Dengue doesn't dampen teen's drive to complete exams and curiosity in science

SINGAPORE - Two days before the start of her A level examinations in November last year, Tan Wei Ying Kate, 19, came down with a 40 degrees C fever and was hospitalised for dengue fever after completing her first paper.

Dengue did not deter her, and she sat for two papers during her stay. She retained her academic curiosity and recalled her fascination when the doctor explained how the dengue test worked.

"(Biology) is really important in understanding our everyday lives and how things affect us," she said.

The Raffles Institution graduate's keen interest in the applications of science in real life has spurred Kate to further her studies in biology.

One of the five recipients of the Economic Development Board scholarships given out on Wednesday (July 13), Kate will be reading a double major in cell and molecular biology and economics at University of California, Berkeley

The scholarships were presented by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean at the Conrad Centennial Hotel.

Speaking at the scholarship ceremony, Mr Teo said Singapore's well-educated population, geographical position and openness to the world to investments, people and ideas are "precious assets".

"We should capitalise on them to strengthen our position as a good place to do business, and an attractive investment destination, to provide opportunities and good jobs for Singaporeans," he added.