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Programmes for visiting schools

We provide a range of programmes to visiting school groups throughout the year. The number of schools and students we are able to cater for is restricted by staff and resource availability, therefore priority will be given to schools with limited resources in order to support their science curriculum.

Our current programmes are tailored for year groups 7 & 8 and years groups 9 & 10. Some of our programmes include:

  • Interactive Sensory Science Lecture. Involves tasting, sniffing and learning about our senses and how they work
  • Candy Science. Learning the basic science of sugar, solutions and crystallisation. Combining what we learnt about Sugar and Sensory science to make flavoured lollipops
  • Veggie Juice Creation. Using sensory and descriptive analysis. Formulating a product. Maths (scaling up) and Statistics (spider plots)

If your students are older or younger or need help with a different topic – please get in touch, we may still be able to help.

To apply for a school to visit, or for more information please contact:

Sarah Johnson

Science Fairs

We support students involved with Science Fairs, specifically the Aurora Otago Science Fair.

Staff from the Food Science Department can offer:

  • Advice to students planning their projects and selecting relevant equipment
  • Support with access to resources, equipment and by supervising experiment runs when conducted with specialised equipment
  • Helping students understand ethics procedures, and the design of experiments, including sensory testing methodologies

For more information, or to make an enquiry please contact:

Fiona Nyhof

New Zealand Baking Industry Research Trust Prize

The annual New Zealand Science and Technology Fairs are regional competitions open to intermediate and secondary school pupils. The Fairs celebrate and reward excellence in science and technology.

The Baking Industry Research Trust sponsors the Science and Technology Fairs in all regions by awarding the NZ Baking Industry Research Trust Prize to the best project or exhibit that uses bread or flour products. Certificates are awarded for both first and second prize. Judges are invited from industry, research organisations and the education sector.

The prize is appropriate to projects or exhibits which include bakery ingredients, production technology, cereal product uses and benefits, nutrition, scientific aspects or surveys. To enhance project quality, an understanding of basic scientific principles must be demonstrated. The project should have a hypothesis, method, results, conclusion and bibliography.

The NZ Baking Industry Research Trust Prize is a popular one, and the standard of exhibits is usually high, with diverse and innovative project topics.

For more information:

Check out the 'Bake Info' website or email


CREST is an international awards scheme designed to encourage school students to be innovative, creative, and to problem solve in science, technology and environmental studies. CREST is run by the Royal Society of New Zealand, find out more by visiting the CREST awards webpage.

We support the Crest/ NZIFST Product Development Challenge. We offer support and advice to teachers and industry representatives that mentor/support teams in this challenge. We run a full day training session for teachers and will respond to specific requests for information or support on a case-by-case basis.

For more information, or to make an enquiry please contact:

Fiona Nyhof

Hands-on at Otago

Hands-on at Otago is a programme for senior secondary school students with an interest in science. It is run in January before school starts and exposes students to a range of sciences offered by the University of Otago.

It is a unique opportunity for students to meet like-minded peers and get an idea of what they might like to peruse after high school. The Food Science Department runs one of the programmes on offer at Hands-on. The programme varies from year to year but is often related to the dairy industry and cheese making process.

Science Wānanga

Science Wānanga are three day, hands-on experiences for Māori secondary students in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Staying on marae with university students, scientists and kaumatua, students get to hang out and do real science in their local communities.  We are fortunate to be able to send staff and postgraduate students on wānanga to deliver programmes in food science.

Young Enterprise Scheme

The young enterprise scheme provides opportunities for students to set up a company, create real products or services, compile and implement a business plan and make real profit or loss. For all students, the business knowledge they develop is supplemented by skills in teamwork, communication, problem solving, negotiation, and decision making. Students learn through experiencing the value of innovative thinking and develop enterprising attributes.

The Food Science Department can provide advice on projects and have in the past assisted in developing product prototypes.

For more information, or to make an enquiry please contact:

Fiona Nyhof

Heinz Wattie's Scholarship

This scholarship is for students intending to study food science and provides support and internship opportunities through an undergraduate degree in Food Science.
Candidates must be:

  • Enrolled as a final year student at a secondary school in New Zealand.
  • Intending to enrol full-time for a BSc in Food Science at the University of Otago.
  • A New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.

Visit our Scholarships page to find out more.

Food Science at Science Wānanga

Making Veggie Juice

Schools Veggie Juice

Interactive Sensory Science

Interactive sensory science

Veggie Juice Creation

Veggie juice creation

Taste testing and Spider plots

Spider plot

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