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Three students to represent MUN at international youth science forum

By Kelly Foss

Three students from Memorial University will be attending the 50th annual London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) in Europe this summer. The event will bring together over 300 science students from nearly 60 countries around the world.

Stephen Coombs, Christina Price and Matthew McDonald will travel overseas in late July to participate in a program of events covering all the major branches of science. It will include lectures from leading scientists and researchers and provide opportunities to visit a wide range of university and industrial research laboratories and local tourist sites.

The theme for this year’s forum, “Engineering the Future”, will explore the directions and challenges of science over the coming years.

Since 1974, Memorial University has annually presented between one and three awards consisting of conference fees, room and board, airfares and other expenses to selected first year science students. This year three students were chosen based on their application, high school and university grades and a brief informal interview by MUN’s LIYSF committee.

Stephen Coombs, a native of Bay Roberts and Fortune, is a first year pre-pharmacy student. He would encourage all first year science students to consider applying next year.

“This is going to help me no matter which area of science I end up studying,” he said. “I’ve learned so much this past year and to be able to take time out of my summer to go to London and do this, to meet with people from all over the world with the same interests as me, it’s just the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Christina Price recently declared a major in Chemistry and is currently working as a research assistant in the department for the summer. She is considering giving an optional presentation at the forum on the research work she’s been involved in personally.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to meet so many people from all around the world and being exposed to new cultures,” she said. “But listening to world class scientists and going to talks about different areas of science, you realize how interesting it all is.”

Matt McDonald, a Deer Lake native, intends to do a joint honours in pure math and physics and says he was “pleasantly surprised” to hear he would be going to the forum.

I’m interested in science and this sounds really fun – you get to learn a lot,” he said. “So to find out I have a free trip to go learn about this stuff is pretty great. I’d like to learn as much as I can. I’m sure it’s going to be a great opportunity. I can’t wait to go.”