Girls' School Students Shine at NIWA Science Fair

September 22, 2023 at 9:39 AM

At the NIWA Auckland Science and Technology Fair, the Girls’ School was well represented as a group of fourteen talented students entered their research projects in the competition. Ten of them received recognition, an astounding achievement that highlights the exceptional scientific talent within the Year 8 cohort. This feat translates to an impressive 20% of the Year 8 students being recognised at the regional level for their ability to research, develop methodology, and draw conclusions about the scientific world.

The young scientists representing our Girls' School studied a diverse range of projects, spanning various scientific domains. Their exceptional dedication to scientific inquiry and innovative thinking shone through as they presented their findings. Three students placed in the top three of their categories: Philippa Wiltshire, Mima Forster, and Ruby Bryson.

Philippa Wiltshire's project, Clean House v. Clean Water, delved into the effects of household cleaning products on pond water health. Her research unveiled the concerning impact of these chemicals on water quality, with some products proving especially harmful to aquatic ecosystems. Philippa's work earned her second place in the Material World category and the prestigious Worley Gold Award for projects related to energy and chemistry.

Mima Forster's investigation into phototropism, titled Phototropism: A Plant's Dance with Light, secured her second place in the Living World category. Her innovative experiments, involving light mazes to test plant reactions to varying light conditions, shed light on this fascinating phenomenon. Mima was also recognized with the LearnWell Silver Award.

Ruby Bryson's project, Twinkle Twinkle, It's a Scam?, explored the efficacy of different toothpaste brands in cleaning and whitening teeth. Her meticulous experiments debunked marketing claims and revealed surprising results. Ruby clinched third place in the Material World category and received the Dental Association Gold Award.

Cindy Yu, achieved an exceptional feat by receiving a Statistics Award, a rarity for an intermediate-aged student. Her project, Speed and Height: Does Height Affect Running Speed?, employed statistical analysis to determine the relationship between height and running speed, ultimately concluding that shorter individuals tend to run faster.

These young scientists not only achieved remarkable individual success but also collectively showcased the scientific excellence nurtured within our Girls' School. Their accomplishments serve as an inspiration to their peers, reinforcing the importance of curiosity, innovation, and diligent scientific inquiry in our educational journey. Congratulations to all these outstanding students for their exceptional achievements at the NIWA Science Fair.

An extensive list of the awards won below:

Philippa Wiltshire - Clean House v. Clean Water

2nd Material World

Worley Gold Award for projects relating to energy, Chemistry


Mima Forster - Phototropism

2nd Living World

LearnWell Silver Award


Ruby Bryson - Twinkle Twinkle, It's a scam?

3rd Material World

Dental Association Gold Award


Cindy Yu - Running Legs?

Highly Commended Living World

Highly Commended from New Zealand Statistical Association Awards


Olivia Tan - The P-oo-lant Project

Highly Commended Living World

Soil Society Silver Award

Department of Conservation Silver Award


Coco Poole - H2O NO!

Highly Commended Planet Earth and Beyond

MOTAT Silver Award


Rosie Bilkey - Weather vs Water

Highly Commended Planet Earth and Beyond

Tiritiri Matangi Silver Award


Bella Chen - Away with the Rain

Highly Commended Planet Earth and Beyond

Ballance Agri Nutrience Silver Award


Eden Moyle - Pancreatic Feedback

Highly Commended Technology

LearnWell Silver Award


Sophie Henderson - To Salt or Not To Salt?

Highly Commended Food Science

LearnWell Silver Award

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