Community and Education news

Mapua Primary School student Lucy Fillary with Cawthron Chair Meg Matthews
31 October 2019

The future's looking bright for budding young scientists

Our talented young thinkers were celebrated at the 2019 Cawthron Scitec Expo Awards ceremony on 24 October. This year the inclusion of both primary and secondary school entries saw a total of 315 projects displayed from 31 different schools across the Nelson Tasman region.

The Scitec Supreme Award winners are typically awarded to secondary students, but this year included Year 5 Mapua Primary School student Lucy Fillary, who was awarded The John Cross Best Scientific Investigation Award. Lucy was highly commended for her thoughtful community-focused project “Speed on Higgs Road” which focused on whether cars were speeding in a residential area.

Supreme Award Winner Lucy Fillary with The John Cross Best Scientific Investigation Award

The Des Duthie Technology Award, for overall best in technology, was awarded to Year 9 Nelson College Student Kelian Landry for his electronic predator control trap project titled ‘E-Trap’.

The Albert Jones Research Investigation Award, for overall best research, went to James O'Malley and Adam Teece of Waimea College for their environmental project called “Pakawau's War with Erosion”. The judges were particularly impressed with their approach to environmental sustainability and how they drew on the broad earth sciences and geographical disciplines.

The Albert Jones Research Investigation Award recipients James O'Malley and Adam Teece with Cawthron Trustees Pam Williams and Nick Smith

The annual Cawthron Scitec Expo has been running for more than 30 years. Cawthron Institute has been heavily involved for much of that time – as a sponsor for 16 years and running the event since 2012. We are proud to support and encourage our future thinkers and see the Expo as a great tool not only for learning science skills, but for developing skills in writing, investigation, analysis, statistics, display and interview.

We couldn’t run this event without generous support from our scientists, volunteer judges and Scitec committee which includes schools, judges and moderators who contributed an excess of 600 hours to support the event. This year, thanks to generous support from local sponsors including major sponsor Nelson Pine, $12,000 worth of prizes were awarded to local students.

Cawthron Institute congratulates all winners at the Awards evening and thanks everyone involved in Scitec Expo 2019. Go to for more information, including the 2019 winners.