Chemistry pupils make top 21 in Australia

October 3, 2012

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From left, Jennifer Searcy, Daryl Chung, Ben Anandappa and Sam Alsop

Three Perth pupils who attend the Murdoch University After School Program in Mathematics and Physical Sciences have been selected among the 21 top performing school students for Chemistry in Australia.

Sam Alsop, 15, from Frederick Irwin Anglican School in Mandurah, Ben Anandappa, 16, from Christian Brothers College Fremantle, and Daryl Chung, 16, from Perth Modern School in West Perth, performed very well in the National Qualifying Examination for the Chemistry Olympiad Summer School in Melbourne.

The top performers in the summer school’s Final Qualifying Examination will then be selected to represent Australia in Chemistry at the International Science Olympiads which will next year be held in Moscow, Russia.

The pupils have been guided by Murdoch Adjunct Professor Jennifer Searcy who runs the after school program for any child with an interest in Mathematics, Chemistry or Physics.

All three have attended the classes since primary school age, enabling them to tackle tertiary units early and training them for both the Physics and Chemistry National Qualifying Examinations.

“Sam was also selected for the previous summer school,” said Professor Searcy.

“He did very well in last year’s Final Qualifying Examination but missed out on selection for the Olympiad team because he had insufficient practical experience.  This has now been rectified as he did work experience in Murdoch University chemistry laboratories during the last school holidays, so we have high hopes for him as well as Ben and Daryl.

“Sam came first in Australia this year so was the first selected to attend in Melbourne.”

Ben said all three were indebted to Professor Searcy for guiding them towards success in Chemistry.

“Professor Searcy has always been very encouraging. My sister Annabelle also won a place in an earlier summer school for the Chemistry Olympiads under her guidance, so Professor Searcy has a proven track record,” he said.

Sam added: “The after school classes provide us with the opportunity to get used to university-standards so it will help us all when we come to make the move into university.”

Daryl said: “I’m looking forward to the challenge of the summer school. It will help me to see where I am compared with others in chemistry. My older brother Jonathan also won a place in the summer school two years ago. We both appreciate the committed work of Professor Searcy because she helped us to reach our full potential.”

The three students also received Searcy Occasional Prizes earlier this year for their performances in the after school program. These are among a suite of awards created by Professor Searcy to commemorate her late son, father and mother. The awards recognise the efforts of students at the University and those studying in the after school classes, and are awarded at the Murdoch University prize night.

The Murdoch University After School Program in Mathematics and Physical Sciences is available for pupils from 10 years of age. The two hour classes run three times a week and cost $190 per term for each subject. For more information, email Professor Searcy or call 0407 982349.

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