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SWAPA Secondary School Competition

The Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand (RASNZ) is promoting astronomy for NZ high school students who have an interest and passion for this science. In 2019 the Society is holding its annual conference in New Plymouth from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th May. The normal conference registration for non-RASNZ members is around $200, however the Society is waiving this cost for up to ten (10) young astronomers who are keen to attend and find out more about our science. In addition, the cost of the Saturday night banquet, travel costs to/from the conference and accommodation (usually backpacker) for the Friday and Saturday nights are paid for by a generous benefactor.

Astronomers from throughout New Zealand, and some from overseas, will participate in this year’s conference. Many of these will be amateur astronomers, and RASNZ is pleased that amateurs in New Zealand contribute so much to the strength of the Society – together with a core of professionals, mainly in our universities. To find out more about the RASNZ annual conference, the Society’s website at should be consulted. 

To be considered, students should email a short statement of no more than 300 words explaining why they would like to attend the conference and why they are interested in astronomy. This statement should be sent to RASNZ Immediate-Past President, John Drummond (email: by Friday 15th March 2019, 5 pm. Please include your name, gender, school, city, age, year of study at school in 2018, email address, telephone contact and science teacher’s name/phone/email. The winners of the competition will be selected for their clear enthusiasm of astronomy, seniority, and good English in their submitted statement. Alternatively, a printed version can be posted to John Drummond, PO Box 113, Patutahi 4045. The RASNZ Students with a Passion for Astronomy competition is most applicable to students in Years 11, 12 or 13, however excellent students in Years 10 or below should not be deterred from applying. Those who win the free registration/travel/accommodation will be notified around early-April 2019.