Year 12 and a vet? Not quite.

A Rotorua high school student will be flying over the Tasman Sea to get stuck into a science crash course at the University of Queensland at the end of the month.

John Paul College student Orla Walsh, Year 12, won the Royal Society Scholarship to attend the University of Queensland residential science programme in Brisbane from June 30 for five days.

For those five days she will be one of 100 Australian and New Zealand students immersed in an intellectual feast at FEAST - Future Experiences in Agriculture, Science and Technology at the University of Queensland (UQ).

Advertisement

The University of Queensland is Australia's No 1 university for Agricultural Science and is ranked 17th in the world for research in this field.

The university's faculty of science manager, Jackie Mergard, said the experience could either help confirm interests or career options or show students it was not the field for them.

Although unsure of which field in science she would like to pursue, Orla is interested in veterinary science and will be immersed in a five-day taster course.

John Paul College student Orla Walsh, Year 12, won a Royal Society Scholarship to a hands-on science experience in Australia. Photo / Stephen Parker
John Paul College student Orla Walsh, Year 12, won a Royal Society Scholarship to a hands-on science experience in Australia. Photo / Stephen Parker

But she is no stranger to experiencing science at a higher level and has attended Hands-On at the University of Otago as well as summer school at the University of Canterbury.

"I love science because it engages your mind and it allows you to use your hands doing experimentation," she said.

Excited about the opportunity to work with like-minded people, she said the experience would broaden her horizons to possible careers in the sciences.

Her passion was not a solo effort and Orla said she was inspired by her science teachers and their love of the field.

Science teacher Kerry Pearson said science was an easy subject to be excited about, because it stemmed from curiosity and an appreciation of understanding why things happen.

Advertisement

"I love seeing it in my students as well when they ask questions about their own observations or experiences as they explore the world around them," she said.