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2014 TALKFEST a Resounding Success!

17 March 2014
image combo for LENS news
Lord Winston with the Junior Student Panel, our Senior Student Panel, and the studio audience in the Fale Pasifika

 On Thursday the 13th March LENScience and Gravida: National Centre for Growth & Development, successfully ran two, 1 hour long broadcasts with Lord Robert Winston, to students around New Zealand and in the Cook Islands. The TALKFEST 2014 was an interactive web-based event; with a live studio audience at the Fale Pasifika, and students throughout NZ and the pacific watching via live-streaming and interacting with the LENScience team and invited guest scientists over a LiveChat platform.

Each interactive seminar had a panel of 4 guest student experts – winners of our Blog BLAST competition and students selected for their outstanding science communication skills. These students had the opportunity to ask questions of Lord Winston and to talk about their own experiences and opinions.

The topic for the first event was Puberty, and aimed at students in years 7-10. Our expert panel was comprised of: Sven Hagedorn, from Linwood College, Christchurch; Maia Szecket, from Kadimah School, Auckland; Imogen Crooks, from Linwood College, Christchurch; and Jessica Croy, from Botany Downs Secondary College, Auckland.

The second event was about Reproductive Technology and aimed at students in years 12-13. Our senior expert panel was comprised of: Leina Tucker-Masters, from Hillcrest High School, Hamilton; Theo Loretz, from Mt Roskill Grammar, Auckland; Seini Pua, from Auckland Girls’ Grammar School, Auckland; and Matthew Bilton, from Westlake Boys High School, Auckland.

With the studio audience and live-streamed audience combined, we had over 3,000 students participating. There were 5 local scientists answering questions on the LiveChat in addition to having some of their questions read out loud to Lord Winston.

The event was a resounding success and we would like to thank and congratulate every student, teacher and school that was involved!

The TALKFEST broadcasts were recorded and can be viewed here>>
The news site, has an article on Lord Winston’s visit here>>
The winning Blog BLAST entries can be read here>>