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Student applications for 2024 are now closed.

The University of Otago is New Zealand's oldest and most attractive university, an institution with an international reputation for excellence in scientific research and teaching.

The Otago University Advanced School Sciences Academy, or Science Academy for short, is a programme designed to introduce potentially high achieving Year 13 students from rural/provincial, small, Kura and formerly lower decile schools to cutting edge research by means of practical projects held over two 5-day residential science camps and our online support programme.

The goal of the science camps is to introduce the students to the world of science research, through a range of practical projects that will excite, challenge, inspire, and motivate them to excel in their final year of school and on their way to a possible career in science. By the end of the second camp students will not only have increased their knowledge of the sciences but gained practical skills, learned how to communicate science, and be familiar with the range of career options open to scientists.

Science Academy has a strong focus on analytical thinking and problem solving, the important role of communication and the way science in the 21st Century considers social and ethical concerns.

Science Academy Forensic Science image 2021Students in Forensic Science use powder dusting to reveal fingerprints on evidence from a mock crime scene (January 2021).

Residential Science Camps

During the Science Camps all participants are provided full free board at one of the residential colleges adjacent to the University of Otago campus. We will also pay your travel costs to get here.

The science programme is balanced by social and recreational activities in the afternoons and/or evenings.

Learn more about the student programme

Attention parents

Supervision is provided outside academic hours by Sciences Academy  staff and an additional team of mentors, whose role is to provide peer support, role-modelling and ensure that the social aspects of the programme run smoothly. Our mentors are typically postgraduate or senior university students who are carefully vetted by both character references and interviews. All our mentors are put through training and a national police check process.

Attention teachers

Science Academy also runs Teacher Workshops every year. While targeted at teachers from schools who have students enrolled in the Academy, other teachers are welcome to attend.

Learn more about the teacher programme

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