Science student profile – Emily Walter

Written by Michaela Brighella. Posted in Newsletter

What do you enjoy most about science?

I like learning new things, and it also helps me understand the world around me. Science provides logic and sense to what otherwise can seem chaotic in the world. Not only does it answer questions, but with every question answered more questions arise to explore, solve and discover.

When did you first start enjoying and feeling connected to science?

I’ve always loved science, but I think I began really enjoying it in Year 7 when I did the UTAS Science Investigation Competition for the first time – I really liked coming up with an idea for an experiment and then doing it, and talking to scientists about what you found.

What’s your favourite area of science?

That’s a really hard question! But if I had to pick, I’d say biology and environmental science.

What’s been your favourite science experiment or discovery so far?

Last year, I made compost out of old fish remains (it smelt great!) and grew plants in it. I wanted to see if fish waste could have a practical use in agriculture, as it’s currently a major environmental problem in the marine industry, with 10 million tonnes of fish waste being dumped into the ocean every year, which can be harmful to aquatic life. I found that some plants, including snow peas grew twice as fast in the fish compost compared to normal soil.

What’s the thing you’ve learnt in science that has always stayed with you? What’s been a key part of your learning in science?

Earlier this year, we did a unit on genetics and the nature versus nurture debate. I really liked finding out why we look how we look and act how we act.

Which scientist inspires you and why?

Elizabeth Blackburn. She’s the first Australian and Tasmanian women to win a Nobel prize for discovering the enzyme telomerase.

Do you want to study science and explore this as a career path? If yes, what will be your main focus?

I’m not quite sure what I want to do when I’m older, but definitely something involving science! I am considering veterinary science or medical research.

What would be your dream science experience or job?

I love animals, so being a veterinarian would be amazing. I’m also into neuroscience, so I would also be interested in doing something involving the brain.

What advice would you give to other aspiring science students?

My advice would be to enter the UTAS Science investigations. It’s a really good opportunity to plan and research an experiment that interests you, make a board and then talk to scientists about what you found out. There’s also a lot of other really good competitions and experiences available to enter throughout the year.

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