Stephanie’s science award

November 15, 2017

Finley High School Year 11 student Stephanie Harris has added to her impressive resume as one of the high school’s top academic students after receiving the Victor Chang School Science Award last week.

Stephanie was among 30 students across the region to accept the award at a special ceremony in Junee on Friday.

The Victor Chang School Science Award is presented each year in November to Year 11 students who demonstrate the highest level of educational achievement, innovation, creativity, and hard work in their science class.

It is aimed at encouraging students to pursue a career in science, and includes the chance to attend and learn more about the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute on December 4.

Stephanie was nominated by her science teacher Michael O’Leary and is acknowledged as one of a number of ‘‘bright students’’ for her tenacity and commitment in the classroom in the field of science.

Stephanie has a particular interest in astro-physics and said she’s keeping up to date with Rocket Lab in New Zealand.

‘‘It’s interesting with what’s happening there; I do my best to find out but Year 11 work is starting to pile up.

‘‘It’s nice to know there is something beyond the stars.

‘‘What I like about space is learning about the unknown and asking the question ‘what is out there?’ and ‘are we alone?’

‘‘It’s a great honour to receive the science award.’’

Mr O’Leary said the school is ‘‘very proud’’ of Stephanie’s achievements.

‘‘Stephanie has demonstrated outstanding academic achievements by placing first in chemistry and first in physics,’’ he said.

‘‘These results reflect her commitment to learning and enthusiasm for science.

‘‘Her motivation and work ethic have helped her to develop scientific knowledge and skills that will stand her in good stead as she works towards successful completion of the Higher School Certificate.

‘‘Stephanie excels in a wide variety of areas. She is a competent public speaker, debater, creative writer and historian, as well as being an exceptional scientist.’’

Stephanie’s achievement is the third consecutive year a Finley High School student has received the Victor Chang Science Award.

The award was named after cardiothoracic surgeon Victor Chang, who was responsible for developing Australia’s National Heart Transplant Programme and, at the time of his death in 1991, was working on the development of an artificial heart valve which would be used to support seriously ill patients who were awaiting heart transplants.

Receiving the award is just the latest in outstanding academic achievement for Stephanie.

Last month she was named the state winner of the 2017 National History Challenge for her essay entitled ‘Ching Shih: Illegally Making a Better World’.

She is the first Finley High student to win the award.

This year’s essay contest asked students to write to the theme ‘Making a Better World’.

Stephanie said she chose to write her 1800 word essay on Ching Shih — a female pirate from the Qing China who commanded the China Sea in early 19th century — because of the ruthless impact she left on the Chinese.

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