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Published 12 June 2018

Students and teacher selected to attend the Asia Science Camp in Indonesia and meet Nobel Laureates

Five secondary school students and an accompanying teacher have been selected by the Society to attend the Asia Science Camp in Manado, Indonesia.

The idea of the Asia Science Camp (ASC) was first discussed in 2005 after the Lindau Science Meeting by Professor YuanTseh Lee, the 1986 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, and Professor Masatoshi Koshiba, the 2002 Nobel Laureate in Physics.

This year ASC is organised by the Surya Institute with strong support from the regional government of North Sulawesi. It is the 12th of the series, following successful camps at Taipei (2007), Bali, Indonesia (2008), Tsukuba, Japan (2009), Mumbai, India (2010), Daejeon, South Korea (2011), Jerusalem, Israel (2012), Tsukuba again (2013), Singapore (2014), Bangkok, Thailand (2015), Bangalore, India (2016), and Kampar, Malaysia (2017).

During the six-day camp, taking place 3–9 August this year, Nobel Laureates and world-class researchers will share their science experience through plenary sessions, round table discussions and student master classes, which will encourage deeper thinking about science and scientific knowledge among delegates. Participants will also get a taste of Asian culture with visits to iconic sites and insights into local culture.

The Society received many applications from students wishing to attend ASC and the selection panel were impressed with the standard of applicants.


The students selected are: 

Jacob Eyles, Year 13 student, Napier Boys’ High School 

Jacob is very interested in the physical sciences and has already passed NCEA Level 3 Physics, Calculus and Chemistry. He is fully involved in the life of the school and is both a student house leader and academic tutor for Level 3 Physics this year. He is also a student volunteer tutor at the adjoining Te Awa Primary School. He says: "As I approach the end of my time at high school I am really drawn to studying science at university and beyond that into a career. I feel this opportunity will be hugely beneficial to me and will give me the chance to meet expert scientists and like-minded students. I am sure attending the Asia Science Camp will stretch my thinking while pushing me out of my comfort zone."

Anjali Gentejohann,  Year 13 student, Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, Wellington

Anjali is a member of the Head Girls Committee as a prefect, and the cultural prefect. She also leads the piano ensemble at school and is member of the senior premier debating team. She says: "I am committed and excited to be a part of our country's future scientific community, and want to gain all the experience and inspiration I can, in order to contribute in the best way I can. I'm not only very curious and enthusiastic about learning and experiencing new things, but I also welcome any opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and give new things a go."

Jason Lee, Year 13 student, Western Heights High School, Rotorua

Jason is the head prefect at Western Heights High School and is actively involved in numerous school and community groups such as Amnesty International, Interact Club and Students Against Dangerous Driving, as well as volunteering at Trade Aid and the Salvation Army in Rotorua. Jason tutors students in maths and sciences, and also serves in the Multicultural Rotorua Executive Committee. He says: "You don't become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, then doing it so hard that you become great in the process. Right now, I just want the opportunity to immerse myself in all things science, to become blissfully lost in the world of creativity and knowledge, and ultimately develop myself as a future scientist, taking a step closer to my goal of making a positive contribution to the advancement of New Zealand's scientific research."

Anahita Piri, Year 13 student, New Plymouth Girls’ High School 

Anahita is actively involved in a range of school-related activities that include helping out as a librarian and as a mathematics tutor. She is also a member of several school committees including the environment committee, the mathematics and science committee and the Youth United Nations Club. Anahita also plays football for the first XI at her school and was selected to play in the Taranaki Football representative team in 2015. She says: "Chemistry, Physics and Calculus have been some of my favourite subjects for all my years in school.  Learning about how their concepts have worked together to give us the understanding of life we have today gives me a great passion to learn more. This is why I believe a future that has science in it, is the right future for me."  

Nikita Raman, Year 13 student, Sacred Heart Girls’ College, Hamilton 

Nikita is involved in numerous activities at Sacred Heart College. She is Deputy Head Girl and the Academic Captain as well as the Learning Committee Leader. She is also very sporty and is the vice captain of the badminton team and captain of the bowls team at school. She says: "Science is in our lives everywhere, discovered and undiscovered. It is the key to our futures and to changing the world. The opportunity to attend an international science camp will be an invaluable experience for me. I have a love for science and yearn to broaden the depth of my knowledge so that I may be able to give back to the community."


The teacher selected is:

Amy Christie, Science teacher, Gore High School

Amy says: “Teaching science capabilities to our young people not only gives the students skills in thinking and investigating like a scientist, but also helps students to become critical-thinking young adults. From learning to gather and interpret data to critiquing evidence, science encourages students to question the world in which they live. As a teacher of Science, I love to provide experiences where the students see science in their everyday lives and show them that science is all around them. I enjoy seeing young people engaged in their learning and seeing them learn the skills to become informed young adults.”

Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi