Nine students from around New Zealand have been selected by Royal Society Te Apārangi to attend Youth ANZAAS, a week-long science event that takes place in Melbourne.
The Society received over 150 applications from students wishing to attend Youth ANZAAS and the selection panel were most impressed with the standard of applications.
Youth ANZAAS is an annual residential international forum for senior secondary school students. Every year, students from around Australia and New Zealand are selected to participate in science activities and experiences over a week. It is organised by the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science (ANZAAS).
Delegates will stay at Ormond College at the University of Melbourne, which is close to many significant scientific research establishments. This year students will visit the Department of Defence Research, RMIT and the University of Melbourne, with behind the scenes tours of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and the Melbourne Museum.
Seventy per cent of the students' registration costs have been funded by the Talented School Students Travel Award, managed by Royal Society Te Apārangi and funded by MBIE.
The students selected are:
William Hadley, Year 12 student, Francis Douglas Memorial College, New Plymouth
William says: “From a very young age I have been fascinated by science and its role in society. I was born on the island of Borneo and grew up surrounded by the astonishing array of flora and fauna of an
equatorial jungle. I’ve always been drawn to science because of its exciting possibility of solving world problems. As a member of our school’s beekeeping group, I became aware of waxmoth larvae and their capacity to digest not only wax, but also plastic. I carried out an investigation into the feasibility of using Galleria mellonella to solve New Zealand's plastic bag pollution problems, which attracted a lot of interest at our regional science fair. Attending Youth ANZAAS will broaden my horizons for the future and further my awareness of science.”
Elouan Hay-Fourmond, Year 13 student, Roncalli College, Timaru
Elouan, who is 17 and in his last year at school, is a member of the academic committee that aims to make learning more interesting for students. He has also participated in karate for the last five years and has now progressed to a ‘Brown Belt’. He says: “I have had a passion for science since I was young because to me it is amazing. Science explains how the world works, and allows us to apply that knowledge to our lives. It is the embodiment of curiosity. I follow multiple scientific Youtube channels such as ‘Veritasium’, which is a channel featuring science and technology experiments, and, to further my knowledge, I subscribe to a monthly scientific magazine”. Elouan will head to the University of Otago next year to study biochemistry or genetics.
Isabella (Artemis) Hingston, Year 12 student, Kaiapoi High School, Canterbury
Isabella, who prefers the name Artemis, is a Year 12 student at Kaiapoi High School and has a passion for science subjects, especially physics. She serves on the student council and is a participant in the school debating team and choir and loves her involvement in theatresports. Outside of school, she is a cadet in the Air Training Corps. She says: “As an engineer or scientist, I could build or discover things to help advance the human race and protect our environment for the generation to come. Being able to see the Rocket Lab launches from Mahia Peninsula were inspiring. Attending Youth ANZAAS will provide me with invaluable experience that will help me on my way.” Isabella would like to study either mechatronics or computer science at university.
Yongwhan Shin, Year 13 student, Auckland International College
Yongwhan is in Year 13 and is Head Boy at Auckland International College. He says: “A scientific opportunity such as this will be another step in my scientific journey, changing my perspective towards science and also showing me more about how I can use my strengths to bring about change in the world by solving problems. I believe by attending Youth ANZAAS, I will not only be able to grow as a young scientist, but also share my small experiences with the new friends I will make”.
Nicolas Sinnott, Year 13 student, Otago Boys' High School
Nicolas would like to study either biomedicine or biochemistry at the University of Otago next year in the view of having a career in science research. Nicolas is a school prefect and a senior member of the school kapa haka group. He is involved with and plays competitively in many sports including rugby, football, cricket, volleyball and cross-country running. He says: “I’m big on goals. I love to set myself challenges in all things whether it’s a small personal goal or trying to get excellence in all of my internal exams. I thrive on being challenged so put my hand up for almost everything that comes my way. However, there are two things that define me: the first is my Māori culture and the second is a lifelong dream in science.”
Day-eth Smit, Year 13 student, Waikato Diocesan School for Girls
“I have a strong interest in the sciences as well as a fascination for the potential in these areas in the future. The discipline of science I am most interested by is medical science, because it combines all facets of life and knowledge, which is integral for the survival and progression of humanity. As such, my preference would be to study a Bachelor of Medicine at university next year,” Day-eth says.
Day-eth is involved in an array of activities at school, including being the head academic prefect, tutoring students in English and Biology, as well as taking part in the Biology and Chemistry Olympiads. She is also a member of the school and regional debating team, and has recently been named as a reserve to the New Zealand national team. She says “As a person who sets out to engage in as many opportunities as I can, I feel that attending Youth ANZAAS will enable me to further my experiences and develop as an emerging young woman in society.”
Jessica Tater, Year 12 student, Cashmere High School, Christchurch
Jessica Tater attends Cashmere High School. She intends to go on to study a Bachelor of Medicine at the University of Otago and in the future would like to work in the area of medical research. Jessica is the Year 12 Head Girl and is involved in numerous school activities and roles, which include the debating team that won the regional championship in2018, music prefect, and World Vision ambassador on the student council. She also studies Te Reo Māori at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. “I have a genuine interest in science and have really worked very hard in order to prepare for the tough competition at medical school. I would like to combine my love of science and humanitarianism to become a doctor who specialises in epidemiology, in order to be a useful member of ‘Doctors without Borders’ and I feel an opportunity such as Youth ANZAAS will be a unique advantage in my academic journey,” Jessica said.
Bradley Wiggins, Year 13 student, Rotorua Boys’ High School
Bradley is fully involved in school life and is the environmental captain, hostel prefect and academic mentor. He is also the captain of the school cricket team. Bradley says: “My interest in science has been present since I was very young. I am naturally curious about how our universe works. Throughout my younger years in Rotorua, there was an abundance of natural resources, such as rivers and forests and I used to mountain bike, fish and swim. As I grew up, the forest I once played in was cut down and the rivers that I swam in have become more polluted. All of this has helped fuel my passion for environmental science.”
Bosco Yue, Year 13 student, Auckland Grammar School
Bosco is thinking about studying biomedicine or biochemistry at university after he finishes school this year. He says: “I believe that learning about science is like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, where everyone in our globalized world could all contribute ideas to form a larger picture of how things work. An international trip allowing us to visit the largest scientific institutions of another country is already intriguing, but meeting up with people who share a common love for science makes it even better.”