Yeppoon teen scores prestigious national science scholarship
Zachary Steyn's head is in undoubtedly in the stars, and so is an extremely bright future.
The Yeppoon State High School student is one of 25 remarkable students to become Australian National University (ANU) Tuckwell Scholarship recipients following the final stage of assessment last week.
His thrilled father Graeme said the scholarship would help his son follow his dreams and for Zachary that is certainly in the stars as he has a firm interest in the sciences and aspires to become an astrophysicist.
"He did all the applications himself and didn't even get me to proof read them,” Graeme said.
"He has always showed promise academically while also enjoying a busy sports and social life, achieving the scholarship is certainly something we are all very proud of.”
Zachary came to Yeppoon as a toddler with his parents and attended Farnborough State School before graduating to Yeppoon High School.
At just 17, the active young man is already looking at the future with his enquiring mind and is bound to make an impact.
Zachary said he first learnt about the scholarship when attending a two-week National Youth Science camp at Australian National University in Canberra.
"The camp was amazing we got to meet and talk to professors, scientists and lecturers as well as using some of the amazing equipment they have on hand,” Zachary said.
"We did some study on how stars are made and how they die, we looked at the composition of planets and investigated how things function.
"Science has always been a passion for me and while I am very active both in sports and socially, science is something I just can't get enough of.”
When he heard he had been awarded the Tuckwell Scholarship Zachary was super excited and danced around the house for hours.
"My long term is to study as an astrophysicist and travel the world, the scholarship will help me achieve those dreams,” he said.
"I have travelled to Europe, South Africa and America with my parents and I would love to see and experience so much more.
"I want to know how things work, I want to travel and explore the world and the universe.”
While he has always been hard to keep track of, Zachary has recently achieved his P Plates and now there is nothing stopping him.
"I'm sure my mum would like me to spend more time at home but there are always things to do and places to go,” he said.
Zachary is an accomplished sportsman having studied mixed martial arts from ages 10-16, he played AFL for the Swans and now plays NRL with his school and is juggling his year 12 studies.
2019 Tuckwell Scholars
The 2019 round of Tuckwell Scholars hail from all around Australia.
The students will receive over $21,000 per year for up to five years for their study costs, and participate in a program of academic and social enrichment designed by current Tuckwell Scholars and supported by a team of academic and professional staff.
The Tuckwell Scholarship is funded by the generous philanthropy of Graham and Louise Tuckwell whose vision for the scholarship program is to help talented and motivated students through their tertiary studies and inspire them to fulfil their potential and reinvest their knowledge, skills and experience in ways that positively benefit others.
Mr Tuckwell said each year the program receive applications from hundreds of students all around Australia who are seeking support to receive the best education in the country at ANU.
"The Tuckwell Scholarship is designed to help students achieve their goals, and to also instil the values of education, determination and grit that are integral to success in life,” Mr Tuckwell said.
"The cohort for 2019 bring a diversity of skills and backgrounds.
"There is an aspiring astronomer with a passion for mixed martial arts; an AFL player who balances her commitments as school captain with her local youth orchestra and swimming club and a student who will have visited Tehran to participate in the International Biology Olympiad before even getting to ANU.”
Following assessment of written applications, a shortlist of 75 applicants were interviewed in Canberra, and spend time experiencing campus life and enjoying the sights of Canberra.
The scholarship program was funded in 2013 and has supported 110 current students and seven alumni.