Monthly Archives: May 2017

Branch AGM 2017

Held Thursday 1 June at Holt Planetarium, Napier

The 142nd Annual General Meeting of the Branch was well attended and members afterwards  enjoyed a wonderful presentation of the night sky by Gary Sparks in the Planetarium itself.

Lynne Trafford’s President’s Report was delivered and unanimously approved. Lynne thanked the year’s speakers, financial supporters, venue providers and council members and highlighted the Branch’s contribution to science promotion through the EIT Hawke’s Bay Regional Science and Technology Fair, Curious Minds Science Camp, school visits by speakers and HB Scientists on Air. She also noted the growth in membership over the past year and encouraged the recruitment of new members as well as continued support by current members.

Jenny Dee reported on the 2017 Curious Minds Science Camp. 161 students attended the three workshops run by GNS Science/East Coast Labs, Plant and Food Research and Murray Gosling (supported by Opus). Feedback has been very positive.  Jenny acknowledged the speakers who gave talks at local schools.  Professor Chris Battershill visited Napier Boys High School, Professor Peter Schwerdtfeger went to three schools and Professor Peter Dearden spoke at Taradale Intermediate School.

The Financial Report which had been circulated prior to the meeting was presented and unanimously approved. The meeting resolved to keep Annual Subscriptions at their current level. This is a very affordable amount and potential members are reminded to consider joining to receive direct newsletters and to show their support of Branch and Society activities.

Election of Council and Officers

The following were elected or re-elected:

  • President – Lynne Trafford
  • Immediate past-President –  Dan Bloomer
  • Vice President – Antony Steiner
  • Treasurer – Jennifer Hartley
  • Secretary  – Kathleen Kozyniak
  • Re-election to Council having completed a two year term – Jenny Dee, Michael Broadbent, Antony Steiner
  • Council members continuing having completed only one year of a two year term – Jeff Reid, Stephen Swabey, John Warren, Jeff Cooke and Kathleen Kozyniak.

Special Item – Honorary Life Member

Michael Broadbent was elected an Honorary Life Member of the Branch as recommended by the Council.  Lynne described Michael’s service to the Branch over the years.  The motion was seconded by Jeff Reid and approved with widespread applause.

Explore Matariki at the Planetarium

Gary Sparks, Director of Holt Planetarium and President of HB Astronomical Society

Thursday 1 June 2017 at 7.30pm
Holt Planetarium, NBHS, Chambers Street, Napier
Admission by gold coin donation;  50 people maximum
THIS EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED OUT – SORRY

To secure your place, please send an email to hawkesbay.rsnz@gmail.com

Throughout history, the changing yet cyclical patterns of stars in the night sky have been used to record the passage of time. Cultures around the world also used the patterns of stars to act as a library of sorts to help pass along myths and legends. For ocean going groups like the Polynesians, navigation stars were critical for their survival as they traversed the southern ocean.

Using our Zeiss ZKP-1planetarium projector, I will show you how the Polynesian cultures perceived the end of one year and the beginning of the next, the time of Matariki.

Matariki in the night sky. Image courtesy of pbkwee, flickr.com

This meeting will take place after the AGM of the HB Branch of the Royal Society which starts at 7.00pm.

Why are Bees so Awesome?

Tuesday 23 May 2017 at 6.00pm
Lecture Theatre 2, EIT, Gloucester Street, Taradale
Admission by gold coin donationProfessor Peter Dearden
Director of Genetics, Biochemistry Department, University of Otago

Honeybees are a vital part of our agricultural production, but also a remarkable example of the product of evolution. Bees have their own social system, symbolic language, produce different castes and build extravagant structures. Bees are also under threat from insecticides, pests and diseases.

In this talk Peter will discuss both his fundamental research into how the honeybee social system evolved, but also what we need to do to save the honeybees of the world.  He might even tell how honeybees might save us!

In 2014, Peter was the recipient of the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Callaghan medal for science communication.

Our thanks to the University of Otago for their support.

Science Technology Camp 15-18 May 2017

Year 7 & 8 Science and Technology Camp, 15 to 18 May 2017, Hawke’s Bay

The Hawke’s Bay Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand has, once again, received funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund, to run a Science and Technology Camp for Year 7 and 8 students and their teachers, during Primary Science Week in May 2017.

Over the four days, approximately 170 Year 7 and 8 students, accompanied by teachers and parents, from 11 schools in Napier, Hastings and Central Hawke’s Bay, will attend one or two-day hands-on workshops on a variety of science and technology subjects, related to the world around them. They will return to school with a better understanding of maths, science and technology, and its relevance to their everyday lives.

The following three workshops will be on offer:

Geology workshop (2 days)

Venue: National Aquarium of New Zealand

Run by: Julian Thomson from GNS Science, assisted by Carol Larson from the Aquarium, and Kate Boersen from East Coast LAB.

Topic: The students will spend the first day at the Aquarium, investigating the geology of New Zealand and Hawke’s Bay, and its consequences. The students will use resources from all three organisations, to study sedimentary rocks and fossils, and volcanic rocks and faults / earthquakes. On the second day they will take a field trip to a local site with varied geology, and use their new knowledge in inquiry-style investigations.

Bridge Science workshop (1 day)

Run by: Murray Gosling, a teacher at Hastings Intermediate School, who was on the 2015 Science Teaching Leadership Programme, assisted by land surveyors and bridge engineers from local companies.

Topic: The students will learn about land surveying and how it is involved in bridge design, use a theodolite to survey a location for a hypothetical bridge, visit a bridge, investigate why bridges are not all the same design, and how their design and construction is based on maths and science. They will design, build and test their own bridges. Land surveyors and bridge engineers from local companies will be involved in the workshop.

Horticultural science workshop (1 day)

Venue: Plant & Food Research, Crosses Road, Havelock North

Run by: Scientists from Plant & Food Research, including Dr Jeff Reid, for many years Chief Judge of the Hawke’s Bay Science & Technology Fair, assisted by Sarah Hope, a teacher from Hastings Intermediate School, who worked at Plant & Food Research last year whilst on the 2016 Science Teaching Leadership Programme.

Topics: The workshop will comprise 3 activities, which will introduce students to some of the maths and science that underpins horticulture in Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand. The 3 groups will rotate around the 3 activities during the day. They will:

  • compare soil health in different locations in the orchard;
  • conduct physical, chemical and sensory analysis of a variety of apples which are involved in the pipfruit breeding programme;
  • identify pests and diseases which affect commercial crops in New Zealand.

We thank the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for their support

http://www.curiousminds.nz/