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Students recognised for exceptional achievements in science

Sunny Lee and Mahek Jain

Meriden students, Sunny Lee and Mahek Jain, have been acknowledged for their hard work, innovation and creativity in STEM at the Victor Chang School Science Awards.

Hosted by The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in honour of pioneering cardiac surgeon, Victor Chang, the annual awards recognise the achievements of high-achieving science students with the aim of encouraging young Australians to consider a future career in STEM.

Mahek said she was thrilled to receive an award for a subject she is so passionate about. The Year 12 student has always been fascinated by science and is hoping to undertake a career in medicine following the HSC.

“Science inspires me to stretch myself and stay curious. I really enjoy learning new concepts that expand my way of thinking. I always walk out of class learning something new about the human body, our universe or even the smallest atoms,” said Mahek.

At Meriden, Mahek studies Physics, Chemistry and Science Extension. In 2021, Mahek achieved a Gold CREST Award from the CSIRO for her invention of a road-safety device that has the potential to reduce road fatalities at pedestrian crossings. She also received a Silver CREST Award in 2020 and a Distinction in the STA Young Scientist Awards.

Sunny, who is also in Year 12, said studying science at Meriden has reinforced her enjoyment of the subject area.

“I love learning more about how the world works. For example, Biology has taught me how perfectly our bodies are designed to function, while Chemistry has taught me how substances react to form useful products. The practical lessons we do at Meriden are always exciting and it is so intriguing to apply the theory we learn in real life,” said Sunny.

Last year, Sunny outperformed thousands of other students to be invited to attend the Australian Physics Olympiad Summer School. The intensive Physics residential program engages students with university-level physics concepts.

Sunny said her experience at the Summer School has inspired her to consider a career in science when she finishes school. She hopes to be able to continue to find practical solutions to real-world challenges by studying vision science or physics.

Meriden’s Coordinator of Learning Link – Innovation, Mrs Alexandra Phillips, said she was extremely proud of Sunny and Mahek’s achievements in science thus far.

“Sunny and Mahek have worked so hard in many areas of STEM. It is wonderful to be able to recognise and congratulate the girls on their myriad of achievements,” said Mrs Phillips.

“We look forward to seeing the girls continue to succeed in science throughout their final year at Meriden.”

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