Melissa Hoffman, from Woodenbong Central School, has won a $4000 Public Education Foundation Stellar Astronomy scholarship.
Melissa Hoffman, from Woodenbong Central School, has won a $4000 Public Education Foundation Stellar Astronomy scholarship.

Student reaches heavenly heights

A STELLAR student is about to put Woodenbong Central School on the galactic map.

Year 11 student Melissa Hoffman has been awarded one of 12 Public Education Foundation Stellar Astronomy scholarships worth around $4000.

The prestigious scholarship runs over two years and includes a telescope, a package from the Powerhouse Museum including a course on how to use a telescope, work experience at the Sydney Observatory, and remote telescope access to the Mt Joytelescope in New Mexico.

Woodenbong State School vice-principal Greg Wilson commended Melissa on her great achievement.

“She’s a very conscientious student and has always been a positive role model for other kids at school,” Mr Wilson said.

“We’re very proud.”

Melissa said she was not expecting to take out a scholarship due to the tough competition, and the news certainly came as a big surprise.

“Over 100 others were considered, so I definitely didn’t think I’d get it,” she said.

As a triplet Melissa said her brothers, who were also talented students, were probably ‘a little bit jealous’, but the entire family was extremely proud and very excited.

Melissa said her penchant for physics arose from a love of maths and discovering how things work.

“I also like astronomy because everything in space is beautiful and mysterious,” she said.

Dr Fred Watson, chairman of the selection panel, said because of Melissa’s impressive achievement in all of her Year 10 subjects it was clear she was destined for an academic future.

Melissa, who wants to be an electrical or a computer engineer, or an astronomer, will receive her scholarship from the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, on March 22 at a ceremony held at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.



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