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Selwyn Times: May 31, 2016

28 2 [Edition datE]

28 2 [Edition datE] Tuesday May 31 2016 SELWYN RURAL LIFE SELWYN TIMES Vineyard device designed to improve comfort and efficiency for workers A mAchine designed to make work easier and more efficient in vineyards has been developed by Lincoln engineering student mike Liao. The machine allows for grape picking, leaf clipping and pruning while sitting down. mike says the fruiting wire for a viticulture position system defines the position of working. “This wire’s height can vary depending on different type of trellis system. But one thing most trellis systems have in common is they are relatively low. The working position is usually much lower than an adult human’s comfortable working range. “Thus, the solution — come up with an adjustable chair which holds workers into a comfortable position,” mike says. While the device is designed to make people’s work easier, the side-effect of comfortable working is a quality assured working period and better efficiency – in this case by up to 20 per cent in harvesting time. “This device also rises people’s feet from the ground which can be cold and wet. Working with cold and wet feet is not ideal for anybody.” The idea came from working in the university vineyard, he says, where he found he suffered from a sore back. “So i started to wonder if there is something i can do to improve the experience.” When his course required students to come up with a project related to agriculture, mike saw this as the opportunity to do just that. Developing the ‘vineyard assistant device’ took about two months from start to its successful field test on may 6. mike is not looking to commercialise his invention at this stage, but it will be making an appearance, along with Lincoln University, at this year’s Fieldays, from June 15-18, and will be in the innovation Tent. Dr Majeed Safa, left, Department of Environmental Management technician Warwick Hill who built the prototype, and Mike Liao with the device. ROLLESTON LAW Sound, workable legal advice and solutions Rolleston Office: 78A Rolleston Drive, Rolleston Square Darfield Office: Darfield Business Hub, 68 South Terrace W: www.meareswilliams.co.nz T: (03) 374 2547 M: 021 148 6221 E: rcg@meareswilliams.co.nz E: am@meareswilliams.co.nz Viticulture lecturer Dr Amber Parker gives Mike’s machine a run. RICHARD GRAY ANITA MOLLOY-ROBERTS Treat the Kids! Kids two course special from $10 We are family friendly. Great Kids menu plus designated play area. ‘Famous for their roasts!’ RESTAURANT & CAFÉ Open daily from 6.30am - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Seniors SPECIAL Two courses Soup/Roast or Roast/Dessert $20 Special available lunch only Monday - Saturday 12pm - 2.30pm Conditions apply. Racecourse Hotel Motorlodge 118 Racecourse Rd, Sockburn, Christchurch. Ph 03 342 7150 www.racecoursehotel.co.nz (opposite Riccarton Raceway) WE SPECIALISE IN THE CARE AND PRESERVATION OF TREES • Pruning • Expert Tree Felling • Fully Insured • Free Quotes • Powerline Clearing Member of NZ Arboriculture Association For quotes and enquiries phone 03 349 7143 | For urgent enquiries phone 027 272-6710 Email: office@arbor-tek.co.nz • Branch Chipping • Competitive Rates • Orion Approved Contractor FULLY QUALIFIED ARBORISTS www.arbor–tek.co.nz

[Edition datE] SELWYN TIMES Tuesday May 31 2016 29 3 SELWYN RURAL LIFE Spud takes centre stage in science programme for students The poTATo may not be the obvious choice as a means of inspiring young minds about science, but that’s precisely the point for plant & Food Research soil scientist Dr Trish Fraser. earlier this month Dr Fraser and colleagues hosted more than 300 primary and intermediate students from six Selwyn District schools at plant & Food Research’s Lincoln site. The students were taken on a scientific journey in sustainable production, crop protection, breeding and biotechnology, and food and nutrition, with the potato holding centre stage. The visits were part of a project funded through the Unlocking curious minds programme – a ministry of Business, innovation and employment (mBie) initiative that aims at enhancing the role and awareness of science in the community through public engagement and participation. Researchers and research teams from across the country put proposals forward for funding approval under the scheme. The programme was repeated over three sessions, with the students receiving presentations and taken on a tour to research stations on plant & Food Research’s Lincoln site, where they then participated in science demonstrations. “The aim of our Unlocking curious minds project is to inspire children about science by giving them a greater appreciation of the important role it plays in their daily lives, and with things we can easily take for granted,” Dr Fraser said. “We tend to think science needs to have an obvious or dramatic ‘gee whiz’ aspect to be interesting, but we can miss the fascinating science that plays out around us every day, either through natural processes or the work of scientists themselves. “We used the potato for the project because children can easily relate to them, especially through their love of chips. So this humble vegetable provides a great vehicle for explaining how plants are bred for different purposes, how we use scientific methods to fight pests and diseases, how growing plants can affect the environment, and the range of behindthe-scenes science that gets the crop from paddock to plate. “We wanted to show the students that something that might seem mundane actually has a fascinating science story to tell. in so doing, they gained a better understanding of the properties and processes of the living world.” Dr Fraser’s Unlocking curious minds project also includes an upcoming Organic Training College Learn from the experts Start a career in organics. Reduce your footprint and produce a regular supply of your own fruit and vegetables Programme Information college@bhu.org.nz www.bhu.org.nz | 03 3253684 Courses • Organic Distance Programme Part time 1 year, enrol anytime • Year 1 Introduction to Organics 44 weeks, starts August 2016 (Lincoln Campus) • Year 2 Applied Organics 46 weeks, starts August 2016 (Lincoln Campus) All fees under $500 workshop for teachers, which aims at identifying opportunities to better support their science teaching endeavours, thereby enhancing the engagement of students with the subject. “primary and intermediate teachers can be responsible for many subjects, but cannot be experts in everything. The school environment can make it tricky to juggle all of these teaching responsibilities, with science often perceived as time consuming and difficult to teach,” Dr Fraser said. “Research has shown that while children start school with enthusiasm, their motivation for subjects such as science can decrease as they progress into intermediate school. An important part of this programme is to explore ways of building the teacher’s toolkit to help ensure students maintain an interest in science later in life.” The mBie programme is a collaboration between plant & Food Research and the Lincoln ngā mā tā puna o ngā pā kihi Learning community cluster with support from potatoes new Zealand and Lincoln new World. 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Contact Lynette Evans today ...about advertising in the Selwyn Times fortnightly Selwyn Rural Life feature. P: 364 7434 | E: lynette.evans@starmedia.kiwi Delivered FREE every Tuesday to 16,900 home and rural addresses and viewable online at www.selwyntimes.co.nz