Local student, Abbey Peters, recently attended the Rotary National Science and Technology Forum at Auckland University. This 14 day programme is for outstanding students in science, maths and technology.
Abbey, a 17 year old from Tuakau College, applied after her physics teacher gave her a letter describing the program. Abbey says she was “trying to decide between law and engineering career paths at the time and decided that if I was accepted into the programme I would take it as a sign to do engineering. Lucky for me that sign came along!”
The programme, conducted by Rotary and the Tertiary Institutions of Auckland, allows students preparing for their final year of high school to gain understanding of the tertiary courses available and a fuller appreciation of science and technology in the wider community. Most days Abbey had two lots of three hour lectures in subjects such as psychology, biomedical sciences and physics, along with group meetings, volleyball games and exploring Auckland. Abbey said “forum was about meeting like minded individuals, a safe place for curious minds to interact with each other.”
The Forum allows students to really be themselves and for Abbey this was a highlight. Abbey knew this was the case before her first lecture, which was molecular biology, when a new friend turned and said to her “I’m so excited, I’ve been looking forward to this for so long.” In that moment she knew she had found a home, that she was in “a place where everyone was as eager to learn and understand the world, as she was.”
Reflecting on her experience Abbey believes it was an incredibly fun and life changing experience, and one that she wouldn’t trade for the world. “The Rotary Club does an amazing job organising Forum so a huge thank you to them. A lot of people probably flinch at the idea of giving up two weeks of the summer holiday to learn, but it did not feel this way at all. The time flew by, and I walked away with a changed perspective, a career decision and met many that, I do not doubt, will be lifelong friends. I loved my time at the Rotary National Science and Technology Forum, and I strongly recommend this programme to other students.”
This year was the 29th annual event Rotary has hosted and out of the 174 students from all over New Zealand that were selected for the Forum, 22 of them were from this district. There is also opportunity to win a place at either the Canberra or London International Youth Science Forums. For any Year 12 students that think this might be an exciting opportunity for them, information and application packs are normally sent out in July.
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