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    Faculty of Science
    Awesome Science Experiences - January 2017!

    Over the summer holidays we had some Y11 and 12 students attend Hands-on

    ​ at ​Otago 

    and we also had Yan Hao Tay attend the 2017 Rotary National Science and Technology Forum in Auckland. 

    ​These are fantastic courses that immerse the ​students in science and also let them experience university life.  Hands-on at Otago is 1 week long and the Rotary forum is 2 weeks.  Below is an account from the students about what they did....

    - Yan Hao Tay

    Over 2 weeks in January earlier this year, I attended the 2017 Rotary Youth Science and Technology Forum in Auckland. It was a eye-opening experience that expanded my outlook on all aspects of science and technology.

    All together, the 16 sessions that we attended at various Auckland University, AUT and Massey University campuses ensured that we were able to gain an insight into many science and technology related studies and careers available to us after high school.

    During this forum, there was also plenty of time for social interaction, and it was refreshing to meet so many other young, like-minded people with similar passions, interests, and hopes for the future.

    Overall, I thought the forum was great preparation for life after high school and would be a great experience for anybody but especially for those who do not yet know what science-related course they wish to pursue in the future.

    - Jesse Northcoat

    Hands-On at Otago brought over 400 like minded teens together to experience student life and study in their world class campus. I was in the Pharmacy project in which we got to explore the chemistry of drugs, the processes through which drugs are made, and carry out practical investigations into drug delivery. Through the course of the week staying in the University Halls of Residence, we also went to workshops in other projects, went to speakers and played sports! On the final day of lab work we got to make the drug Aspirin and test for it using THC plates which was the most fun project. The lab tutors and lecturers we had mentoring us were excellent at teaching us extra snippets of knowledge and letting us play around with the expensive spectrometers and centrifuges they had around the lab. Overall, it was a fantastic week long camp and I made heaps of friends along the way. I strongly recommend this camp to any year 11 or 12 students wanting to try something new and experience University life first hand!

    HandsOn 2017 (10).jpg

    - Penny Howes 

    In mid January myself and 400 other high school students travelled from all around New Zealand to take part in the annual Hands on Otago programme at the University of Otago. It is a week organised by the university for students entering Year 12 or Year 13 to experience life at uni in Dunedin and take part in a Project (class) for a week with the learning based at our level. Students stay in one of two halls of residences there, Studholme College or Arana College where the people you meet, activities you do (and food you eat!) make your time unforgettable. 

    I chose and was accepted to take part in the Physiology programme where I spent my morning classes for the week with 15 other 16 and 17 year olds learning about systems in the human body and how things like nerves, muscles, sight and taste work. (Ice cream tasting was compulsory for this one, for scientific research of course.) We were taught by two enthusiastic and knowledgeable lecturers throughout the week with guest speakers who shared some of their research work with us. 

    After our morning classes each day we were placed into “snack” groups, of which we would have a different one each day. These allowed us to have a go at a different subject that the organisers thought we would benefit from learning about for example Pacific Island Studies, Law, Dance, Immunology, Geography and Anatomy. There were about 35 different projects available for us to choose our main project from and some extras that were run as snack programmes, meaning this programme is an exciting and interesting time for anyone. 

    Our research and classes were well balanced out by social activities throughout the week which made it really easy to make friends and enjoy ourselves. We took part in a quiz night, a sports night, an amazing race and there was also a themed dance on the last night which was really well organised and a lot of fun! I met a lot of new people through the programme who I keep in touch with, and the staff, lecturers and older uni students looking after us were a big help with anything you needed at the time or for answering any questions you might have about going to university. 

    Overall, I learnt so much during one week, met so many new people and tried so many new things that taking a week out of my summer holidays to take part in this was worth it on every level. I would highly recommend any students entering year 12 or 13 in 2018 to keep an eye out for when applications open in about August-October 2017 and to make the most of this amazing programme. 

    - Rachel Els

    I attended Hands-On at Otago in January 2017 and I was in the physiology project.  Each day involved finding out about how our body works through a range of experiments. We had morning tea at the physiology building everyday and became good friends with everyone in our group. We received a lot of support from the physiology department, especially our two supervisors. On Day 1 my favourite experiment was either the one investigating proprioception, where it seemed as if we were feeling the touch of a brush on someone else’s hand on our own hand, or the one investigating balance where we took turns on a rotating chair to see how the semicircular canals within our ears keep us balanced. Day 2 involved experiments on muscle stimulation by placing an electrode on our ulnar nerve and we measured the electrical activity in a contracting muscle in our hand by recording an electromyogram (EMG). Day 3 was dedicated towards the heart and lungs, and was definitely my favourite day. We discovered the effect of exercise on our heart by recording an electrocardiogram (ECG) which measures the changes in the electrical currents produced by our heart. The experiment related to the lungs was to test whether carbon dioxide or oxygen was more important in controlling our rates of breathing. Our last day of experiments included a hearing test and a taste test. We used tuning forks, the Weber test and the Rinne test to check how well we could hear in both ears. Finally, the taste test was to see the effect of different combinations of tastes on our perception of flavour. In conclusion, the physiology project made me more curious about the wonders of the human body.

    Hands on Otago group photo

Picture of Rebecca O'Loughlin
CPIT Y12 Chemistry Competition 2015
by Rebecca O'Loughlin - Wednesday, 24 February 2016, 3:16 PM

CPIT Chemistry Competition

In May of 2015 we had two team's compete in the local CPIT chemistry competition.  The two teams consisted of Jessica Dunn, Nathan James, Alex Tompkins, Angela Lim, Andrew Davidson and Tom Coulson.  The students had to complete two chemistry tasks, one practical and one theoretical as a team in just over an hour. Although they didn't place in the top 3 teams they represented BHS with pride and worked really well in their teams!!

Picture of Rebecca O'Loughlin
Jessica Dunn's trip to Sydney
by Rebecca O'Loughlin - Wednesday, 24 February 2016, 3:15 PM
Jessica Dunn trip to Sydney 2015

Being one of the six New Zealand students whom attended the Harry Messel’s International Science School (ISS) has been one of the best experiences of my life and was a truly incredible opportunity. The daily lectures and practical work done at Sydney University mimicked what life will be like at University and increased my interests in science. The mind-blowing lectures from passionate scientists from around the world captured all the students’ imaginations to what they can accomplish within their scientific careers.  


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Tom Marsh goes to NASA Space Camp
by Nigel Roberts - Wednesday, 11 September 2013, 1:40 PM

Tom Marsh, one of our senior students, was lucky enough to have been selected as one of two New Zealand students given the chance to attend the annual International Space Camp in Huntsville Alabama.

He has written a report outlining the inspiring experiences he had on the trip. To find out more click here to read the report.