The Otago University Advanced School Sciences Academy (OUASSA) 2017 intake comprises 60 potentially high achieving Year 13 Science students from 46 participating schools across New Zealand. The students attend two one-week long science camps held in January and July and are enrolled in OUASSA's year long on-line learning programme.
January Summer Science Camp
During the Summer Science Camp students worked on two, 2-day projects from Chemistry, Maths, Physics/Geology, Marine Science, Anatomy/Physiology, Genetics/Biochemistry, Zoology, Geography, Computer Science, and Sport & Exercise Science. They also took part in short electives choosing one from either Surveying, Psychology, Materials Science and Technology, or Ag@Otago.
The students attended morning lectures by researchers from the University and evening seminars in Science Communication, as well as some much needed social and recreational activities. The students even had a chance to go out on the Monarch for a tour of the harbour.
Alongside the student program OUASSA also ran the first of this year's Teacher Workshops to help support their Science classroom teaching. Teachers attended hands-on full-day lab sessions in Chemistry, Physics, Genetics/Biochemistry, as well as seminars and shorter sessions in Lab Safety, Sport and Exercise Science, and Ag@Otago.
To break up the busy schedule teachers also attended to a tour and dinner at the Royal Albatross Centre on Otago Peninsula.
July Winter Science Camp
During the Winter Science Camp students worked on a further two, 2-day projects. The first project was selected from Chemistry, Maths, Anatomy/Physiology, Marine Science and Geography. The second project was selected from Biochemistry, Physics, Zoology, Sport and Exercise Science. and Computer Science. They also took part in short electives, choosing one from Ag@Otago, Surveying, Psychology, or Materials Science and Technology.
Alongside the projects and electives the students were provided with opportunities to speak and ask questions of postgraduate students and researchers. The week culminated in OUASSA students communicating science to the public and a formal dinner and prize giving.
As always to break up the busy schedule OUASSA ran a range of activities with the Dining in the Dark experience proving an absolute hit with both students and teachers. The Winter Science Camp was also blessed with snow mid-week which proved a highlight for many students that had little or no experience of snow.