17-year-old Essi Paunisaari likes diving, and water has also had a special significance to her life. Essi says that linking science to her hobby has made it easier for her to understand the chemical and biological aspects of water.
17-year-old Essi Paunisaari lives in Espoo, a town next to the capital of Finland, Helsinki. She studies at the local Olari high school, and has focused her studies on languages, biology, and chemistry.
“I’d assume that because of my diving hobby, biology and chemistry have become my main areas of interests in science,” she says and adds that connecting science to every day life and activities makes it more understandable.
“I also love different languages, new cultures and getting to know people from all around the world,” Essi says. Over a year ago, she heard about MY Camp from her mother, who had come across a link to MY Camp’s website.
“I’m very interested in environmental issues and climate change so I thought I’d give it a try.” She made it through to the second stage of the application process of MY Camp 2010 but was not chosen.
“This year I applied again because in my opinion MY Camp is a great way to share opinions and ideas about science and mathematics with other young people,” Essi says.
She expects to get many new friends with whom to engage into conversations about water treatment and resources, or environmental issues in general. “Though we might not agree in all matters, still the passion to science unites us,” she ponders.
Essi is in MY Camp’s Water theme group. “Water has had a great impact on my life,” she says.
In her project plan, Essi studies a chemical method to measure the quantity of arsenic in water with so-called arsenic sticks. “This invention would be very easy and inexpensive to use and it does not require high technology,” she says. “The global significance was also important to me in this project. I wanted to come up with an idea that everybody could use.”
Essi is also interested in evolution, and she looks forward to the high school course on biochemistry, too. “I don’t know yet what I want to study after high school because I have so many areas of interest,” she says. However, studying abroad appeals to her, and she will spend next school year as an exchange student in Germany.
For her future career, Essi would like to combine the international aspect with biology and chemistry. “There is always a need for new chemical and biological innovations,” she says and adds that she is interested in positions where crisis management is required, and would like to be part of the global sustainable development.
During her spare time, Essi likes to organize different events. She also teaches diving for kids, and likes dancing and Zumba. “Dynamic and fast activities interest me. We only live once so why hold back?” Essi says.
Essi hasn’t got much time to relax because she is involved in so many activities and also tries to study hard, but when there is extra time unwind, she likes to hang out with her friends, paint, and read books.
Have a look at Essi’s project plan.
Visit also Millennium Youth Camp’s website.