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Ella Zwagerman

Ella Zwagerman, a student from Southland Girl's High school who has a passion for chemistry has been selected to attend the Future Experiences in Agriculture, Science and Technology held in Brisbane.

My name is Ella Zwagerman and I have been selected to attend FEAST (Future Experiences in Agriculture, Science and Technology) held at the University of Queensland in Gatton, Brisbane. I am a student at Southland Girl’s High School, and currently studying biology, chemistry, physics, statistics, physical education and English. I really enjoy science, with my favourite subject being chemistry. I developed a strong interest in science and studying after I had a skiing accident a few years ago, I had to devote my time to something other than sports.

Outside of school, I conducted science experiments for the NZAS Southland Science Fair. I have completed two big science experiments both of which were a huge success. I tested the calcium content in milk from different breeds of cows on different diets, and I also investigated the concentration of urea from urine samples collected from cows.

I enjoy challenges and am always wanting to learn new things, hard work is something that I am not afraid of. As well as making sure I do well in school I try to be involved in a variety of extracurricular activities. I sit on the school's Academic Committee and I am also a member of the Young Farmers Club, Debating Team, Leo Club and I have been an Open Night helper for multiple years. I have recognised the importance of balancing my studies with other activities, in my down time I enjoy going on runs, practising yoga and cooking.

Next year, I intend on going to Otago University to begin a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Pharmacology & Toxicology and Human Nutrition. Having the chance to experience university life in Queensland will give me an opportunity to develop new skills. In the future, I would ideally like to work in medicine or something that involves both human health and the environment.

Being selected by the Royal Society Te Apārangi to attend FEAST is a huge honour and an amazing opportunity. I cannot wait to see what the University of Queensland has to offer. It will also be a great opportunity for me to meet and socialise with like-minded people who have similar interests and determination.

I am very grateful to have received the Talented School Students Travel Award. I would also like to thank the Ohai-Nightcaps Lions Club for contributing towards some of the costs associated with my trip.