THE WITT TE PŪKENGA TARANAKI SCIENCE FAIR
The WITT Te Pūkenga Taranaki Science and Technology Fair is based in New Plymouth and is run by a long-standing committee of volunteers. The three-day event takes place in August each year and is open to Year 7-13 students from up to 60 schools around Taranaki.
“On our first day all the students come in and set up their projects. The next day is when the judging and competitions happen, and the third day is for quizzes and an open day for schools and the public, including the prize giving,” said Kris Craddock, Science Fair Manager.
Students can submit entries in eight categories, including Advertising Posters, Scientific Photography, Observational Drawing and Scientific Investigation.
"In Technological Development students try to invent something to solve a problem, while Robotics and Water Rockets are hands-on competitions that are also a lot of fun."
Funding of $3,000 from the Toi Foundation helped the committee to organise and host the necessary judges and award prizes to the winning entrants.
"The Toi Foundation grant allows us to keep improving the quality of our event.
We had 1148 entries this year (compared to 900 in 2022) and awarded 107 prizes. This year we ran our first voluntary workshop for the robotics category before the event. It was successful and we are planning for next year to develop a series of workshops, design up-loadable lesson plans, and work on improving communication through our website," said Kris.
"Science fairs are all about having something fun for the students while fostering their curiosity about the world around them, encouraging critical and scientific thinking and sparking inspiration towards a science career.
This grant has allowed an event that has been running since 1983 to go on for another year, fulfilling the same level of expectations from the community."