SoTM Conservation Winners

2022 SoTM First Equal Junior Conservation Award Winners.

Maddison Smyth Y8 from Northcross Intermediate & Tyler Griffiths Y6 from  Summerland Primary

Tyler Griffiths

Year 6 Summerland Primary School

Tyler represents the future of success of our young rangatahi in conservation-he is highly motivated and earnest in his quest to show kaitakitanga for the environment and respect for our precious native species.

As a young conservationist Tyler is committed to taking personal action to protect and restore the environment in any way he can. His teachers have seen his enthusiasm and dedication from a very early age as he shared his thoughts, ideas and actions with those around him. He has become a role model for his peers in the humble and enthusiastic way he has applied himself to action in the environment. Students want to be around him and learn from him and take the lead from him. (He has been an ”influencer” long before it became fashionable on social media!)

Maddison Smyth

Year 8 Northcross Intermediate

Maddison has been an outstanding member of our school Enviro Group for two years. In that time she has attended weeding workshops, visited a native tree nursery to gain skills for propagating seeds and caring for seedlings. She is currently managing a tracking and trapping group for both our school ngahere and the Northcross Reserve council land. Maddison often guides younger members of our team when working in the Reserve.

2022 Winners of the SoTM Award NIWA Science and Technology Auckland City Schools Fair

Cassidy Foster and Mackenzie Leighton, Year 8, from St Dominic's Catholic College

Project: Less Pests, More Birds?

The project aims to establish whether there is a connection between the amount of pest control and the number and variety of native birds in an area. We wanted to test whether pest control is actually a worthwhile project, and our results were very positive!

We went to 3 different locations with varying levels of pest control, from Kitekite falls track where there is no current pest control, to Tawharanui with its extensive pest control efforts including a pest fence surrounding the sanctuary.

We found with increased the levels of pest control the number and variety of native birds present increased drastically. We tested this by doing a series of bird counts in different locations around our chosen area to get as accurate a picture as possible.

We hope that our project can inspire people to continue or begin pest trapping of their own, and increase support for pest control initiatives such as Ark in the park (our 3rd test site), Tawharanui, Tiritiri Matangi, and many others throughout the country. 

2021 SoTM Junior First Equal Conservation Awards

Eve Dale Y2 from Edendale Primary School & George Willans Y6 from Summerland Primary

Eve Dale

Year 2 Edendale Primary School

Eve is an influential environment leader because she approaches all her environmental tasks with great spirit and initiative. She is an inspirational role model to others. She volunteered to go on What Now for a segment on how to reduce waste.

Eve offered tips on; how to cook popcorn from scratch rather than buy plastic covered food like chips and how to use soap bars instead of liquid soap. She fronted this segment like a STAR with lots of her own flair! Eve is a passionate member of the local Eco-Neighbourhoods group and helps out flora and fauna at home by making bird feeders and doing gardening.

George Willans

Year 6 Summerland Primary School

George Willans became part of the ‘Summerland Primary School-Mammalian Predator-Free team’ as a Year 5 student in 2020. In the years before joining the team, George’s teachers had already noted his passion for the environment.

Soon after joining the school team, he started reporting back to their meetings and sharing the steps he was taking to implement predator control in his own patch and beyond. It was obvious that George was on a mission- one of his own making. He is quietly ambitious about making a difference, one rat, mouse or stoat at a time

2021 Winners of the SoTM Award NIWA Science and TechnologyAuckland City Schools Fair

William Nand and Aria Holland - Year 8 Kings School

Project: ‘Tūī Tunes’

The students carried out a practical inquiry that unveiled many interesting discoveries in how the area a tūī lives in affects its song when looking at rural, urban and city park environments. Alongside this, it was found that temperature and time of day significantly affect trill, average dynamics, loudness range and volume.

The results show that the lower the temperature at recording sites, the greater the average trill/ minute and the loudness range (LU). Differently, the higher the temperature the greater the average dynamics (LU) of song.

The students found that the earlier the time of day, the greater the trill/60 seconds, volume, loudness range and average dynamics was 15 trill in song, while from 12-15 pm there was an average of 7 trill.

2020 SoTM Junior Conservation Awards

Dylan Lewis

Year 7 Mahurangi College, Warkworth

After a visit to his school from Forest and Bird, Dylan decided to support his community by trapping rats, mustelids and possums in his local area. He began trapping at home in 2018 and then, after discussing with his neighbours, he began trapping in his local neighbourhood from October 2019. He has also volunteered in 2020 to be a part of the trapping team working in the Mahurangi College Bush restoration project.

Dylan initiated trapping to save the dotterel population at Snells Beach and shared his story with the class and in his previous school of Warkworth Primary School. He has assisted Michelle Mackenzie with dotterel protection in Snells Beach. Dylan volunteered to assist with the trapping team in the working in the Mahurangi College Bush restoration project. Dylan traps for his local community, his school community and he assists in local conservation projects when he is able.

2020 Winner of the SoTM Award NIWA Science and TechnologyAuckland City Schools Fair

Amelia Simmons

Year 8 Michael Park School, Ellerslie.

Project: ‘Bright Wings’ A study on Butterflies

Amelia chose to do a project on Monarch Butterflies when at home during lockdown. She could study them more closely than when being at school. She loves Monarch Butterflies in that they stand out from so many things due to their striking colours. Each one she looked at seemed to have a different personality: some were shy, quiet and others were on the go the whole time

2019 SoTM and Fullers Junior School Science Award

Ethan Raymond

Year 8 Randwick Park School

Ethan has been a hands on member of the Enviro-Warriors team since its beginning four years ago. He has taken on the role of leader, remembering to ‘do’ the litter-free area award audit prior to full school assemblies, mentoring a younger student to learn the role.

He is proactive in bringing up environmental issues as they arise around the school and poses solutions. He has been instrumental in the success of our orchard by feeding the trees worm castings and mulching. He has attended an after school pruning course at the Auckland Botanical Gardens. He has been a great asset to our enviro programme and in building sustainability awareness within our learning community.

2019 Winner of the SoTM Award NIWA Science and TechnologyAuckland City Schools Fair

Abby Haezelwood

Year 8 St Kentigerns Girls College

Project:’ Plastic Beaches’

Abby Haezelwood with her winning Science Exhibit on Plastic Beaches at the NIWA Taihora Nukurani Auckland City Science Fair in September 2019. Amy looked at nine beaches around Northland and Auckland analysing the plastic present. Her exhibit was displayed at the Visitors Centre on Tiritiri Matangi.

2018 SoTM and Fullers Junior School Science Award

Gabriel Barbosa

Year 5 Summerland Primary School

Gabriel is an incredibly enthusiastic member of the Mammalian Predator-Free team at Summerland Primary School. Gabriel has been instrumental in setting up a programe to track, map and trap invasive mammalian predators at our school.

Every week throughout the year he has met with the other team members and his passion for the project has never lessened. He shows commitent to learning as much as he can about ways to protect our native bird species in particular and his enthusiasm is infectious-whether he’s making tracking tunnels and bird feeders or explaining to other students aspects of biodiversity relationships.

2018 Winner of the SoTM Award NIWA Science and TechnologyAuckland City Schools Fair

Annika Lints

Year 8 Kohia Terrace School

Project: ‘Are Mussels in Hot Water?’

In this project Annika investigated if mussels could filter the water in different temperatures above and below the average saltwater temperatures. From the results she discovered that mussels filter through any temperatures but the coldest temp (11⁰C) took the longest and at the warmer temperature (23⁰C) was the shortest filtering time taken.