Royal Society Scholarship

19 Nov Royal Society Scholarship

Each year, The Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand (RASNZ) offers between 10 and 15 secondary school students from anywhere in New Zealand scholarships to enable them to attend the RASNZ annual astronomy conference in Wellington.

Of the many entries from around New Zealand, I was chosen because of my commitment to and enthusiasm for astronomy. Normally valued at $265, this fee is waived and travel and accommodation is included. Due to COVID-19, this year’s physical RASNZ conference in Wellington was cancelled which I had planned to go to. It has been rescheduled to run in May 2021. It is an awesome opportunity to attend an excellent conference and meet some great people. It is an incredible time to learn about astronomy and what professional and amateur New Zealand (and overseas) astronomers are achieving in our exploration of the universe.

To apply for this competition I had to write a short piece explaining why I was interested in this branch of science and how it would help me in the future. This year I have taken Level Three and Scholarship Earth and Space Science with Mrs Collier and it has been a great course – one that sparked my interest in all things in this branch of science. I plan on taking the Scholarship course again next year along with Scholarship geography, as well as brushing up on some chemistry and continuing with product design technology. Although limited this year, I have attended astronomy club where possible and am really looking forward to and am excited to attend this conference next year. I plan on learning  and discussing the potential astronomy has to impact on Earth and help combat climate change and other problems.

Career-wise, I plan next year to be accepted into the school-leavers rocket lab apprenticeship program. However, I am still very open to the idea of going to university. I believe this conference is definitely a step in the right direction and cannot wait to go next year, COVID permitting!

by Max Bateman, Year 12

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