Head girl powering potential

Nu’umoe Duffy, pictured earlier this year as Cambridge High School’s head girl, will soon travel to Wellington to work with a selected group of students to find answers to scientific questions.

Cambridge High School’s recently “retired” head girl Nu’umoe Duffy will travel to Wellington next week for an opportunity to learn from some of the country’s best and brightest scientific minds. The 2018 Powering Potential event will see forty specially-selected senior secondary school science students gather at the Royal Society’s Aronui Lecture Theatre in Wellington over December 10 – 13, tasked with finding answers to challenging questions posed by scientists.

The students will work in teams of five with a scientist or PhD student as their mentor, researching, investigating and collaborating to provide recommendations on a question submitted by their mentor.

“The students will need to think outside the square and use their creative capabilities to find solutions,” said Dr Andrew Cleland, Chief Executive of Royal Society Te Apārangi. “They will also need to work well in a team situation and will be required to hone their research skills. At the end of the three days, each team will present its findings at a special presentation.”

Nu’umoe, Cambridge High School’s 2018 head girl and winner of the Youth Community Spirit award at this year’s Trustpower Community Awards, said she was “super excited and humbled” to be selected with the other students, singled out for their commitment to studying science at a tertiary level, their passion for science and ability to problem-solve. Nu’umoe said she was looking forward to the challenge of solving relevant, science-based issues: “My group’s focus area will be on New Zealand’s environmental water quality which I am very excited for.”

Nu’umoe has now officially finished high school and is looking forward to studying a Bachelor of Science at Auckland University next year, with plans for further study in medicine or pharmacy.

All costs for Nu’umoe’s flights, accommodation and social activities during the three-day trip will be covered by the Royal Society of NZ (Te Apārangi), Freemasons NZ and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

“I’d just like to say I’m very grateful to Royal Society Te Apārangi for this opportunity and a huge thanks to the Cambridge High School science facility and staff for supporting me and providing me with this platform to learn and study in an area I am passionate about,” said Nu’umoe.

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