Lismore school produces maths whiz
By NERIDA BLOK
YOUNG Charles Sanderson is an Einstein in the making.
The 16-year-old student from Richmond River High took out first place in the 2005 Australian Financial Literacy Assessment competition with a perfect score of 100 per cent.
Charles beat 35,000 students across the country, including the rest of his school year, when he sat the one-and-a-halfhour exam in October.
Eleven students from his school also received high distinctions.
Charles was presented with a medal for his efforts during a school assembly held in sweltering conditions yesterday.
The exam, run by the University of New South Wales and sponsored by the Commonwealth Bank, aimed to 'test one's knowledge on various financial questions'.
"Basically it was an exam about money issues that would affect us in future years," said Charles, removing the formality of his grey school blazer.
"There were different questions on mobile phones, rent, buying cars. It kind of tested your skills for your financial security."
Charles said he felt 'pretty good' about his achievement, despite having had only three days in which to prepare.
"We didn't really know we were going to do it. We were told a few days earlier," he said.
"I suppose I looked through my maths and commerce books a bit."
While Charles said he enjoyed maths for its structure 'compared with English' and because there was 'always a right answer', his talents and interests were diverse.
Next year the acting School Representative Council president and bass guitarist intends to study three unit English and modern history, as well as physics, chemistry, software design and three unit maths.
Charles said he hoped to eventually study zoology or marine biology.
His maths teacher, Chris Mills of Lismore, described Charles as 'keen and interested'.
"He has been consistent for his whole school life," he said. "His success hasn't just been overnight."