Samantha Brown was awarded the Royal Society of New Zealand Gold Crest Science Award. The Gold Crest Award has been running since 1989 and Samantha is the 44th recipient of this award and the first in the Waikato. This award is assessed at a third year university level. Participants must complete a research project that can take up to 18 months, which Samantha finished in the record time of a year.

The project must be original and creative. Samantha’s research was on binaural beats which are what the listener hears when tones of two different frequencies are presented to the left and right ear. There are reports that suggest binaural beats can relieve stress and improve sleep by influencing brainwave patterns. As part of the requirements Samantha needed to be mentored by professionals. The assessment required her to write a report which was questioned by a panel of four experts and present her findings to invited guests. The reports executive summary is then published on the Royal Society website.

This award is a huge undertaking requiring superior time-management skills and working with a wide range of people. The school is very proud of Samantha, the award shows a depth of understanding well beyond her years.