exhibit, an investigation into which natural products available to him in lockdown would kill pest weeds in a paddock.

Jaxon Buik of Year 8 was awarded first place in the material world section with his "Bubble 'n Fizz" exhibit, an investigation into which liquids make starters activate the quickest when making sourdough bread.

Year 7 student Ava Holloway was awarded first place in the technology section with her "Let's Get Physical" exhibit - a game to keep children moving when playing board dames during lockdown and tailoring that game to be accessible to children with a visual disability.

Ava also received the McGowan Special Award for Judges' Choice.

The New Zealand Baking Industry Research Trust Special Award for the Best Use of Flour, or bakery products in a food-related project also went to Jaxon and Naomi received the Dairy Goat Co-operative Special Award for the Best Food, Science and Technology Exhibit.

In total, 32 primary and secondary schools from the greater Waikato region took part in the science fair.


Ōhaupō School is planning to host a school science fair but the date is yet to be confirmed.

It will be open for the school's entire Kauri Hub to show their science investigations to the school and parents.