Story and photo by Maleika Halpin
Two Murwillumbah high school students have been chosen to be Australian ‘ambassadors for science’ at international science programs in Europe this year.
Mount St Patrick College 17-year-olds Lachlan Patterson and Harley Gray are set to take part in the elite science programs in July, which bring together students and world leading scientists to discuss major global challenges, such as energy, climate change and health.
Lachlan was one of three Australians selected to represent Australia in the month-long International Summer Science School in Heidelberg, Germany, and will be spending time in laboratories working with professors on topics in natural science before presenting a paper on it.
Harley was one of six selected to represent Australia in the two-week EuroScience Open Forum in Copenhagen, Denmark, one of the largest such forums in Europe.
The science programs will give both students the opportunity to network with some of the world’s most gifted minds and will challenge them to present practical and innovative solutions in their field.
‘Despite our age, we are able to present ideas with passion and new perspectives that are not restricted by the monotony of familiar scientific processes,’ Lachlan told Echonetdaily.
Lachlan and Harley were chosen for the prestigious opportunities abroad owing to their involvement with the Rotary-sponsored National Youth Science Forum (NYSF), a 12-day science program that they both attended in Canberra in January.
The students, who have embarked on a fundraising drive to raise money for their trip, say they appreciate Mount St Patrick College for its support as the programs conflict with their HSC exams, yet both students have been encouraged to make the endeavours a success.
‘We know that we need to devote a lot of time to make sure that we’re not disadvantaged in any way with our HSC, but it wouldn’t be possible without the amazing support of our school and the Murwillumbah Rotary Club,’ Harley said,
‘Going to Europe is set to be a rewarding chance to refresh our passion for science and see how our generation can contribute to solving global issues,’ he said.
Lachlan and Harley are hoping for community support in their quest to raise the $10,000 they each need to make the trip possible. Donations can be made directly to the NYSF (www.nysf.edu.au) and are tax deductible.