Girls step up for Olympiad

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By SO­PHIE GABRIELLE

TWO Year 12 Perth Mod­ern School stu­dents will rep­re­sent Aus­tralia in the In­ter­na­tional Science Olympiads next month.

Known as the Olympic Games for science stu­dents, the com­pe­ti­tion will be held in Den­mark, Brazil, In­dia and Azer­bai­jan.

Hy­erin Park and Hui Min Tay were se­lected for the In­ter­na­tional Chem­istry Olympiad and were the only WA stu­dents to make the na­tional team.

Aus­tralian Science In­no­va­tions ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Lil­lian Le­sueur said this year was the first time in the event’s history science-savvy girls would make up half the Aus­tralian team.

“It is un­usual and we’re just de­lighted that nearly 50 per cent of the team mem­bers are girls in this merit-based com­pe­ti­tion,” Ms Le­sueur said.

“We now have more prom­i­nent fe­male role mod­els who are re­ally ex­celling in science and it’s made girls re­alise there are vi­able ca­reer paths for them.”

Hy­erin (16) said she was plan­ning a ca­reer as a med­i­cal re­searcher or doc­tor.

“I like the feel­ing you get when you’re go­ing through a prob­lem and you get that eureka mo­ment, which I re­ally en­joy,” she said.

Hui Min (17) said she was ini­tially more in­ter­ested in the hu­man­i­ties when she was in pri­mary school, but was inspired by a chem­istry teacher in high school.

“It started in Year 8 when our teacher asked us to keep jour­nal en­tries about sub­atomic con­fig­u­ra­tions and I found it re­ally fas­ci­nat­ing,” she said.

Perth Mod­ern School prin­ci­pal Lois Joll said the school com­mu­nity would be cheer­ing on Hui Min and Hy­erin.

“The girls have worked hard to achieve this fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity and we have no doubt they will do the school and Aus­tralia proud,” Ms Joll said.

Hy­erin Park and Hui Min Tay get ready for the Chem­istry Olympiad.

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