Teen is bio­fuel bof­fin

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STE­WART

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.

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