Oliver's science talent shines
A Nelson student whose dreams really are rocket science has won gold in an international science competition.
At a special assembly yesterday Nayland College's Oliver Sircombe-Kohen, 16, was awarded an engraved gold medal he earned for outperforming 620 students.
The International Competition and Assessment for Schools, run by the University of New South Wales, challenges academically gifted students to answer an array of tricky multi-choice questions on general science topics.
Oliver achieved the highest mark in the year 12 science section, beating students from across New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands.
He's now starting to make plans for his future, with dreams of moving overseas, maybe back to his native California, to become a nuclear physicist.
While smashing atoms at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland would be a dream come true, Oliver said he would be open to working in any field.
His interests ranged from astrophysics and theoretical physics, to perhaps even rocket science.
"Physics sort of explains everything, and I like that," Oliver said.
The Ruby Bay physics buff passed NCEA level two physics a year ahead of his age group, and he completed calculus at the highest high school level when he was 15.
He will study level three chemistry, biology and physics when he reaches year 13 next year.
Oliver plans to attend university in either Wellington or Dunedin, before forging a career out of his aptitude and passion for science.
Principal Rex Smith said Oliver was a passionate student with a love for learning, which had seen him excel at many opportunities and progress his learning ahead of his peer group.
"There is no doubt that this award is well deserved," Mr Smith said.
- © Fairfax NZ News