Adrina Venayagam was one of 19 secondary school students from around New Zealand selected for the Genesis Energy "Realise the Dream" event organised by the Royal Society of New Zealand in December 2011. Genesis Energy's "Realise the Dream" is a prestigious week-long event where students are rewarded for undertaking an outstanding piece of science research.
Adrina spent months working on her science project and this lead to her being selected for "Realise the Dream". She researched the effect of smoking on the human lung capacity, surveying 20 smokers and 20 non-smokers with a peak flow meter. Each participant took three vital breaths (a deep, hard blow) and three tidal breaths (a normal breath). Adrina found a major difference in smokers' and non-smokers' lung capacities - 10% of the smokers she surveyed were in the danger zone when smoking, tar and chemicals damage the lung vessels.
During the week in December 2011 Adrina and the other participants travelled by coach from Auckland to Wellington. Activities included a day visit at the Liggins Institute, Auckland; Genesis Energy, Tokaanu; Dairy NZ, Hamilton and Massey University, Palmerston North. The week concluded with a cocktail awards evening at Government House in Wellington. Adrina said "The highlight of the trip was being able to learn about the science New Zealand has to offer."
In the photo: Malcolm Alexander, General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Genesis Energy; Adrina Venayagam, "Realise the Dream" 2011 participant; His Excellency, The Right Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae.