For the love of science

Ormiston College students Anthony Hua and Cailey Dayu do a bit of sight-seeing at Stonehenge before being geeked out at the international science forum in London. Photo supplied

They love watching YouTube videos on maths and on the immune system in their spare time.

Ormiston College students Cailey Dayu and Anthony Hua have just returned from the 59th London International Youth Science Forum at the renowned research university Imperial College London, and are both jet-lagged and geeked out.

Year 13 student Anthony says the experience at the forum where the theme was Science-Making Life Better was “phenomenal”.

Cailey who was one of the seven secondary school students from around the country to be selected by the Society Te Aparangi from more than 300 applications to attend the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) and also visit the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, says it was “eye-opening”.

Buzzing with excitement after attending a series of set lectures from top professors from all over the world, they are thrilled about gaining a global perspective as well as a deeper insight into science and its application for the benefit of mankind.

Anthony, who has always been interested in astronomy, dinosaurs and scientific biology, says: “It was fascinating to get a greater understanding of the collaborative effort of a global scientific community.”

The range of topics discussed oscillated from ‘Advances in the new space industry’ to ‘`Secrets to a virus’ success’ and `Climate change debate’.

Advanced bookings had to be made to hear some of the world’s best scientist and lecturers talk about `Molecules and Nanotech in the modern world’, `Cyber security — it’s so much more than just 1s and 0s’ and `Super conductivity and magnetism’.

The former Mission Heights Junior College students say they got a different perspective and learnt how to look at things way beyond the way schools and universities teach science
For Cailey, it was quantum mechanics that had her “inner geek off the roof with excitement”.

Unfortunately, due to a spate of terrorists attacks in Paris and London, she says her parents were a bit iffy about her travelling for a three day visit to Paris and then to Geneva, Switzerland to visit CERN where the Large Hadron Collider is located. It is the world’s largest particle collider and most complex experimental facility ever built and the largest single machine in the world built in collaboration with more than 10,000 scientists and engineers from more than 1000 countries as well as hundreds of universities.

The 17-year-old says that the two-week trip where they even had a fashion show based on scientific concepts, opened their eyes to the fact the scientific community is so collaborative.

“It was fabulous to make so many new connections and see that so many diverse people put aside their differences of race, colour and culture and came together just for the love of science.”