Posted on Mar 02, 2019
Our guest speakers were the three students we sponsored to attend the Science and Technology Forum at AUT in Auckland.  
Each student has emerged with a better understanding of the courses they wish to pursue further education.  Photographed with Stephanie are Finn, Linette and Jada. 
Linette – Thanked our Club for the amazing opportunity.  On 12 January they flew to Auckland and met up with 167 other high achieving students from around the country.  They had a busy schedule for the two weeks.  They were put in six teams of different colours.  
Their days started at 6 am with sporting themes, then on to breakfast and after that, they worked on science modules.  They did all sorts of things, including dissecting a sheep’s heart to learn how it functions, learning about new technology, charging an electric car by driving over a pad, a talking interactive robot that also danced, they used liquid nitrogen and poured it over their own bare hands luckily it evaporated before it touched their hand, they did lots of chemistry stuff and even an ethanol explosion. 
Jada talked about the social side with the evenings being full of fun activities such as volleyball tournaments.  The activities were undertaken with a fierce competitiveness but they all remained close friends as they were like minded and were in a good environment.  They also had technical visits going to work places: TVNZ, the Police, Defence Force etc where they did all sort of things.  There were lots of recreational activities, they went to the Domain Park, theatres, rock climbing etc.  Saturday was “explore” day where they did what they wanted.  An end of day disco was lots of fun.  Sunday was beach day.  Jada expressed her gratitude for the friendships and knowledge gained from the experience. 
Finn said that the experience was important for kids like them, the high achieving students who are the future leaders of tomorrow and who are likely to make big changes in the world which is full of lots of problems like finding clean water, climate change etc.  He said that the course helped him to see that he wanted to get involved and help.  One of the things that struck him was the lecture on ethics in science – how to conduct and evaluate problems with ethics, as none of them had thought of that as something they needed to be doing.  He said that the different knowledge and skill sets was amazing. 
They were not in bed until 11 pm so they were long days and they had to be at places on time.  They did lots of crazy and cool things during their time there.  At the end of the course, they were asked how many had changed their minds about what they now wanted to do and 80% put their hand up.  Finn said that now he wants to do Megatronics.  He thanked our Club for the sponsorship saying he had had an amazing time and looked forward to changes in the future.  
The group showed a video overview of course  
Linette now wants to do a Natural Resources degree with a Masters in Environmental Engineering and Jada said she was going to do Environmental Studies but now wants to do Bio Medical Sciences instead. 
Ses gave the vote of thanks and noted it gave Rotarians pleasure to offer opportunities to bright young people and future leaders.