Pacific Island student Amosa Lene off to prestigious Asian Science Camp

May 2014

Amosa Lene, 16, from Rongotai College has been selected by the Royal Society of to attend the 8th Asian Science Camp. The annual forum is held in a different country each year and this year it is hosted by Singapore. The Royal Society of received hundreds of applications for this prestigious event from secondary school students wishing to attend but attendance is restricted to five candidates.

Amosa is very grateful to Gravida: National Centre for Growth and Development, based at the University of Auckland, who are fully funding Amosa’s travel costs.

“As with all of the Centres of Research Excellence, Gravida is committed to knowledge transfer and scientific literacy, and in our case, community-based health awareness. Supporting talented students like Amosa with this exciting educational opportunity is part of a larger programme to address the lack of representation of Pacific communities within our scientific research communities,” says Professor Phil Baker, Director of Gravida.

Gravida is a key contributor to the award-winning LENScience outreach initiative to schools across and the South Pacific which provides hands-on and web/satellite TV-based learning experiences incorporating current Gravida research such as the effect of diet and lifestyle on life-long health.

During the science week in Singapore, the students will meet with many other like-minded students from Asian countries and attend lectures and workshops presented by Nobel Laureates and Eminent Scientists. They will also be treated to some sightseeing.

Amosa is in his final year at high school and is studying physics, biology and chemistry. Last year he gained 105 excellence credits in NCEA and wants to study biochemistry next year at university. He loves physics and has been a participant at the regional Young Physicists Tournament held in Wellington, in which his team gained second place.

Amosa says ‘‘I feel I would make a good role model for all my fellow Polynesian brothers and sisters and it is my goal to give back to those who have cared for me over the years I have been schooled”.

The other students selected to attend are Duo Ao Sun from Rangitoto College; Stephanie Townend from Kristin School, Auckland; Jim Wang from Macleans College, Auckland and Tekiteora Rolleston-Gabel from Nga Taiatea Wharekura in Hamilton. The teacher accompanying the group is Julie Harrisson from Kerikeri High School, Northland. The delegation leaves for Singapore in August.

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