Young scientists' research impresses judges

Students across Canterbury have been rewarded for their scientific research. Prizes were awarded to students taking an innovative investigative approach to solving an environmental issue facing Canterbury.

Our staff selected the recipients of the resource management awards based on their scientific method, innovative thinking, practical application, and relevancy to the work of the Regional Council.

Judges were impressed by the amount of work and passion that students had put into their projects.

"Events like Science Fair are an important opportunity to encourage the next generation of scientific minds," said Kimberley Forbes, Team Leader for Youth Engagement and Education.

"Their enthusiasm and fresh thinking are what will support the sustainability of our region long term and it is vital that we do what we can to nurture that."

Plants, pests, and nitrates among study topics

This year's award recipients shared some common interests, with nitrates, weed suppression, soil health, and pest eradication coming out on top.

"It was exciting to see students so interested in the areas of work that our team is so passionate about," said judge and Groundwater Senior Scientist Lisa Scott.

Judge Rich Langley, Biosecurity Project Coordinator, was impressed by the scientific rigour of the projects. "It is really great to see these students taking a future-focused approach to some of the issues we face. It is really impressive to see some of the solutions that they have come up with."

The winners from each category will be invited to Environment Canterbury offices later this year to present their projects to staff and Councillors.

2022 Science Fair Winners

Canterbury/Westland (pictured above)

  • Junior 1st: Holly Fraser, year seven, Selwyn House School with Spray Away
  • Junior 2nd: Alex Withell, year eight, Breens Intermediate with Pest Investigation at Breens School
  • Senior 1st equal: Millie Palmer, year ten, Cashmere High School with Microplastics, Macroproblem
  • Senior 1st equal: Charlie Caddilac, year eleven, Cashmere High School with The Effects of Allelochemicals on Seed Germination

Timaru/South Canterbury

  • Junior 1st: Mitchell Digby and Jack Bennet, Wakanui with Project Possum
  • Junior 2nd: Daniel Heffernan, St Joseph's Timaru with Agrivoltaics
  • Senior 2nd equal: Luke O'Connor, Timary Boys' High with Does Irrigation Affect Soil Nutrient Levels
  • Senior 2nd equal: James O'Connor, Timaru Boys' High with Liquid Nitrogen
  • Senior 3rd equal: Finley Fulton, Timaru Boys' High with Nitrate Leaching With Different Fertilisers
  • Senior 3rd equal: Jack Parry, Timaru Boys' High with Nitrate Leaching