15 June 2024

Griffith high school student selected to participate in London International Youth Science Forum

| Oliver Jacques
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teacher and student outside school

Jonathan Davies with biology teacher and inspiration Dylan Harmer. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

A Griffith high school student has been selected to participate in the world’s leading youth science program, which takes place in the UK in July.

Jonathan Davies, 17, is seeking sponsorship to cover flights and course fees to attend a 15-day STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) summer camp at the London International Youth Science Forum.

“I’d already done our national youth science forum, so I thought I’d apply for London. Once I did, they emailed my teachers to see what my grades were like,” Jonathan said.

“I was thrilled to be accepted. I’ll now get tours of Oxford and Cambridge University and a whole bunch of lectures from leading scientists, including Nobel Prize winners. They take in 500 students from 70 different countries.”

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Dad Alex is both proud and envious.

“I haven’t even been to Europe; he’s going there before me. I’m pretty impressed with the support we received from local community,”

Jonathan said he’d already raised $5000 through the four Rotary Clubs in the Griffith region.

“The Police Association president gave me a personal donation of $1000, and I’ve got $500 from the police bank and $500 from the Quest Hotel. ProTen has pledged $500 too; I’ve just got to send a few emails,” he said.

The Murrumbidgee Regional High School Year 12 student has come up with an innovative way to attract sponsors.

“We plan to make shirts with the businesses’ logos on them and go to landmarks like Big Ben and post photos on social media.”

Jonathan speaking

Jonathan addresses a Rotary gathering. Photo: Facebook.

Jonathan says he’s also grateful for the support he’s received from his biology teacher Dylan Harmer.

“Jonno is an exemplary student. His interest drives his passion; he’ll shine and help others develop in this camp,” Mr Harmer said.

“My focus for students is to develop soft skills, which are really needed when you want to get into leadership roles.”

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Jonathan has mapped out his career in science.

“I plan to go to ANU or University of Queensland, to do a double degree in aerospace engineering and biomedical science and then I hope to get into the space exploration industry. Or I’d do biology, designing amputee prosthetics and support systems.

“I like the sense of discovery in science, it always feels useful. It’s a career that’s not just about making money; it gets used to help people.”

He might even work from an office on Mars one day.

“I think living on another planet is definitely possible. There’d be a lot of health challenges; it wouldn’t be easy. But I think it will happen during my lifetime.”

Any business interested in sponsoring Jonathan in exchange for promotion on social media can email him directly at [email protected].

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