Pupils selected for science academy

Collaboration . . . St Hilda's Collegiate School pupils Elibel Legrand (left) and Evie Rose Grace have been selected in the junior academy of the New York Academy of Sciences. As part of the academy, they are working on two projects. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Two St Hilda’s Collegiate School girls are part of an elite group of pupils selected in a worldwide junior science academy.

Year 8 pupils Eliabel Legrand and Evie Rose Grace (both 13) have been selected in the junior academy of the New York Academy of Sciences.

The programme, which is for 13-18 year olds, allows pupils to develop advanced research, innovation and collaboration skills to compete in 70-day challenges.

To enter, the pupils had to answer five essay questions in about 150 words each, including how they would change the world, a challenge they have faced and overcome, and how they contribute to team exercises.

Eliabel and Evie Rose found out about the academy through year 13 pupil Issie Robertson and applied in June.

Eliabel said she took “a while” to complete her entry because she recrafted it multiple times to make sure it was right, whereas Evie Rose “just sat down and told myself I couldn’t leave until I finished it”.

They found out in late September that they were accepted and started working on their two challenges about a month later.

One challenge was to find a solution to wildfires. The other was to design innovative and feasible solutions to an aerospace problem.

They are working together on the wildfires project and have designed a device which goes on a tree to send an alert if there is smoke in the area.

Once the device senses it is over a certain temperature, it releases a mist into the air to reduce the fire from spreading.

Evie Rose said they had a few ideas, which they combined to come up with the final design.

They are working with two pupils from Portugal on the aerospace challenge and are still working on a design.

Both challenges end in December.

Elibel and Evie Rose will attend a summit in New York in July next year.