17yo Auckland Boys' Grammar student wins $50,000 Prime Minister's Future Science Prize

A 17-year-old Auckland Boys' Grammar Student has been honoured with the 2017 Prime Minister's Future Science Prize for his work on collecting fog.

Jonathan Chan's interest in spider webs led him to create web-like nets which use a more efficient mesh and chemical coating than other kinds of fog-collecting machines.

The nets will be useful in developing countries where there is fog but water supply is scarce.

"It's what every scientist wants to do, to have their research applied to real world developments," Mr Chan said.

Jonathan Chan and his fog net.
Jonathan Chan and his fog net. Photo credit: Newshub.

He says he was so surprised to find out he had won the prize, he had to wait for written confirmation to believe it. Now, it's motivated him towards a future in research.

"I think it shows that research is something I am good at, and it drives me towards my goal of applying cutting-edge research to solve real world problems," he said.

"It's a pinnacle of my achievements."

Mr Chan is now enrolled at the University of Auckland to study biochemistry. He eventually wants to help design new kinds of drug therapies.

He says the $50,000 prize will used to pay for his tertiary studies.