New Zealand’s top students visit WSCI in Israel

June 9, 2015 by Keren Cook
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Five Year 13 secondary school students and one teacher have been selected by the Royal Society of New Zealand to attend the World Science Conference-Israel (WSCI) in Jerusalem in August.

Alex Kennedy

Alex Kennedy

Nobel Laureate Professor Roger Kornberg (USA) initiates the event in collaboration with the Hebrew University, the Ministry of Science and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the state of Israel.

Hamilton Boys high school student Alex Kennedy is one of the five talented students to travel to Israel in August with four other students – all from the North Island.

Kennedy is one of three Deputy Head boys this year at Hamilton Boys’ High School. He came to Hamilton Boys’ from a small country school to a city school and has made the most of the opportunities the school provides.

Headmaster for Hamilton Boys’ High School, Susan Hassall says: “Alex is a young man who is a genuine ‘giver’. He is always prepared to give to any group of which he is a part. His humility is his strength, as his sense of wonder and joy for life.

“The opportunity to travel to Israel will be momentous for him, and he will make the most of every experience he has while there,” says Hassall.

The conference is an intensive five-day program and includes lectures by 20 Nobel Laureates and other leading scientists from around the world for 300 bright students from five continents, all around the globe.

Kennedy says prior to be being selected he “knew very little about Israel”. He says he has ignored rumours from “opinionated” people and is excited about visiting such a different destination, particularly given he has not done much travel.

“I am very excited to be travelling to Israel given what I know about its strength in science and technology, as well as its immense cultural and religious significance in terms of its heritage.

“I come from a largely non-religious household, and I am incredibly excited to see some of the most important and influential historical sites in the world. I also hope this event will be able to aid me in a future career in science,” says Kennedy.

During the conference the participants will have a chance to attend lectures, interact and be inspired by Nobel Laureates, Wolf Prize winners, Fields Medal winners as well as other leading scientists from around the world.

The Talented School Students Travel award generously funds 70% of the costs and the Raye Freedman Trust will fund the balance of the costs.



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