Award winners pose with their spoils and Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete, Honourable Minister for Health & Medical Services.
Four secondary school students who scored the national highest points in the Chemical Society of the South Pacific (CSSP), Chem Quiz Competition walked away with awards at The University of the South Pacific’s Laucala Campus on 31 August 2019.
They were Inayah Ali, Year 10 of Natabua High School; Gerard Funivai, Year 11 of Marist Brothers High; Safiya Siddiqa Ali, Year 12 of Nasinu Muslim College and Arishneel Sagar Narayan, Year 13 of Labasa College.
Winners for the Bio Battle were SSKMC in third place, Votualevu College, second and Rishikul Sanatan College in first place.
For the Chem Battle, winners were Bhawani Dayal College in third place, MGM High in second place and Rishikul Sanatan College coming out winners.
Dr Francis Mani, CSSP President welcomed students, staff and their respective families and extended a special acknowledgement to the Chief Guest, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete, Honourable Minister for Health & Medical Services.
While officiating at the ceremony, Dr Waqainabete said he was pleased to be at the event considering that he was a former student of science.
He acknowledged the CSSP and USP’s School of Biological & Chemical Sciences for the opportunity to attend.
“It is wonderful to know that you have set yourselves a career, mind and goals and are thinking about making science as one of those areas you want to pursue,” the Honourable Minister told the students.
“As a surgeon, I had to think like a scientist in the work that I used to do. Everything that is around us has a scientific component to it, especially chemistry in the many things that we are a part of. So you can see that science indeed plays a very important role,” he said.
Hon Waqainabete encouraged the increased fostering and application of chemical sciences in Fiji and the South Pacific with the view that the region becomes a haven of knowledge in the field of sciences.
“Chemistry is an ever growing science today! Understanding basic chemistry concepts is important for almost every profession,” he said.
“You will often hear your teachers say that chemistry is part of everything in our lives. They are absolutely correct. Every material in existence is made up of matter, even our own bodies,” he added.
Every year, the Society hosts science competitions comprising the Titration Competition, ChemBattle Competition, BioBattle, and ChemQuiz Competition. On 15 June 2019, the preliminary rounds of the competition were conducted at the USP Laucala Campus for the Suva Schools, Nadi Muslim College and Xavier College for the Western schools and Labasa Sangam College for the Northern Schools. In this round of competition, the qualifying schools were selected for the finals, which was held on Saturday 31 August 2019, prior to the awards function.
The students from the winning schools were presented with prizes and certificates to commemorate their achievements.
Mr Kunal Singh, CSSP Vice-President explained that the event is hosted to acknowledge the effort and time invested by all teachers and students who participated and also to set a platform to encourage students to engage more extensively in the field of science as a whole.
The CSSP was inaugurated in 1985 and since its inception, the Society has been responsible for promoting Chemistry in the Pacific Region. This has been achieved through symposiums, outreach activities and mostly through regional science competitions for the high school students.
One of the Society’s objectives include to foster and encourage the growth and application of such science by the dissemination of chemical knowledge within the South Pacific.
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