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Hawke’s Bay students getting hands-on at Science Camp

Mya Johnston Winiata and Infinity Nelson with Kate Boersen

Rocks, earthquakes and tsunami are up for discussion by budding young scientists at this year's science camp in The LAB at the National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier.

Around a hundred and 70 Year 7 and 8 students from 11 schools throughout Hawke’s Bay are taking part in the Hawke’s Bay Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand’s two day science camps this week. The camps aim to give intermediate school students a taste of earth science, through workshops prepared and delivered by GNS Science and East Coast LAB.

The students will spend the first day in the LAB at the National Aquarium, investigating the geology of New Zealand and Hawke’s Bay and uncovering what scientists currently know of the Kaikoura earthquake and how it affected the plate boundary off the East Coast of New Zealand.

They will study sedimentary rocks and fossils to unravel its geological history by looking at the different layers of sediment and observing the changes in colour and texture.

Day two students will take their ‘rock reading skills’ on a field trip to Waipatiki Beach and use their new knowledge to investigate uplift and land movements.

East Coast LAB Community Science Coordinator Kate Boersen says the workshop takes them on a geological journey and encourages students to observe and think as scientists themselves.

Peterhead School teacher Amy Le Quesne says the science camp was a great opportunity for the students to experience something they wouldn’t normally experience in a normal school day.

“It’s great to expose the students to such a full on science experience. There is a lot of learning done in a short space of time and because it’s so hands-on it’s very engaging,” says Ms Le Quesne.

She hopes it will inspire some of the children to follow a career in science.

The Science Camp is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund.

Kate Boersen says the goal is for students to return to school with a better understanding of maths, science and technology, and its relevance to their everyday lives, and Hawke’s Bay in particular.

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