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Science Academy (OUASSA) – Current cohort

OUASSA 2020 Group image
OUASSA 2020 Group photo.

Our 2020 cohort comprises 51 potentially high-achieving Year 13 Science students from 42 schools across New Zealand, with a focus on rural/provincial, small and lower decile schools. The students will attend two 1-week science camps, (January and July) and between January and July work in teams on a science communication project that involves preparing a short film, podcast, public talk, museum display talk that will be showcased to a public audience at the end of the July camp.

January 2020 Summer camp

Our 2020 Summer camp ran from 19–25 January with the usual packed programme of morning seminars, two-day projects, short electives, science communication workshops and free-time options.

Once again feedback from our end-of-week surveys was hearteningly positive, as exemplified by these students’ feedback typical of the cohort overall.

“I really liked the freedom we had with our experiments. The teachers allowed us to have fun and trusted us which made it so much better.”

“I liked that we got to actually see and experience the way the university works and what the subject that we chose are really about. But it was also in an interesting way that show us in such a short space of time some of the many possibilities that the given field can lead into.”

“I really enjoyed that it was challenging and pushed me to understand new concepts in a practical manner.”

“Thank you so much for this opportunity, it changed my mind about so much and I learned a lot.”

“The teachers were very enthusiastic and tried their best to help us understand difficult conceptions.”

“This whole trip has been the best experience of my life! I don’t know how it could get any better.”

January 2019 Summer camp

Our 2019 summer camp ran from 20-26th January with the usual packed programme of two-day projects, short electives, science communication workshops and free-time options.

Once again feedback from our end of week surveys were hearteningly positive as exemplified by these students’ feedback typical of the cohort overall.

“Everything was really done properly and perfectly for us as year 13 students and we were treated as `future scientists’ .We had so many options to choose from and we are all leaving with lots of memories and a special experience here at Otago University”.

“It has been an absolutely amazing experience. The `Greenshirts’ have made me feel so welcome throughout the week, which has in turn made me incredibly comfortable in my own skin. From that, I’ve been able to interact with new people in such a way that it feels like we’ve been friends for years.”

July 2019 Winter camp

A full programme of science learning ran daily from 8.30am – 3pm, and this included lectures, labs, and workshops. A range of free-time options was offered on four of the five days and evening sessions focused on final preparation and rehearsals for Friday public Science Communication presentations.

On Wednesday afternoon there was a strong focus on ‘Transitions to Tertiary’ with opportunity to meet with course advisors, some of last year’s Science Academy (OUASSA) Alumni now at Otago and an introduction to 1st Year University life from the `Greenshirts’.

An additional Science Academy (OUASSA) Alumni event was made possible through some additional funding from the University’s 150th Celebration Fund. This allowed us to bring down six alumni from the first three years of the programme (2011-2013) for an evening panel session where they shared their post OUASSA career path and what they are doing now.

Zoology Lab July 2019 image

Jan 2019 student project

Download the January 2019 Student Timetable (PDF)

Teacher development

Science Academy (OUASSA) is unique also in that we also provide Teacher Professional Development.

Two 4-day workshops are also held during the students’ camp week.

Eighteen teachers from our participating schools took part in our Summer workshop

Teacher workshops