Pupils visit Massey's vet school

A racehorse is put through its paces on a treadmill in front of pupils visiting Massey University's Veterinary School.
David Unwin/Fairfax NZ.

A racehorse is put through its paces on a treadmill in front of pupils visiting Massey University's Veterinary School.

How fast a racehorse can run and what they eat were among the burning questions put to Massey University's vets by a group of visiting pupils.

About 16 pupils visited the university's veterinary school on Tuesday as part of the VetX programme, funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Curious Minds programme.

Vet school associate dean of admissions Eloise Jillings said the Manawatu pupils, aged between 11-13 years old, were being shown what was available in the sciences. 

They were among a number of groups of pupils who will visit the vet school over two weeks.

"They can look ahead and see what they could do with science and technology," Jillings said.

"Lots of them don't know any scientists. This week they are here. They can see that we are approachable."

The pupils got to check out rabbits, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, horses and dairy cattle in a series of workshops and practical sessions.

At one point, they watched a racehorse on a treadmill. 

"How fast can a racehorse run? What is her name? How old is she? How fast is this one? What do they eat?" were just some of their questions.

Lachlan Woollaston, 13, said he really enjoyed the animal work and got to check out four dogs and two parrots.

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Jillings said the VetX project was particularly aimed at getting more Maori and Pasifika people into careers in animal health.

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to be a scientist, you just have to be inquisitive. Science is just about asking 'how does that work'? They still wonder about everything and they are still enthusiastic.

"So we hope that if we can give them the experience now in the applied sciences, they might continue taking science at school and university. We would like to have more Maori and Pasifika in our scientific industries."

 

 - Stuff

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