Visit to Tintern by Laura Driessen, Class of 2010

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On Wednesday, 3 August Laura Driessen spoke to the Middle school boys and girls about her pathway since completing Year 12 and her studies as an Astrophysicist. She came back again on Thursday 12 August to present to the Year 10 students.

Laura was a highly valued Science student in her years at Tintern and she has continued to build on that promise as she has entered the academic world. She has graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Science (Science Scholars Program) gaining a high distinction and majors in applied mathematics and astronomy and astrophysics. While she was at Monash she received a scholarship to go on exchange to the University of Warwick in the UK. And at the end of her degree she gained a studentship at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Perth, then she completed a second studentship at the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON). She is currently halfway through a master’s in astronomy and astrophysics with a merit scholarship at the University of Amsterdam and is about to start a research project in radio astronomy, with a paper that is on its way to being published.

In her talk to the students Laura emphasised the importance of following your interests and being willing to put your name forward for opportunities and ‘have a go’. She also spoke to the students about the importance of co-curricular involvement, in terms of adding valuable detail to your CV. She showed us some fabulous photos of galaxies and, in particular, a photo of the centre of the Milky Way which she took, herself, using radio telescopes in Perth. The Middle School students, in particular, had many questions to ask her at the end of her talk, showing just how involved they were in the presentation.

All who listed to Laura agreed that she is a most impressive young person who provided inspiration to our students.

by Lanna Derry, Head of Science

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