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Public school students dominate STEM honours in HSC

Top of the class recognised for their outstanding success, with 46 First in Course awards to public school students in this year's HSC.

A large group of students hold their HSC First in Course certificates

Hard work pays off. NSW public school students at the First in Course ceremony.

Public school students have scooped the pool in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, taking out the HSC First in Course in 11 of the 17 STEM subjects on offer this year.

Raymond Li from James Ruse Agricultural High School topped Chemistry and Mathematics Extension 1 while his classmate Phillip Liang was first in Mathematics Extension 2.

Year 11 Sydney Boys High School student Christopher Ta came joint first in Mathematics, while Matthew Tang in Year 12 received the Physics honours.

In the Mathematics General 2 course, first in course was jointly awarded to 10 students including Lachlan Willingham (Elderslie High School), Natalie Cox (Newcastle High School), Amelia Reeve, (Northern Beaches Secondary College Manly Campus) and Jaselyn Cremen (Pittwater High School).

Raymond Li was surprised when the call came through to say he had topped the state in two of his HSC subjects.

“It was a shock, I definitely didn’t expect to come first in two subjects,” he said.

Fellow student Phillip Liang was well pleased with his first place.

“In mathematics you usually know when you’ve done well and I came out of the exam feeling very confident,” he said.

“I put in quite a lot of mathematics study working through textbooks and past papers.”

Both students credit success in their exams to completing past papers.

Others coming first in STEM subjects were:

  • William Gong, Baulkham Hills High School, for Engineering Studies
  • Sinha Mrinaank, Chatswood High School, Software Design and Development
  • Sean Wibisono, North Sydney Boys High School, Information Processes and Technology
  • Hannah Jenkins, Elderslie High School, Textiles and Design
  • Elliot Malyon, Sydney Secondary College, Blackwattle Bay Campus, Design and Technology.

Education minister Rob Stokes today presented 132 First in Course certificates to 127 students across 118 subjects, of which 61 were languages.

For the first time 10 students finished equal first in a subject (Mathematics General 2) while three students topped Community and Family Studies, including Asquith Girls High School student Katherine Tejcek.

John Bivell, from Fort Street High School, made the First in Course list for the second year. As a Year 11 student he placed first in Earth and Environmental Science, while this year he topped Economics.

Department of Education students also secured more than one-third of all First in Course citations for languages with Saturday School of Community Languages graduates topping 19 courses and the NSW School of Languages at Randwick securing five first places.

The release of the First in Course list will be followed on Thursday with announcement of the All Round Achievers, Top Achievers, and Distinguished Achievers, and then the release of ATAR scores on Friday.

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