Wednesday, 02 December 2020


Mercury Bay Area School student to attend national science symposium

Mercury Bay Area School Year 13 student, Petra Fisher, is among 40 talented secondary school students selected to attend the “Powering Potential” science symposium taking place in Wellington from Monday 16 to Wednesday, 18 December.

Organised by the Royal Society Te Apārangi in partnership with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Freemasons New Zealand, Powering Potential will bring several of New Zealand’s most promising science students together. The students will work alongside a scientist or specialist who will act as their mentor over three days.

The students will work in teams of five on a question submitted by their mentor. The students will research, investigate and collaborate to provide recommendations.

To be selected for Powering Potential, each student was required to submit an in-depth application and video, which focused on their own science strengths or how they have contributed to an area of science in their school or community.

The students have been selected because they are serious about going on to study science at tertiary level and have demonstrated a passion for science. “The calibre of the students who applied was excellent and some tough decisions had to be made by the selection panel to get the number down to 40,” said Dr Andrew Cleland, Chief Executive of the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Freemasons New Zealand Grand Master, Graham Wrigley, is delighted that for a further year, the Freemasons is able to engage with Powering Potential. “The quest for knowledge, development and personal growth for our youth are at the cornerstone of Freemasonry and we know that this programme makes a huge difference to all those who take part,” he said.

Petra is looking forward to the opportunities offered by the symposium.

“I’m excited to see what our team can achieve and to meet other students who are passionate about science from around New Zealand,” she said. “I’m also looking forward to being mentored by scientists who are experts in their fields and developing skills, such as research communication, leadership and problem-solving, which will be important for me in the future.

“I've been very grateful for opportunities such as this I’ve had this year and would encourage any NCEA student who’s interested to apply,” she said.

In July this year, Petra has also attended the International Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama and she was one of two MBAS students to participate during early August in an Otago Museum “Mercury Rising project” internship at the Mount John Observatory in Tekapo.  

Petra will be embarking on a science degree at Otago University next year, majoring in computer science and physics.

Pictured: Mercury Bay Area School Year 13 student, Petra Fisher, is among 40 talented secondary school students who will attend the “Powering Potential” science symposium in Wellington from Monday 16 to Wednesday, 18 December.


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