Budding scientist earns trip to Finland

Otago Girls' High School pupil Bokyong Mun  will work with some of Finland's top scientists at...
Otago Girls' High School pupil Bokyong Mun will work with some of Finland's top scientists at the 2014 Millennium Youth Camp in Helsinki later this year. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

Although Bokyong Mun is not confident she will come up with an alternative to satisfy the world's dependence on fossil fuels, she says it will be fun trying.

The 17-year-old Otago Girls' High School pupil is one of two New Zealanders and 60 secondary school pupils selected to investigate possible substitutes during a science camp in Helsinki, Finland, in June this year.

''Realistically, we're not likely to find a solution, but it will be really interesting finding out more about it,'' she said.

The week-long Millennium Youth Camp will be hosted by the Technology Academy Finland, where young pupils interested in natural sciences, mathematics and technology will be introduced to Finnish companies and higher educational institutions.

They will have an opportunity to work with Finnish experts and top-level researchers.

''I'm pretty excited. I definitely wasn't expecting to be selected.''

She was one of more than 1400 pupils to apply for a place at the camp and one of only 200 selected to go on to the next round.

''We had to do a project in the second round. Mine was about using biomass rather than fossil fuels.''

The camp is not her first international science event. Last year, Bokyong was selected to attend Youth Anzaas, in Tasmania, allowing her to participate in behind-the-scenes tours, lectures with leading scientists, hands-on research and cutting-edge technology.

She was also Dunedin North MP Dr David Clark's shadow in Youth Parliament last year.

''I love science because it empowers people to harness or manipulate knowledge to improve life for people all around the world.

''I like the humanities/politics side of sciences.''


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