Teen is biofuel boffin
Former Hinuera Primary student Cleave Holmes will spend the summer working alongside some of New Zealand’s leading environmental scientists.
The 18-year-old won the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) Work Experience Scholarship at the NIWA Waikato Science Fair last month.
His research into duckweed growth systems, as a precursor to creating biofuel, also earned him first prize in the senior sciences category and a New Zealand Statistical Association Merit Award.
“I was surprised to win as much as I did. The work experience was what I was really going for so it was quite cool to actually get that.”
Cleave is a Year 13 student at St Peter’s School and is in his final year of a International Baccalaureate diploma – an alternative to NCEA.
He originally conducted the duckweed experiment as part of an extended essay assignment and entered it into the science fair on the recommendation of his biology teacher.
The project involved testing the growth of duckweed in different conditions, with Cleave counting the individual leaves on the plants every day.
“It was quite tedious so I’m glad that it paid off in the end,” he said.
After his exams, Cleave will spend close to three months completing the paid internship at NIWA.
After that, he intends to study engineering at the University of Auckland and is hoping to major in bio-medical engineering.
Going places: Eighteen-year-old Cleave Holmes won a paid summer internship at the Waikato Regional Science and Technology Fair.