Scion was uniquely placed to make a meaningful contribution to the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign by gifting Lone Pine seedlings as a living memorial to honour New Zealand veterans and their descendants.
Two-year old seedlings descended from the Gallipoli Peninsula’s Lone Pine were propagated at Scion’s research nursery in Rotorua from seeds collected in 2012 from the Turkish red pine (Pinus brutia) growing at Paeroa Golf Course. This tree is an authenticated New Zealand descendant of the original Lone Pine and traces back to a pine cone brought to Australia by Sergeant Keith McDowell after World War 1.
Close to 50 seedlings were gifted to RSAs nationwide for planting at events associated with ANZAC Day centenary commemorations.
“ …thank you guys so much for the pines which arrived this morning … thank you for making this particular Anzac day even more special.” Ashhurst RSA
“The tree was just delivered!! Fantastic and so healthy looking. We are very excited about this commemorative project. Thanks for making it possible.” South Canterbury RSA
A few more seedlings went to places such as Burnham Military Camp, the National Army Museum in Waiouru, Christchurch’s Park of Remembrance, Rotorua’s Field of Remembrance and the University of Auckland.
This gesture received widespread media coverage, including television.
Future ScientistsFour students and their tutor visited from Wintec in October 2014, with this to say: “Again, many, many thanks to you and your team for a fascinating and very useful visit today. One of the things that really impressed the students was the enthusiasm and passion of your staff for the job they are doing! They all want to work at Scion!!!”
Scion’s science passion is now being shared with Whakarewarewa school teachers and children. Scion was awarded Vision Matauranga funding to work with Te Kura O Te Whakarewarewa to increase confidence and passion in science. The programme involves Scion hosting teacher training visits as well as scientists from Scion sharing their science with the children. The programme started in April 2015 and will continue for two years.
To date the children have learnt about stream monitoring and started their own monitoring and data collection programme for the Puarenga Stream as well as learning about biodegradable plastics. In line with the “Living world” science focus teachers from the school visited the Scion nursery to learn about saving rare plant species and to discuss the best way to share this learning with the children. Visits and learning will continue to strengthen the ties between the school and Scion with the shared future vision of children from the school taking on science as a career.
Scion’s five Futureintech ambassadors hosted visits to Scion and also visited various schools during the year:
- In March, a talk was given to 60 Year 13 Statistics students at John Paul College in Rotorua, about a career in science, descriptive statistics and how statistics are important in research.
- Sixteen Year 12 &13 students from Western Heights High School, Rotorua, visited Scion in July 2014, with a further 15 students visiting in June 2015. The students were shown some of our spectroscopic instruments in action to help with the spectroscopic element in the chemistry curriculum. The teacher said: “Overall we really enjoyed the trip and appreciate your time in organising it, and having us there messing up your routine. They liked seeing a professional lab and seeing some of what scientists do, and learning more about IR, MS and NMR”.
- Fifty Year-10 students from Trident High School, Whakatane, visited Scion in September 2014 to see polymer properties and the use of cryogenic fluids demonstrated.
- Careers presentations were given to around 100 Year 9 – Year 13 at Rotorua Girls High School in March 2015.
Rotorua Careers Expo
Scion participated in the three-day Rotorua Careers Expo with a very hands-on display. Our aim was to actively promote science as a worthwhile and fun career to the hundreds of local students that attend this annual expo. In addition to experiments in action, live bugs under a microscope and tactile wood product samples, students had the chance to go into a draw to win a day with a scientist. Five winners, from 160 entrants, spent the day at Scion gaining a better understanding of indigenous forestry, forest protection, genetics and clean technologies.
The conferences and events listed below received Scion sponsorship during the year. Such investment helps to keep Scion’s science and technology capabilities in front of key audiences. Conferences and other industry events provide ideal opportunities to build networks and exchange knowledge within and between science and end user communities. In addition to sponsorship, our scientists also presented at many of these conferences and also staffed trade displays.
- Auckland University School of Chemistry Centenary
- Australasian Bayesian Network Modelling Society Conference
- Bay of Plenty Science Fair
- Forest Industry Safety Summit
- Institute of Foresters of Australia and NZIF Conference
- Life Cycle Association of NZ Conference
- NZ Advanced Biofuels Research & Appita Fibre Value Chain joint conference
- NZ Farm Forestry Association National Conference
- NZ Plant Protection Society symposium
- Water NZ Annual Conference / Scion award for best science presentation
- Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association regional meetings
- 2014 Joint Waters Symposium.
Telling our stories
Readership of Scion’s quarterly Scion Connections newsletter continues to expand. The March edition, in particular, drew responses to the UAV, kauri dieback and other stories of Scion’s work. Scion Connections is provided in hard copy and as an electronic newsletter with 1073 subscribers as at 30 June 2015.
We also shared our stories through a number of social media channels including LinkedIn, YouTube and more recently, Twitter.