Future scientists thrive at summer camp

60 Year-11 students recently had a chance to experience the exciting world of science at UC and find out what university life is really like.

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60 Year-11 students from around New Zealand arrived at the University of Canterbury on Sunday 2 December, settling in at the Rochester and Rutherford Halls of Residence and getting to know each other that night, before kicking off the week on Monday with a tour of the campus, sessions in Antarctic Studies, Environmental Science and Psychology, fish and chips at Sumner beach, a city tour and gelato on New Regent Street.

Day 2 was spent at the University of Canterbury’s Cass Field Station, where students studied plant diversity, participated in microbial sampling and ecological monitoring, before launching the drones for mapping and GIS work. Some rock-hopping at Castle Hill on the way back was followed by dinner and a movie back at the halls.

Day 3 was spent with the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, covering renewable energy and storage, medical/health sciences, nanotech and new materials, and a bunch of interactive activities including using VR and MARS Bioimaging‘s 3D scanner. After dinner, it was off to West Melton for an evening with the Canterbury Astronomical Society.

On day 4 the students did geospatial analysis of data collected at Cass, hands-on learning in the physical geography and biology labs, conservation genomics, water sample analysis, microbial samples, ecological monitoring. The day ended with a BBQ and games in Okeover gardens, and birthday cake for students Jarrod and Thomas.

Psychology sessions on the morning of day 5 were followed by pizza before students dispersed, heading home with expanded minds, amazing memories, a bunch of new friends and the promise of a reunion at UC in 2020!