CHLOE Banks "doesn't reminisce" about her fight with leukaemia between 15 months and three years old.
"It happened - and now I'm at a point where I can help other people," Chloe, 17, said.
"I want to contribute to work that's going to improve someone else's life so other people can get to the same point I've gotten to."
Chloe is one of five Newcastle Grammar pupils in the first Higher School Certificate Science Extension course, which requires students to propose and develop a research question, formulate a hypothesis and develop evidence-based responses to create a research report and portfolio.
They work with a mentor with experience in their interest area.
Chloe is collaborating with cancer scientist Matt Dun to research how building a better understanding of the biology of the H3 mutations in paediatric DIPG brain stem tumours can improve treatments that lead to survivability.
"The question I'm exploring is just one small aspect of all of his research into DIPG," Chloe said.
"I'm hoping it helps, even if it's in a tiny way. I'm happy for my work to be a grain of sand that helps form a sand dune."
Lachlan Keane's research was motivated by his father's mountain biking accident, which split his left kidney into five pieces.
"The paramedics told us the most common form of injury for mountain bikers is the lower abdomen.
"We have helmets, chest plates, leg pads and heavy gloves, why isn't there anything specific for this type of injury?
"It was a rough time and we want to help others avoid the same thing."
His mentor is Professor Bill McBride and he will investigate auxetic materials, which become thicker instead of thinner in response to applied force.
"My question is: is there a magnitude of impact force above which auxetic mountain bike protective gear exhibits superior absorption of the applied forces in comparison to traditional protective technologies?" he said.
"I'd like to see a mesh body suit with a covering for each major part of the upper body."
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Jackson McRory is investigating triple negative breast cancer, which has a 12 month life expectancy if chemotherapy is ineffective. His mentor is Laureate Professor Rodney Scott.
"I'll be doing a statistical analysis of secondary data from tumour cells, lymph nodes and adjacent cells and gene expression and looking for correlations," he said.
"The ultimate goal is targeted medicine that is tailored to every single person and more effective.
"Even if it's a drop in the ocean, if it helps another scientist with their research it's a win."
Nick McGrath is testing the "preconceived perception" that natural surfboard wax is better for the environment than traditional microcrystaline wax or paraffin.
His mentor is Professor Scott Donne.
He will test which wax decomposes more - and what other factors need to be considered for one to be deemed more environmentally friendly.
Lachlan Harbury, whose mentor is teacher Chris Wyatt, will investigate whether timber or polystyrene beehives are more effective at regulating the internal temperature at 37 degrees - and why.