Local business helps put the big bang in school science

NOWRA High School’s recent science fair supported by Nowra Chemical Manufactures, is helping to inspire local students to pursue science in school and beyond.

The third annual fair attracted more than 150 entrants from kindergarten to year ten in a wide range of categories.

There were scientific demonstrations performed by older students, and impressive displays ranging from a cockroach thermometer to sustainable housing models. 

At the end of 2011 the Australia Academy of Science reported a staggering 50 per cent drop in senior students studying science.

Nowra High School is working to reverse this trend in the Shoalhaven. 

Nowra Chemicals managing director John Lamont, a former Nowra High School student and school captain in 1984 went on to complete a bachelor of applied science and chemistry at the University of Technology Sydney and is a qualified industrial chemist. 

He said youth education in subjects such as science often get overlooked and miss out on corporate funding in favour of sport.

“Nowra Chemicals is proud to be a major sponsor of the Science Fair both in cash and in kind, by supplying qualified judges with chemistry degrees to assist the teachers in judging these awards,” he said.

Mr Lamont is a testament to science in the Shoalhaven with 25 years experience in the chemical industry working for international companies including the Coca Cola Company, Reckitt and Colmans. 

“By supporting the success of the Nowra High School Science Fair we aim to encourage more students in Shoalhaven to pursue science.

“After all it is critical to the long term growth and success of our company to encourage more people to take up a career in science.”

Head of Nowra High School science department Sue Ferguson, also believes that young people in science are critical to the future of Australian industry.

“Scientists will discover the innovations in sustainable energy and food production that will be critical in the future,” she said.

“Everyday we are bombarded by science, it is important for young people to become science literate as well as learn to be methodical, logical and have critical opinions of attitudes towards global issues.” 

The fair included high schools from around the Shoalhaven, as well as Berry, Terrara and Bomaderry Primary schools, promoting a stronger link between primary and secondary education.

Former NHS student and science fair judge, Harriett Ellemen said the science fair was a lot of fun for the younger students and they really enjoyed working on the experiments.

The 19-year-old animal science student from Charles Sturt University was inspired to pursue a career in science by the passionate Nowra High School staff. 

Mr Lamont’s contributions to the Nowra High School Science Fair included a trophy and liquid nitrogen, were greatly appreciated by staff and students across the Shoalhaven.

With the continued support of Nowra Chemicals the Fair shows no sign of slowing down in the future and with many more years to come is continuing to put the big bang back into school science. 

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