Powering Potential is a joint science programme by Freemasons New Zealand and the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Forty of the brightest secondary school science students have been selected to attend the inaugural event Powering Potential in Wellington from 13 – 16 December, which will seek answers to some of New Zealand’s future problems.
Organised by the Royal Society of New Zealand and supported by Freemasons New Zealand, Powering Potential will bring New Zealand’s most promising science students together to work out how to solve challenging issues facing the country. They will be supported and guided by scientists and mentors.
The students will work in teams of three to five on problems that have been submitted by science organisations. They relate to a wide range of areas critical to New Zealand’s future, from the environment to health.
The students will research, investigate and collaborate to solve the problems they have been given. They will also visit GNS Science to meet with scientists and learn about the skills they have used to solve science problems.
“The students will need to think outside the square and use their creative capabilities to find solutions. At the end of the four days each team will present its findings at a special function,” says Andrew Cleland, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Each student was required to submit an in-depth application, which focused on their own science research or outlined how they have contributed to an area of science in their school or community.
The students were selected because they are serious about going on to study science at a tertiary level and also have a passion and thirst for the world of science. Andrew Cleland says: “the calibre of the 80 students who applied was excellent and some tough decisions had to be made by the selection panel to get the number down to 40.”
Grandmaster of Freemasons New Zealand John Litton said: “Freemasons New Zealand is absolutely delighted to be involved in Powering Potential in partnership with the Royal Society of New Zealand. “Education is a cornerstone of freemasonry. Our organisation is all about self- improvement and having the courage to make changes for the benefit of all. Powering Potential is a perfect fit for us and we are excited about the next 3 years.”
All costs for the students, including social activities, are covered by the Royal Society of New Zealand and Freemasons New Zealand.
The students selected to attend Powering Potential are:
FAR NORTH REGION
Isabella Francis Kerikeri High School
Grayson Javins Kerikeri High School
Shani Eisenmann Kerikeri High School
CENTRAL NORTH REGION
Emma Barnes Whangarei Girls’ High School
Alysha Johnson Avondale College
Chantelle French Onehunga High School
Sarah Liu Epsom Girls’ Grammar School
Yasime Dai Auckland Diocesan School for Girls
Georgia Lala Auckland Diocesan School for Girls
Parie Malhotra Mount Albert Grammar School
Oxana Repina Rutherford College
Miranda Tong Rutherford College
Michael Jessup Pakuranga College
Adam Good Waiuku College
Joshua Green Cambridge High School
Alex Kennedy Hamilton Boys High School
Scehnaz Hussain St Peters School, Cambridge
BAY OF PLENTY REGION
Clementine Davis Mount Maunganui College
Devon Whitmore Tauranga Boys’ College
Jonathan Everett Whakatane High School
Loren Skudder-Hill John Paul College, Rotorua
HAWKE’S BAY REGION
Coco Kerkhoffs Karamu High School
Grace Duncan Hastings Girls’ High School
Samuel Parker Waitara High School
Tess Breitenmoser Wellington High School
Catherine Pot Onslow College, Wellington
Cherie Vasta St Oran’s College, Lower Hutt
Jonathan Wu Wellington College
Dinura Perera Tawa College
Kara Hamilton Nayland College
Joshua Richards Collingwood Area School
Sabine O’Neill Stevens Nelson College for Girls
Lucy Watts Nelson College for Girls
George Watson Darfield High School
Philip Anderson King’s High School, Dunedin
Meran Campbell Hood Logan Park High School, Dunedin
Timothy O’Neill Verdon College, Invercargill
Brianna Nally James Hargest College, Invercargill
Michael Zhang James Hargest College, Invercargill
About the Royal Society of New Zealand
The Royal Society of New Zealand offers expert advice to government and the public, recognises excellence in research and scholarship in science, technology and humanities, promotes science and technology education, publishes peer-reviewed journals, administers funds for research and fosters international scientific contact and cooperation.
About Freemasons New Zealand
Freemasons New Zealand is the oldest fraternal organisation in New Zealand, celebrating its 125th Anniversary in 2015. The Freemasons Charity, as the registered charitable entity of the organisation, (entirely funded by Freemasons) expects to distribute annually approximately $1.3 million through long-term projects in education, research, support to those in need and initiatives that benefit the community at large.