Happy campers at NanoCamp 2015

Happy campers at NanoCamp 2015

Fifteen of New Zealand’s brightest high school science pupils from across the country spent a week in Wellington getting an introduction to nanoscience and advanced materials during NanoCamp 2015. The annual camp, sponsored by the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology and held for the sixth year, introduces year 12 and 13 pupils to physics and chemistry with a hands-on programme. The aim is to encourage pupils to pursue science when they leave school by providing them with an overview of the excellent science being done in New Zealand. The camp, held from 18-22 January, included courses in spintronics, microscopy, nanoelectronics, chemistry, superconductors, and optics at Victoria University of Wellington, Callaghan Innovation and GNS Science. The programme also included a walking tour of Wellington, a visit to Carter Observatory and the tour Zealandia by Night. The feedback from the nanocampers was excellent and they clearly learnt a lot about nanoscience and advanced materials and the opportunities open to them when they go to university. They particularly enjoyed the chemistry session where they made glowsticks and the superconductivity session that included levitating superconductors. Ngā Tapuwae pupil Taiawa Kotlowski, said that the camp is a great opportunity to learn. “My science teacher secretly applied for me. I think it’s a good starting point if you’re looking to go into these areas after high school.” Yu Ting Nui from Auckland International College enjoyed the practical aspect of the programme. “We don’t study nanotechnology at high school, so it’s nice to discover something different,” she says. “All the teachers are really nice and helpful.”

NanoCamp group in labcoats

The students were interviewed for ‘Our Changing World’ on RNZ about their experiences. Listen to the interview: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ourchangingworld