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Science Excellence

Science Excellence

Portland Secondary College student Zak Heppenstall capped off a fantastic year in national testing by accepting the 2015 International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) medal for Science on November 28.

At a presentation ceremony at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Zak was the only Victorian recipient, and just one of five students to be awarded the Year 11 Science medal in Australia.Zak, who attended the ceremony with his parents Martin and Teresa, as well as teacher Mara Satins, was a bit surprised to receive a medal, despite earning his fifth high distinction in as many years."My goal now is to get a sixth high distinction next year for a perfect score," Zak said.The ICAS Science test assesses students’ skills in interpreting and applying data, and incorporates a range of higher order skills.Overall, it covers areas of study including biology and ecology, earth sciences and astronomy, physics and chemistry."I enjoy astronomy, physics and biology."No stranger to performing well in national tests, Zak received a similar medal for mathematics in 2012.

Also earlier this year Zak earned the only perfect score in the inaugural Computational and Algorithmic Thinking test, also run by ICAS.Next year, Zak will be studying Year 12 subjects specialist mathematics, physics and desktop publishing, as well as undertaking work experience in the information technology industry. Zak isn’t too sure on his career path, but has already set a goal for himself."Ideally I’d like to make some discoveries in science."But his science field of endeavour is not yet set, with Zak noting that enjoys all aspects of space travel but is open to study in physics and biology.

 

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Photo courtesy of the Portland Observer.