Student takes chemistry 'stepping stone'

00:41, Jul 08 2014
James Hargest College year 13 pupil Nat O’Neill
OFF TO LONDON: James Hargest College year 13 pupil Nat O’Neill is flying to London to attend a youth science forum.

Hard-working teen Nat O'Neill is preparing to push his interest in chemistry to a new global standard.

O'Neill, in year 13 at James Hargest College, will attend the London International Youth Science forum along with 400 students from around the world.

"I'm really excited," O'Neill said.

"I am into chemistry and chemical engineering and this is a stepping stone to find out what I can do, what I want to do ... to narrow down the options."

O'Neill applied to take part in the Rotary National Science Technology Forum held at the Auckland University this year along with 150 other high school students from New Zealand.

Sixty of the 150 students opted to apply for a chance to attend the international science forum. Those 60 were eventually whittled down to six, who were rigorously interviewed.

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O'Neill, one of the two finally selected to attend, said the process was "pretty nerve-racking".

The forum runs from July 23 until August 6, and after that O'Neill will spend a week travelling through France and Switzerland.

James Hargest College head of science Tania Lineham said she was proud of her student.

"He was so excited, he sent me a message as soon as he found out. I'm very proud of him."

Koren Allpress is a journalism student at Aoraki Polytechnic.

The Southland Times