Hutt at Heart
IYM meet Juliet Gerrard at Vic Uni

IYM young women visit Victoria University Wellington

During IYM 2019 chosen, participating students will be writing articles on their time with some of the awesome companies they are visiting. Here is the second in their series:

On Wednesday 10 July our IYM group had the pleasure of being taken on a tour of the Science Department and Labs of Victory University of Wellington (Vic Uni).

One of our definite highlights was meeting Fraser, a scientist in one of the Labs, and seeing the battery he has created. A lot of our group are really interested in Chemistry and so it was great to see inside their labs and also find out how they have developed a safer way to make larger, more efficient batteries for future technologies such as electric cars.

The Vic Uni labs are nothing like the ones we have in school, they are higher equipped with lots of expensive research devices.

“I really liked learning about nanotechnology while at Vic Uni, before our visit I never would have thought that gold could be red! I learnt that this is due to the smaller particles and their reaction with light,” says Rachel Olsson.

Another interesting aspect we saw at the University were the ecological studies around pests and protecting our native Weta by introducing long life lures to trap ferrets and stoats, instead of traps as they aren’t as effective. In addition to this, we had the opportunity to make our own Weta motel, to help protect the populations and promote expansion of the Weta community.

In the physics labs, we were shown the Raman spectrometer and the IR laser. These looked at the different reflections of light at different frequencies on the visible light spectrum and portrayed this as a frequency map. The Raman spectrometer used a special lens to diffract the light at different wavelengths to determine the frequency and the colour of the visible light. The IR laser uses a laser in a similar way. Many of us found this experience very eye opening for the amount of opportunities available and study options, plus it was very interesting to see subjects like chemistry and physics interrelating.

It was great to visit Vic Uni and see some of the things real people are studying and working in, trying to decide on a future path after high school is daunting and this opened up many options for us all!

Authors: Rachel Olsson, Year 12, Northcote College and Danja Jamieson, Year 11, Southland Girls’ High School.

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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Subscribe to Hutt at Heart – Te Manawa, your monthly email newsletter where you can find out about fantastic things going on across our city and at Hutt City Council.