Award for budding scientist

Otago Boys' High School pupil William Pelet has won a trip to Melbourne for the Youth Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science programme. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Otago Boys' High School pupil William Pelet has won a trip to Melbourne for the Youth Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science programme. Photo by Linda Robertson.
William Pelet is a self-confessed ''nerd'' when it comes to science.

It is not an image the 17-year-old Otago Boys' High School pupil fosters, but when he talks about his recent selection for one of Australasia's most prestigious residential science programmes, it is hard for him to hide his excitement.

''I am proud to want to be a scientist. I know that might sound nerdy to some, but to me it sounds like the only logical occupation for me.''

William has been selected by the Royal Society of New Zealand to attend the Youth Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science programme in Melbourne for a week during July.

As part of his selection, he was also awarded the Talented School Students' Travel Award, administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand and funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The monetary award will pay for his flights to the science programme.

He is one of six New Zealand secondary school pupils who have been selected to join 40 Australian counterparts, to learn about the latest science research.

They will visit Monash University, RMIT University, which is an Australian technology university, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research, and also Synchrotron.

He will receive behind-the-scenes tours, lectures with leading scientists, and see hands-on research and cutting edge technology.

William said he was looking forward to meeting other pupils and scientists who shared his passion for science and technology.

''You look around you and science has a lot of the answers to the questions you have. It's fascinating.

''This is an opportunity to see what life as a research scientist would be like. We're also going into Australia's top science training facilities and getting hands-on experience of university life.''

William wants to study law, chemistry and physics at the University of Otago next year, and has already passed NCEA Levels 1 and 2 with excellence.

He said science was a broad field with many career paths, and to date, he had not decided which one to follow.

However, he was certain the trip would help him make the important decision.

- john.lewis@odt.co.nz

 

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