Emerging scientists showcase projects

Regional winners at this year’s Science Fair got the chance to present their projects to our Councillors and staff recently, with the best of the best awarded the Wrybill Trophy.

Each year we invite the first-place winners of our resource management awards from the NIWA Canterbury/Westland Science and Technology Fair and the Timaru Sanford’s Science and Technology Fair to present their projects.

An external judge, Professor Jon Hickford from Lincoln University, spoke with each student before they gave a brief presentation to Councillors. From these, an overall winner was awarded.

Hickford said it was a tough decision, but this year Bailey Lissington of Timaru Boys’ High School took out the Trophy.

Lissington designed and produced a prototype of a moisture-monitoring system for use on farms. He aims to perfect the design during his time studying Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Canterbury, and then take it to market.

He went on to win a Bright Sparks award in this year’s national competition.

Students impress with their inventions

One Councillor said she would purchase the invention of another finalist if she produced more, and suggested she use the Kickstarter platform to gather funding. Elizabeth Baird from Russley School produced a device for homeowners to determine if their log burner is smoking.

Christ College student Yusef Elnaha also impressed with his investigation on using wastewater from cooking rice as an eco-friendly fertiliser.

Council Chair, Jenny Hughey, congratulated the students on the time, effort, and thought they invested in their projects and wished them well for their future.

The resource management awards encourage emerging scientists to think about environmental issues relevant to our region, and to offer innovative, technological solutions.

2019 Science Fair winners (pictured)


  • Junior: Elizabeth Baird, Y8, Russley School with Hestia’s Healthy Hearth (centre-left)
  • Senior: Yusef Elnahas, Y10, Christ's College with Water Pollutant Utilisation (centre-right)

Timaru/South Canterbury

  • Junior: not awarded in 2019
  • Senior: Bailey Lissington, Y13, Timaru Boys’ High with his Smart Farm System (centre)