From the Chief Executive Officer

As we head into the last few weeks of 2016, here at the NYSF we are ramping up for our January Sessions – NYSF 2017. All of the student participants have been selected for the two programs held at The Australian National University, the first of which begins on 2 January. So there’s no real break for our corporate team and the brilliant student staff leaders, who have been training throughout the year for the task ahead.

Our sincere thanks to our Rotary colleagues across the country for their support and hard work in selecting and supporting our participants in their attendance at the NYSF. The Rotary Orientation sessions have been across the country in September and October, providing an opportunity for this year’s cohort to get together pre-session and for them and their families to learn more about the NYSF and what they can expect when they arrive in Canberra.

So what can they expect? This year, our Programs Team has been planning for six science tours and visits for each participant, in their interest group – over the two sessions, that amounts to about 180 tours provided by our program supporters at the various institutions and businesses in the region, including the ANU, the University of Canberra, the CSIRO, and the Canberra Institute of Technology just to name a few. As well as those tours and visits, the participants will go to lectures given by leading Australian scientists, hear about future study options from our university partners, and the possible career paths they might consider from our business partners. At the Australian Academy of Science, they will learn about its role and resources, as well as the history of the iconic building – The Shine Dome. And at the Science Dinner, held this year at the National Museum of Australia, our guest speakers will captivate with insights on their research activities and their impacts, and their own careers in science. Our popular Alumni Lectures will be open to the wider NYSF community this January, featuring two former NYSF/National Science Summer School (NSSS) participants whose stories and experiences are excellent illustrations of the variety of opportunities available from further study and careers in STEM.

Last week, we launched the NYSF 2017, program following the announcement from the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, that the NYSF will receive $600,000 over four years through the National Science Innovation Agenda (NISA).  The funds are allocated for three specific activities – the expansion to a third NYSF program to be run in January in a second location; the support and expansion of the National Science Teachers Summer School; and the establishment of an Equity Fund that will encourage the participation of young people from more diverse backgrounds in the NYSF January Sessions.

The NYSF Chair, Andrew Metcalfe AO, welcomed the funding from the NISA program, saying, “These additional NYSF initiatives are important platforms in our engagement strategy to increase the understanding of the Australian community about the possible options for young people in STEM study and careers.”

Our involvement in the PwC 21st Century Minds program this year has been rewarding on many levels – the expanded networks, the skills development, and most importantly, the support from our Canberra PwC mentor team to complete our business plan, have been the key benefits. We look forward to the final program workshops in November, and to continuing to engage with the wider STEM outreach network as well as local and national PwC stakeholders into the future. PwC should be congratulated for its vision and leadership in raising the profile of investment in STEM for the future of the Australian economy, and perhaps more importantly, our community.

Finally, last week we also welcomed new funding partner IP Australia for the NSYF 2017 January program. Patricia Kelly, Director General of IP Australia, emphasised the benefits that the new partnership will bring for NYSF students and the wider Australian community.

“IP Australia is pleased to partner with NYSF to further support innovation and commercialisation, both fundamental to the role we play in the Australian community,” she said. (Read more)

I thank all of our funding partners – including major partner, Lockheed Martin Australia – whose support, both financial and strategic, means that the NYSF is able to continue to offer transformative STEM experiences for young Australians to encourage life-long learning.

We are all looking forward to January 2017 and the delivery of another program jam-packed with interesting, engaging and inspiring activities for the 400 young people who are attending, to  show them just what is possible with a career in STEM.

Dr Damien Pearce

Chief Executive Officer

Launch for NYSF 2017

The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) launched its 2017 January programs earlier this month at the Australian National University (ANU).

Andrew Metcalfe, AO, Chair of the NYSF Board said the January program would be better than ever due to the ongoing support of our funding partners and organisations that facilitated the program.  Mr Metcalfe made special mention of the recent funding announcement by Minister Greg Hunt of funding for the NYSF’s activities through the National Innovation Science Agenda (NISA).

NYSF Chair Andrew Metcalfe speaking at the NYSF 2017 launch

NYSF Chair Andrew Metcalfe speaking at the NYSF 2017 launch

Mr Metcalfe also welcomed our newest Funding Partner, IP Australia, who’s Deputy Director General, Ms Deb Anton, also addressed the group underlining the value of supporting the NYSF as a program that attracts Australia’s next generation of leading innovators. “This aligns with IP Australia’s position,“ she said, “as we are at the forefront of innovation in Australia.”

“Supporting new talent will result in a strong, positive impact in securing Australia’s future as a global leader in science and technology.”

Attendees at the launch included representatives from NYSF funding partners, ANU academics and researchers who assist with the delivery of the NYSF program in the form of the lab visits and guest lectures; other facility lab visit and site tour providers; alumni of the NYSF Program, many of whom are students or graduates of the ANU; NYSF Board and Council members; and the NYSF corporate team.

