Hayley Dick, a 16-year-old student at Otago Girls’ High School, was one of just five New Zealanders selected for the Singapore International Science Camp. Here, she shares her experience of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The Singapore International Science Camp has, no doubt, become one of the best and most unique experiences of my life.
I can already tell that it has left a lasting impact on my life and will continue to do so. It was such a privilege to be able to attend, and to be able to represent not just myself, but my family, my school and my country.
This camp has exposed me to many different types of fields of science, many of which I had never considered before. Before this camp, I had my sights set on a career focusing on Chemistry and Physics. Astrophysics would be very exciting to study! But now my eyes have been opened to careers that include both, and others that I didn’t think I could see myself doing.
I now realise that I shouldn’t limit myself to just one or two fields of science, and that I can apply as many sciences as I want, as long as I am willing to find a way to fit them all together. The careers that we were shown were far different to what I initially thought they would be. We saw how sciences that are thought to be polar opposites of each other, can be intertwined to create something that is fascinating and incredibly innovative.
Many of the practices we saw, I had only heard of and never seen in action before. So to be able to see things like 3D printing, self-driving cars and keyhole surgery was amazing and completely eye-opening. We were also able to see futuristic inventions and how they could be applied to real life situations.
It really showed how much technology has improved without us really knowing, and how much there is left to create - which is where my generation is able to step in and help with once we’re older and ready to delve into these fields.
Although I am still unsure on what exactly I would like to study, I do know that science will definitely be very present and one of the driving forces of my life.
Overall, this camp was an experience that will stay with me for a lifetime. I had the privilege to be among the first New Zealand students to attend this camp and I hope that I won’t be among the last - this is an opportunity that should not be passed up!
Hayley attended the Singapore International Science Camp with support from the Royal Society of New Zealand's Talented School Students Travel Awards, which helps students pay for travel to international science and technology events outside New Zealand.