Logan Park High School science pupil Mathew Denys is off to
Jerusalem, after unexpectedly being selected to attend the
2014 World Science Conference. Photo by Linda Robertson.
It's always a nice surprise when you are selected for a
scholarship, Mathew Denys says.
''But when you don't even apply for it, it really is a huge
The 17-year-old Logan Park High School pupil received a
letter from the Royal Society of New Zealand this week,
telling him he had been selected along with four other
science pupils from around the country, to attend the World
Science Conference in Jerusalem, in August.
It came as a shock for Mathew because he had not applied for
it. Rather, he had applied for the International Youth
Science Forum to be held in London later this year.
Royal Society of New Zealand project manager Debbie Woodhall
said the society was only notified of the Israel conference
opportunity last week, and five pupils had to be selected at
very short notice.
''We were very lucky to have a number of senior secondary
students who had applied for other international
opportunities and who were very close to being selected in
the previous round.''
Mathew was not worried in the least about not going to
The Jerusalem trip would be the opportunity of a lifetime, he
''The World Science Conference is better.
''Jerusalem is a lot more exotic than London, and I get to
listen to 20 Nobel Laureates.
''They are at the cutting edge of science - the top of the
All accommodation for the two week trip is paid for, and 80%
of flight costs are paid by the society and the Ministry of
Business Innovation and Employment.
Mathew said he was planning a career in science, and the trip
would be a good opportunity to see what life as a scientist
would be like.
He had received excellence endorsements for five of the six
subjects he studied in NCEA level 2 last year, and he also
received an NZQA Scholarship in statistics.
Scholarship exams are usually sat by to NCEA level 3 pupils.
He plans to study physics and biochemistry at the University
of Otago next year.