Five secondary school students have won a four day adventure on board the Navy ship HMNZS Manawanui sailing from Auckland to Gisborne, setting sail on 6 October.
The trip is their reward for winning two special prizes in the 2009 Freemasons Big Science Adventures DVD competition and is awarded by the Royal New Zealand Navy.
The pupils from Hauraki Plains College and Otumoetai College will join the Navy ship in Auckland and sail across the Bay of Plenty and down to Gisborne. There they will join in the Cook's Landing Commemoration celebrations. Captain James Cook first landed in New Zealand in 1769 at Gisborne.
The 2009 Big Science competition saw secondary school students create a five minute DVD around the theme of astronomy and how our view of the world has changed in the light of astronomical discoveries. The competition, which is run by the Royal Society of New Zealand, offers major prizes every year for secondary school students.
2009 is the International Year of Astronomy and marks 400 years since Galileo made a telescope which magnified objects twenty times, providing an astonishing new view of the moon and planets.
Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Tony Parr, says "We are delighted to continue our long association with the Royal Society supporting their 'Freemasons Big Science Adventures' programme for school students. As this year's programme focused on astronomy and the history of navigation, it is very fitting for a Navy ship to be involved in the prizes and I'm sure the students will have a wonderful time."
During the trip the students will make a film with the help of Mark Orton from Natural History New Zealand. They will also be shown the art of astro-navigation.
The winning students are Theresa Speedy, Kayla Leonard and Barbara Jones from Hauraki Plains College; and Alex Cairns and James Wilson from Otumoetai College.
The Hauraki Plains College team's winning film, Pacific Star Navigation, explains how Pacific people were able to migrate throughout the Pacific using celestial navigation.
The winning film from a team of media students from Otumoetai College, One Small Step, looks at the history of space exploration and possibilities for the future.
Further details of the competition are available at http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/Site/teachersstudents/Competitions/BIGScience/default.aspx All the shortlisted videos can be viewed at www.hotscience.co.nz
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