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Charlie Williams

Charlie Williams, a student at Napier Boys' High School with an interest in electromagnetism has been selected to attend the 2019 youth Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science.

My fascination with the universe and its mysteries began when I was 8 years old. We had to do a study of something (anything) for a school project. I had no idea what to do mine on, but I found a small book called 'The Four Fundamental Forces of The Universe' in the school library - the title immediately captured my attention. Of course, most of the content (the explanations of the forces of gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces) went completely over my head. But I did learn one thing; I learned that everything in my world was made up of tiny things called “atoms”. When I learned that these atoms were also 99% nothing – that we were all 99% nothing -  well, my mind exploded.

And I thought that that was awesome.

Since then, I have ceaselessly sought new knowledge, and asked questions, about the world around me.  A particular curiosity has been the force of electromagnetism (one of the four fundamental forces), and how it combines electricity and magnetism to create almost all phenomena and technology I experience today – microwaves, radio, television, cell phones, the laptop I am writing this on, and everything I see. This is astonishing to me.

A role model for me, who explored this field for most of his life, is Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943). A prolific inventor, he obtained a staggering 278 plus patents worldwide. It was his innovations and fearlessness when adventuring into the unknown, that is truly inspiring.

However, my interests do not solely lie in the world of science.  This year, I will be attempting grade 8 piano alongside speech & drama exams and will be playing in the band of this year’s  Napier Boys’ / Napier Girls’ High School musical (All Shook Up). I am participating in the school’s Interact club – the ‘junior’ version of the Rotary Club - as the local director, and am involved in the school’s Environment Club. On top of that, I receive a lot of satisfaction from a very rewarding job as a maths tutor at Number Works ‘n Words, and tutor students within my school during lunchtimes. I am continuing my journey towards a Gold Duke Of Edinburgh award, and participating in a range of activities including debating, football, and sailing, where I crew A teams racing 420 Boat, and hope to go to the national competition next year. In the past, I have also competed at a national level in orienteering. 

I love for the understanding that science provides. To inch towards an understanding of how truly lucky I am to be alive, to witness this awe evoking, chaotic yet ordered, and beautiful world in which we all live; and to once again feel that incredible brain exploding-moment. I feel that being able to attend youth ANZAAS will be an awesome opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge of the universe. It will also allow me to meet like-minded people with a similar passion for the sciences and thirst for learning.