Thursday August 17, 2017
Eureka! St Patrick’s star at science awards
Young kiwis sign up for baseball Last weekend saw thousands of young Kiwis looking forward to a big summer of baseball action as the national governing body holds its second National Registration Weekend. CEO Ryan Flynn said baseball was one of the fastest growing summer sports in New Zealand and the massive growth period and increased momentum saw clubs holding “Have-A-Go” and registration events.
By Jamie Adams
Two young men have made their school proud after winning at least $9000 in combined scholarships from the Wellington Regional Eureka Awards last month. St Patrick’s College Year 13 student Xavier English secured a $2500 Silver Scholarship and $5000 Gold Scholarship after he delivered a compelling argument about the use of virtual reality for training in health and safety situations. “It’s the next platform and will create lots of things in technology,” Xavier said. “People don’t realise how far virtual reality has become. “It’s at the point of real experience. “I know it’s extremely relevant.” Old Boy Finn Lowndes, who now studies physics and law at Victoria University, delivered a speech about nuclear fusion technology being the solution to the world’s energy crisis. As a result he will compete in the national finals next month, with a guaranteed $1500 scholarship regardless of placing. The winner will receive $10,000. Although the words “nuclear power” would normally be met with trepidation by environmen-
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St Patrick’s College Head of Science Douglas Walker with Eureka Award winners Finn Lowndes and Xavier English. PHOTO: Jamie Adams
talists, Finn said that his concept was the opposite of the current nuclear fission practises that led to disasters at power plants in Chernobyl and Fukushima. Nuclear fusion reactors involved the coming together of atomic nuclei, as opposed to their separation (fission). “If something goes wrong there would be no explosions,” he said.
“It’s a new field that needs pioneering minds to take charge of.” St Patrick’s Head of Science Douglas Walker said the pair was outstanding in their success. “They presented at school and then got a chance to build confidence in public speaking. “They can also build networks with people in the industry.” The Sir Paul Callaghan Eu-
reka Awards are designed to encourage and develop young leaders within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subject areas. The key aspect for winning is for participants to show how their ideas benefit New Zealand’s economic, environmental and social wealth and well-being.
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Cook Strait News 17-08-17