Meriden student, Jacinta Rees, will represent Australia at the UNESCO 2022 International Science, Informatics and Mathematical Olympiads – the most rigorous maths and science competition for high-school students in the world. Jacinta is one of eight students from around the country selected to compete in the International Earth Science Olympiad.
Jacinta’s journey began last year when she outperformed more than 20,000 students in the qualifying exams. She has since participated in intensive specialised training programs to secure her position on the team.
Meriden’s Acting Head of Science, Mrs Alexandra Phillips, congratulated the Year 11 student on her exceptional achievement. She said Jacinta brings a wealth of knowledge across a range of scientific disciplines and will be a brilliant asset to the team.
“Jacinta has already gained so much experience competing on the world stage after winning a silver medal in the International Junior Science Olympiad last year. I have no doubt she will once again represent her school and country proudly,” said Mrs Phillips.
In August, Jacinta will compete virtually against the brightest students from over 100 countries. She recently travelled to Canberra where she met her fellow team members and was presented with her Australian team uniform at a ceremony held in Parliament House.
Jacinta said she is honoured to be selected to the team and is enjoying the experience of connecting with like-minded science students.
“The content we are taught for the Olympiads is geared towards first and second-year university study. On top of preparing for the several rigorous exams, I am currently working with my teammates on a project investigating the presence of microplastics in Australian soil that will be judged as part of the competition,” said Jacinta.
“What fascinates me most about science is that it’s a continuous learning process. Science is never finished. We keep building upon our understanding, questioning our assumptions and our own biases. It’s this process that appeals to me so much,” she said.
Jacinta is hoping to undertake a career in biomedical engineering following her HSC exams and said participating in the Olympiads has motivated her to achieve her dreams.
“I am finding inspiration from women in science who have paved the way for success in their respective fields. They have shown me that women can have a career in science; it’s not just a dream,” she said.
The Meriden community is extremely proud of Jacinta and wishes her all the best as she embarks on her next exciting scientific endeavour.