Hutt at Heart
IYM Resene 2019

IYM young women visit Resene

During IYM 2019 (7 – 19 July) chosen, participating students wrote articles on their time with some of the awesome companies they visited. Here is the third in their series:

As a girl, lucky enough to be a part of the 2019 IYM program, fortune favoured me twice over when we visited Resene on the first day.

At first I was a little sceptical. I wondered how clunking machines stirring buckets of coloured liquid around and around forever could possibly be interesting – and yet, I was captivated.

Part of what drew me to the IYM program was my dual passion for art and science. The only problem was the confusion that followed when trying to find a career that would cater to both of my interests. Little did I know, on my first day at IYM, Resene would show me a solution! The work the scientists do combines both fields of creativity and science, requiring constant innovations and outside-the-box thinking.

Before visiting Resene, if you had asked me how paint was made, I would have stared back at you blankly with a vaguely terrified look in my eyes. I already had an affinity for painting and art, but seeing how the instrument of my passion was made was something entirely new.

It was incredible, seeing the marrying of chemistry science and creative design in the Colour Lab. New formulas for paint colours were composed and refined, dropping pigments from a carousel of vials into blank buckets of pure potential – optimising each one for the best function and quality.

Afterwards, walking through the factory floor and seeing those formulations brought to life in the real world, realised in practicality, was something truly special. Seeing something you design be made real made me think, I can only imagine how rewarding it must feel for the gifted men and women creating this.

Then, the quality of the Control Lab was incredible! Testing each batch of paint in a climate controlled lab was something straight out of science fiction. What a magical environment to work in! Every day would feel like an adventure.

But by far, the highlight of the trip for many of us was the crazy innovations that Resene scientists created – truly mad science. Who would have thought to make humble paint glow in the dark? Or magnetic? Or engineer a way to transfer electrical currents through it, turning your whole wall into a light switch!

Honestly, the level of innovation that those kind people put into their work every day is inspiring. They always strive to make a difference and improve their work. Never ‘selling out’ for something ‘just okay’ – they’re always pushing to be better. Just like I hope to do!

Rest assured Resene, I will never look at your products, or even paint in general, the same way ever again.

Author: Rebecca Coulston, Aotea College

2019 marks the third year of the Innovative Young Minds (IYM) programme. IYM is designed to encourage young women to explore science, technology, engineering, mathematics and high-tech manufacturing. The week-long residential programme is open to female Year 11 and Year 12 students, and runs during the July school holidays each year.

This year, for the first time, IYM is running two sessions:

  • 40 young women are in each week long session, increasing the total attending to 80 for 2019
  • the young women attending come from all around NZ this year, instead of being limited to participants from Wellington region only
  • the first session is in the first week  (7 – 12) and the second session is in the second week (14 – 19) of the July school holidays

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