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Sydney trip a real treat for Chanell

Wednesday, 11th April, 2012

“COUNTING THE DAYS”: Chanell Semmens, 9, is going to Sydney for the Dr Veronica James Science Challenge. “COUNTING THE DAYS”: Chanell Semmens, 9, is going to Sydney for the Dr Veronica James Science Challenge.

By Kurtis Eichler

Hearing-impaired student Chanell Semmens will fly off to Sydney soon to attend the exclusive Dr Veronica James Science Challenge, and she just can’t wait.

The challenge is limited to only 100 students with hearing problems from around the nation aged seven to 14.

The Broken Hill Quota Club is sponsoring the Burke Ward student’s trip which includes registration, three nights’ accommodation, airfares and expenses.

Quota President, Pam Odgers, said the program was beneficial for country youngsters because it helped them understand how many other kids lived with a disability.

“It is an opportunity for hearing-impaired students of all abilities to explore the world of science,” Mrs Odgers said.

“In the past some of the lessons have been photography, first aid, balloon science, weather, chocolate rocks, chemistry and lung dissection.”

Mrs Odgers said that the challenge had also “broadened the parent’s perspective” about how much their child can achieve.

Chanell is the seventh local girl to attend the challenge and she will be accompanied by her mother Katrina Semmens.

Ms Semmens said she was “excited” at the prospect of her daughter meeting other children with a hearing disability.

“She can’t wait. She’s counting down the days,” she told the BDT.

It will also be the first time the pair have travelled on a commercial aircraft.

“We’ve been on one of the Angel Flight planes but not one of these big ones,” Ms Semmens said.

Chanell has worn a hearing aid for almost three years and has been struggling with her hearing since she was 18 months old.

“This trip will definitely help her understand what the hearing disability is,” said Ms Semmens. “That’s the main concept.”

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