Perimeter Institute announced the recipient of the 2009 Luke Santi Memorial Award for Student Achievement at a ceremony held during Perimeter Institute’s recent Quantum to Cosmos: Ideas for the Future Festival (Q2C) on October 25, 2009. Thomas Henbest, a first-year student at the Queen’s University in Kingston, studying Honours Science, was recognized during the event held in the Mike Lazaridis Theatre of Ideas at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario.
The award is dedicated to the memory of Luke Santi. A student of Resurrection High School in Kitchener, Ontario, Luke actively volunteered with Perimeter Institute's Outreach Department, assisting with the popular monthly Public Lecture Series and EinsteinFest events.
In 2007, Luke was selected to attend the International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP) at PI. While courageously battling a form of brain cancer, he shared his passion and enthusiasm for physics with fellow ISSYP students, teachers and staff. Luke passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 18, 2007, at the age of 16.
The award is presented annually to a Canadian student who demonstrates Luke’s many qualities - academic performance, interest in science, extra-curricular activities and volunteering - and has begun post-secondary education in Physical Sciences at a Canadian university.
This year's recipient, Thomas Henbest, is a former student of North Dundas District High School in Chesterville, Ontario. Among Thomas’ many accomplishments, he was actively involved in high school extra-curriculars such as Student Council where he was the School Prime Minister, a member of the Extreme Science Brigade which conducted experiments and shared these with the school through demonstrations and presentations. Thomas was a member of the school’s Reach for the Top team and acted as a “soils specialist” at Environthon, achieving 2nd place in the province at this environmental competition. Thomas was an International Climate Champion and was one of two Canadian representatives selected by the British Council to attend an international youth conference on climate change in Edinburgh, Scotland. He competed in the Fermat Mathematics Competition at the University of Waterloo and received a school Gold Medal and Certificate of Distinction for ranking in the top 25% of all participants. Thomas has assisted in his school community by tutoring other students in mathematics, physics, chemistry and history and by raising funds for various charities such as CHEO, Free the Children and Canadian Cancer Society. In his community, Thomas gave much of his time for local theatre, sports organizations and local church groups.
Mr. Brent Daye, Physics Teacher at his school has said, “Tom is the most positively extraordinary student that I have ever had the pleasure of teaching during my 12 years as a high school teacher. He is a brilliant individual whose achievements both inside and outside the classroom are remarkable, impacting the school, community and society in general.”
Thomas’ many accomplishments were honoured at an awards ceremony held prior to the Q2C Festival Lecture with Dr. Richard Epp on "The Physics of Innovation". After the public lecture, Thomas and his family enjoyed a special celebratory lunch with the Santi family.
For more information about The Luke Santi Award for Student Achievement, please visit http://www.lukesantiaward.ca/.