A PASSION for science has rewarded The Armidale School Year 10 student Mehdi Ahsan with selection into the state final of a prestigious national science competition.
Out of more than 700 students from across NSW that entered the Australian Brain Bee competition by completing an online test at school, Mehdi ranked in the top 85 students and has been selected for the state finals in Sydney on Thursday.
The Australian competition, for Year 10 students, is a division of International Brain Bee, a world-wide neuroscience competition for high school students founded in 1999.
The competition aims to encourage students to learn about the brain, capture their imaginations and inspire them to pursue neuroscience careers in order to help treat and find cures for neurological and psychological disorders.
"I had to study material that was provided by the competition which were then tested on. I've got my sights on studying to be a doctor and neuroscience is an area of interest to me - this is the biggest step towards that so far for me," Mehdi said.
At the state final, to be held at the University of NSW, competitors will participate in two rounds of live questioning to determine the state champion and engage in activities to educate them about neuroscience and associated research.
Mehdi says there is also family pride at stake - his elder brother Ali placed fourth in the state final in 2013.
"I'm looking forward to it and of course hoping that Ali's experience will be a help," Mehdi said.