During the July holidays, I was given the incredible opportunity to attend the 2021 RASNZ (Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand) Astronomy Conference as a result of my scholarship. The conference was held in Wellington in coordination with the Wellington Astronomical Society.
To say it was an amazing experience would be an understatement! Being one of the lucky 20 SWAPA students (Students with a Passion for Astronomy) to attend the conference definitely solidified my interest in astronomy. During the 3 day trip I was able to converse with amazing academics and astronomers alike, such as renowned astrophysicist, Dr. Héloïse Stevance. The talks that especially interested me were on ’understanding the early universe’, ‘dark secrets in close binaries’, ‘understanding the stars that make ripples in gravity’ and many others. All the lectures were mind-boggling to say the least, but definitely made my curiosity grow for the wonders beyond what the universe truly entails.
Overall, I am grateful to have attended this conference and am really happy that opportunities in STEM like this are available to our bright students!
Ally Basa, Year 13