Marnie Best has always had a fascination with nature, so the Year 13 student was naturally thrilled to win a trip to attend the Future Experiences in Agriculture, Science and Technology programme in Queensland, Australia. The Hamilton App spoke to Marnie about this amazing opportunity.
A Hamilton student’s passion for eco-studies earned her a prestigious travel award to join other keen scientists in Australia earlier this month.
St Paul’s Collegiate student Marnie Best received a 2019 Royal Society Te Apārangi travel award and attended the residential Future Experiences in Agriculture, Science and Technology programme in Queensland.
The Year 13 student split her time between the vast University of Queensland’s Gatton and St Lucia campuses.
“It was so hands-on with all the technology there which was really cool,” she says. “It was a pretty full on schedule but so great to be with like-minded kids from New Zealand. We became so close in one day, probably because we were so out-numbered by the Australians!”
Marnie had hoped the programme would provide guidance on future studies to fulfill her eco-passions. Initially she was looking at an agribusiness and science degree, but after five-days of learning about everything from goat condition checking to wildlife management, Marnie now has her heart set on a Bachelor of Science.
“I have always found myself to have a particular fascination with the environment and animals, so am aspiring to future studies that may lead me down a medical research or agricultural research path.
“I don’t know exactly what has driven me towards the sciences from a young age. Yet, when I look at the world and see the news and social media posts circulating regarding the rapid deterioration of our planet, I continue to realise I want to chip into the bigger picture using science (particularly chemistry and biology) in a way that makes a positive contribution.”
The Talented School Students Travel Award is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and administered by the Royal Society Te Apārangi. The funding assists school students to represent New Zealand at internationally recognised overseas science, mathematics or technology events.