While intelligence enables people to get ahead in life, it is hard work that delivers them on the path of success, Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae has said.
“Genius is less about inspired flashes of insight and more about hard work and perseverance,” he said addressing the winners of the ‘National School and Science and Technology Awards,’ also known as ‘Realise the Dream Awards’ at the Government House in Wellington recently.
The Awards acknowledge and celebrate New Zealand’s finest examples of science and research or technological development undertaken by secondary school students. The Award Scheme is an integral part of the celebration of science and technology excellence in the country.
‘Realise the Dream’ is the culmination of programmes and competitions including regional Science and Technology Fairs, EITTO Bright Sparks and Crest. Teachers nominate their students based on the excellence they achieve in their work.
Sir Jerry said ‘Realise the Dream’ are national awards for the young researchers of tomorrow.
“All of you have carried out a remarkable amount of research. The diversity of projects and your ingenuity is outstanding. That some of your results are being investigated further by commercial partners or government agencies for potential real life application is evidence of the worth of your work,” he said.
Sir Jerry said he was sure that many participants and winners in the competition would have made personal discoveries about what it takes to succeed in science and life.
“Some might say that you are geniuses. Without doubt, you are intelligent, and yet there are many smart people in our world and not all of them have achieved in the way that you have. I am sure there would have been moments of intense frustration when initial plans or theories didn’t work as you had expected and had to be modified or re-worked,” he said.
Among the winners was Shreya Handa, Year 13 student at Mt Roskill Grammar School in Auckland for her research of the effects of four parabens on the growth of melanoma cancer cells.
“I found that none of these parabens increased the growth of the cells, although there was an inhibitory growth in some trials. I therefore believe that for the present, cosmetics are safe to use,” she said.
The winners had opportunities to attend the annual New Zealand Science Fair, visit a number of places in North Island including Dairy NZ, Genesis Energy, Massey University, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and the Liggins Institute.
“We were involved in a number of activities such as a challenging high ropes course at the Outdoor Pursuits Centre in Taupo and Bridge Walk at the Auckland Harbour,” Shreya said.