Alexandra Pupil follows sister to science forum

Dunstan High School pupil Sarah Liley is looking forward to the BioFutures conference in Brisbane...
Dunstan High School pupil Sarah Liley is looking forward to the BioFutures conference in Brisbane. Photo by Lynda Van Kempen.
Alexandra teenager Sarah Liley has been selected for the BioFutures conference in Brisbane, following in the footsteps of her sister, Helen.

Sarah (16) is one of 12 New Zealanders chosen by the Royal Society of New Zealand to attend the week-long science conference in July.

She applied after Helen (18) took part in the same event last year.

"Helen went and she really enjoyed it, so I thought I'd apply too," Sarah said.

She is a year 12 pupil at Dunstan High School, studying biology, chemistry, physics, English, French and calculus.

It will be her first trip overseas and she is "pretty excited" about being involved in the conference.

BioFutures is a forum for Australian and New Zealand pupils in their final two years of high school.

They will be immersed in all areas of science, with a focus on biology and biotechnology, attending lectures and taking part in workshops.

The conference includes "hands on" laboratory visits and contact with some of the biotechnology industry's leading research and commercial organisations.

Sarah has not made a final decision on what career path she will follow but is leaning towards being a veterinarian.

She enjoys biology the most of all the sciences.

"It's one of the most rapidly advancing sciences, too," she said.

Helen is studying engineering at Auckland University this year and Sarah's elder brother, James (20), is studying medicine in Dunedin.

The Royal Society of New Zealand promotes science and technology in schools, industry and society generally. lt also publishes science journals, offers advice to the Government, and fosters international scientific contact and co-operation.

It will subsidise Sarah's travel costs.

Outside school, Sarah enjoys competing in equestrian events, hockey, tennis and squash.

She is also working towards grade eight qualifications in speech and drama.

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