The art of science

New Zealand school students express their love for science through art, in The Art of Science competition 2020.


Art and science are more intricately linked than we usually imagine. Both are driven by the innate human need to make sense of things. As artists and scientists, we want to understand the vast, complex world around us better. We’re also curious about the mysteries of our internal world. Art and science both involve stepping boldly into the unknown.

The creative heart of art and science

Building on information gleaned from our collective human experience and from observing the world around us, art and science both create new knowledge that expands our understanding of reality. Coming up with new knowledge requires creative thinking! Artists and scientists are frequently the brave risk-takers in society. They embrace the unknown, think beyond the “box” of existing ideas, spot patterns, make interesting connections and synthesise new ideas that can change the world. By communicating this new knowledge to others, artists and scientists can open our eyes to new perspectives and information about how the world works.

The Art of Science competition

As an educational institution, we think fostering this creative spirit among young people, is key to adapting and responding to the challenges of our changing world, and contributing to a positive, equitable and sustainable shared future. During the Covid-19 lockdown, UC Arts and UC Science joined forces to open up a new opportunity for creative young minds to engage with: our first ever Art of Science competition. School students all over Aotearoa New Zealand were invited to send us an artwork expressing their love of science using art.

There were 3 categories so students could enter according to their school year: Apprentices (Year 5-7), Interns (Year 8-10) and Masters (Year 11-13). As creative expression can take on many forms, we welcomed a variety of artistic media: ranging from video, music, writing, drawing, photography, and more.

We were delighted to have a huge number of entries from all over the country. The students’ passion for science and art was evident in every artwork we received.  It was a real “pick-me-up” for our panel of judges to go through these amazing submissions. We think every student and their schools can be proud of their efforts. Out of so many incredible submissions, we chose 3 winners per category. Considering the high calibre of the submissions, we have also chosen the top 10 artworks from each category to showcase here on our website.

Congratulations to all the school students who took part in this fun competition, thanks so much for your entries!


Apprentices (Year 5 to 7)

1st Prize: Judy Yang, St Oran’s College | 2nd Prize: Charlotte Bax, Banks Avenue School | 3rd Prize: Alicia Zhou, Murrays Bay Intermediate School

Top 10: Ella McGowan, Murrays Bay Intermediate School | Immy Aitken, Murrays Bay Intermediate School | Isabella Li, Carncot Independent School | Quinn Pike, Point Chevalier Primary | Regina Cao, St Cuthbert’s College | Rosa Grace Bolton, Homeschool | Serena Bayley, Selwyn House School | Violet Liu, St Cuthbert’s College

Interns (Year 8 to 9)

1st Prize: Lucy Benson, Wellington Girls’ College | 2nd Prize: Blake McCarthy, Christ’s College | 3rd Prize: Cindy Zhou, St Cuthbert’s College

Top 10: Dean Richardson, Mokoia Intermediate School | Erin Yamada, Burnside High School | HaoMing Yang, Wellington Girls’ College | Nikita Nobre, Baradene College | Robin-Junior Lazarus-Diamond, Manurewa Intermediate School | Ryza Flett, Tauranga Girls’ College | Theodore Read, Middleton Grange School | Zoey Kenix, Burnside High School

Masters (Year 10 to 13)

1st Prize: Logan Dennis, James Hargest College | 2nd Prize: Yi Ran Zhang, St Cuthbert’s College | 3rd Prize: Selina Williams, St Oran’s College

Top 10: Amy Woermann, Hornby High School | Chelsea Megan James, Pukekohe High School | Emma Thompson, St Cuthbert’s College | Jessica Pollock, Newlands College | Mikayla Preston, Queen’s High School | Tony Liu, Burnside High School | Zach Roberts, Rangiora High School

Read the creative writing and poetry entries in full here.