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Masterton student gets science boost


Like thousands of other students around New Zealand, Bianca Green of Masterton is, this week, sorting through mountains of gear she has hauled down to Dunedin and settling into university halls of residence.

Unlike some students leaving home and facing the financial hurdle of tertiary study however, Bianca was fortunate to be starting the year off with a well-deserved and very welcome extra $1000 in her bank account thanks to the Masterton Trust Lands Trust’s Alan MacDiarmid Scholarship.

She would also benefit from a further $2000 over the next two years.

Enrolled at Otago University, Bianca is embarking on a year of Health Sciences First Year, the foundation course for the university’s health professional programmes which include medicine, dentistry and physiotherapy among others, of which she hopes to study medicine.

She was hugely grateful for the grant which she said would certainly help with the significant costs of studying and living in Dunedin.

“This will really help,” said Bianca, who had worked the entire summer on a dairy farm in Wairarapa to help fund her studies.

“It will go a long way with my costs. Textbooks are a big item, so I am planning to put the money towards them.”

A very keen science student, Bianca studied sciences at St Matthew’s Collegiate and excelled in chemistry.

Last year, while in lockdown, Bianca received the news that she had been awarded the grant.

“I did not expect it as it was not something I had applied for,” she said.

“It was a really lovely surprise. I think Mrs [Kiri] Gill [St Matthew’s Principal] put me forward, and the other Wairarapa principals supported me.”

Bianca attributed her achievement to her chemistry teacher, Ailsa Andrews.

“She made chemistry really fun and I just really enjoyed it.”

The Alan MacDiarmid scholarship was awarded to a top-performing chemistry student in the trust’s district each year, selected through agreement by Wairarapa secondary school principals.

The scholarship was established in 2002 in recognition of the outstanding achievements of Masterton-born scientist, Professor Alan MacDiarmid who was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Recipients of the scholarship must be intending to study towards a science or science-related degree.

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