Robert's got the right chemistry
James Hargest pupil takes top prizeKIMBERLEY CRAYTON-BROWN
A James Hargest College pupil with an enthusiasm for chemistry has achieved the top mark in New Zealand for the University of Otago Senior Science Quiz.
Year 13 student Robert Tucker, who was part of the winning team at the University of Otago interschool chemistry quiz last year that went on to compete at the national competition, said he loved the chemistry of science.
He planned to start a Bachelor of Science in chemistry next year at Otago, hopefully with honours, and would then go on to get his PhD.
Robert expected this would take about eight years to complete.
‘‘I am just really enthusiastic about chemistry,’’ he said.
Robert sat the multi-choice quiz at school in June, and found out this month he had achieved the top score in the year 13 section.
‘‘I was called into the office, I didn’t know the significance of it really,’’ he said.
A modest achiever, Robert said he did not like talking about his successes.
University divisional marketing and communications co-ordinator for sciences Rose Newburn said more than 600 students from around New Zealand entered the quiz.
‘‘Robert did really well to come top,’’ she said.
‘‘The purpose of the quiz is to give kids the chance to go ‘oh, I’m good at this stuff’ and celebrate being good at it. It’s just an opportunity to shine really.’’
The quiz tested students’ analytical ability and general science knowledge rather than the school curriculum, she said.
It is designed for year 11, 12 and 13 students, and contains 45 multi-choice questions.
The year 11 quiz was topped by an Otago Boys’ High School pupil, and year 12 by a girl from Nayland College, Nelson.
High achievers would receive ‘‘generous cash prizes’’, with several thousand dollars divided between the top three scorers in each year level and some for distinction and merit awards.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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