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Australian science star shines overseas

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article image Amy Rose with Somsak Samanwong, a scientist from Thailand, studying the impact of the Diamondback Moth on a broccoli plant

The Dow AgroSciences Travelling Scholarship Program took Queensland high school student Amy Rose to New Zealand to work with top agricultural research scientists from around the world.

During her work placement at Dow AgroSciences’ Waireka Field Research Station in New Zealand last week, Amy Rose discovered the world of agricultural science as an exciting new career option. Amy spent the week assisting the scientists with research on new crop protection products critical to the future of Australia’s agricultural industry.

Amy assisted in data collection, helped plan trials on emerging fungicide and insecticide products in wheat and vegetable plants, observed trial applications and tests using new technologies, and assisted in trial reporting. It provided her with valuable hands-on experience and knowledge that she’ll be able to use throughout her education and future career.

Amy was excited to see the practical applications of the methodologies she had been learning in the classroom. She discovered how one could control most things in an experiment in the classroom, but there were so many additional variables like the weather in the field that can’t be controlled. Seeing how the researchers worked to limit the impact of these variables on the test was a great learning experience for Amy.

Amy was selected for the placement at the international research facility as part of the PICSE/ Dow AgroSciences Travelling Scholarship Program, an initiative developed through a partnership between Dow AgroSciences and the Primary Industry Centre for Science Education (PICSE).

The Travelling Scholarship Program aims to introduce the world of agriculture to students who may have never before considered it a viable career option – as was the case for Amy, who is currently in year 11 at Pittsworth High school in Queensland.

Having focussed only on engineering science because of its application to everyday life, Amy realised from her time with Dow AgroSciences, how the agricultural applications of science play a very big role in everyday lives.

Though there is a shortage of young people entering into the agricultural sector, Field Station Manager Brian Husband said that working with students like Amy makes him optimistic about the future.

Now back home in Pittsworth, Queensland, Amy plans to spread her love of science among her fellow classmates and aims to return to Waireka one day as a professional ag chemist.

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