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Amena sets sights on science


Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College student Amena Rafeeq has been recognised for her “inspirational” piece of science writing.

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The Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand (CASANZ) recently described Amena as a “young rising star” after presenting her with an Oliphant Science Award for her 1200-word paper on air quality.

Accepting the award during the 2022 CASANZ Conference at the Stamford Grand, Glenelg, Amena said she was surprised to learn about the statistics on health effects of air pollution and felt motivated to take action.

“Writing my paper definitely inspired me to pursue a career as an air quality scientist through university study,” she said.

In her report, Amena set out to “explain how air quality is measured, why it changes, highlight the negative effects of air pollution, and how we can strive for better air quality individually and as a society”.

She concluded with a vision of a better air quality future, driven by informed decision-making using advanced measuring and monitoring techniques.

“Comprehensive information on climate change, air pollution or global warming will allow us to take vital measures to promote sustainability,” Amena wrote.

“Opportunities such as this give students a chance to learn about these issues and work towards creating change in a world where we will one day be leaders.”

Representing the CASANZ Emerging Air Quality Professionals special interest group, Grace Formentin said the award-winning paper was “a concise, well-researched and inspiring student paper”.

Ms Formentin, an environmental scientist at GHD Pty Ltd in Perth, said she was also impressed by the Year 10 student’s “courage and bravery” in talking “so openly, in front of all of these scientists and engineers in the room”.

The Oliphant Science Awards is an annual competition for South Australian school students that has been running since 1981. The competition aims to develop students’ interests in science through a range of categories suiting a wide variety of abilities and interests. The awards recognise the excellent work of students with prizes in each age group, and category.

CASANZ sponsored the science writing category of air quality.

Source: CASANZ Journal


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