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Dr. Chris Hatherly, Anne MacKay, Daniel Lawson, Emily Rose Rees, Ellen Lynch

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Prof. Jenny Graves, Deb Anton, Dr. Alison Shield

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Alumni Sam Backwell, Laura Wey,                Mitchell de Vries

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Andrew Metcalfe AO and Deb Anton

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Andrew Metcalfe AO and Deb Anton

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Mitchell de Vries, Natalie Williams,                Merryn Fraser

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Rowley Tompsett, Madeline Cooper,             Melanie Tacey

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Ken Maxwell, Dr. Damien Pearce, Jo Hart

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Tony Trumble, Prof. Jenny Graves, Deb Anton, Adrian Hearne, Brody Hannan

All images:  Emma Robertson

Commonwealth funding boost supports future of National Youth Science Forum

The Chair of the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF), Mr Andrew Metcalfe AO today welcomed the announcement from the Honourable Greg Hunt, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science that funding of $600,000 over a four-year period would be provided to the NYSF.

“This funding support from the Commonwealth Government through the National Innovation Science Agenda (NISA) is very welcome and timely,” said Mr Metcalfe. “Having operated for over 30 years, the NYSF has a proven product with more than 10,000 young people progressing through its programs to date. This funding will allow the organisation to widen its offerings.”

“We had almost 1200 applicants in 2015-16 for the NYSF’s Year 12 January program but only 400 places available. This funding will allow us to look at options for offering the program to even more science students wishing to explore their career options in the STEM fields.”

Specifically, Mr Metcalfe said that the NYSF will consider alternate locations to once again deliver a third session of the January program, and meet the significant demand for places. “This will allow us to build on the solid base we currently have through our relationship with our Canberra host university, The Australian National University, which sees 400 students visit their campus each January.”

Some of the NISA funds will also be used to establish an equity fund to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to participate in the NYSF’s January program, and to support the NYSF’s long-running National Science Teachers’ Summer School (NSTSS).

“These additional initiatives are important platforms in our engagement strategy to increase the understanding of the Australian community about the possible options for young people in STEM study and careers,” said Mr Metcalfe.

 

About the NYSF program:

This January, 400 students entering year 12, who have a passion for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects will arrive in Canberra for the NYSF 2017 January Sessions. Throughout the month, over two separate sessions, participants will live on campus at our host university, The Australian National University (ANU), visit local facilities, take part in science tours and activities, listen to fascinating lectures and talks from leading Australian researchers, take part in debates and speed-date events with our funding partners, and have fun at a range of social activities – all designed to facilitate the development of their first professional networks.

From Albany to Ararat, from Broken Hill to Bundaberg , the participants in the NYSF 2017 will arrive in Canberra keen to learn about possible tertiary study options, and the potential for future careers that arise from those study choices. And they will go home, ready to embark on their final year of secondary schooling, with renewed enthusiasm.

Over its thirty-year history the NYSF has a proven track record in providing our future scientists, engineers, technology practitioners and mathematicians a program that offers insights and opportunities to discuss the variety of study and career options available to them in STEM fields.

Current NYSF funding partners are listed here: http://www.nysf.edu.au/partners

 

Additional background

In 2015-16 the NYSF

  • Attracted approximately 1200 applicants
  • More than 600 were assessed as suitable to attend the program
  • 400 places were available for students to attend
  • 60 panels of volunteers from 21 Rotary Districts across Australia selected students to attend
  • 196 science visits and site tours were conducted in January 2016
  • 23 Next Step visits were conducted in major partner centres during school holidays in 2016
  • 43% of our NYSF 2016 participants came from rural and regional areas of Australia, reflecting our national reach, facilitated by Rotary
  • 59% of our NYSF 2016 participants were female
  • NYSF’s established national networks allows it to reach Australian schools and their students

 

www.nysf.edu.au

Further information:  Amanda Caldwell, NYSF 0410 148 173

NYSF welcomes IP Australia as new funding partner

The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) is pleased to announce that IP Australia will be a new funding partner supporting the NYSF and its activities from the NYSF 2017 January Sessions.

Andrew Metcalfe AO, Chair of the NYSF Board, welcomed the new partnership, saying support from organisations such as IP Australia is essential if the NYSF is to continue to provide students with high quality programs in the STEM education environment.

“Partnerships with organisations such as IP Australia are crucial for the NYSF’s ability to offer extension activities that encourage our leading young science students to continue their studies on to university and ultimately into careers,” he said.

“It’s clear that an organisation such as IP Australia would have an interest in reaching out to the participants of our program – our future scientists and technologists – to both educate about the importance of intellectual property (IP) management, and to promote their organisation as a possible future employer. We appreciate and acknowledge their funding, as we do all of our funding supporters.”

Patricia Kelly, Director General of IP Australia, emphasises the benefits the new partnership will bring for NYSF students and the wider Australian community.

“IP Australia is pleased to partner with NYSF to further support innovation and commercialisation, both fundamental to the role we play in the Australian community,” she said.

“As part of the NYSF 2017 program, students will gain an understanding of how to protect their intellectual property (IP) and recognise the value registered IP rights add to the overall economy.”

“NYSF students are ambitious young Australians who are positioned to be the next generation of leading innovators. We recognise their talents and through this partnership we encourage them to pursue their passion for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).”

“Supporting new talent will result in a strong positive impact in securing Australia’s future as a global leader in science and technology”.

 

About the NYSF program:

This January, 400 students entering year 12, who have a passion for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects will arrive in Canberra for the NYSF 2017 January Sessions. Throughout the month, over two separate sessions, participants will live on campus at our host university, The Australian National University (ANU), visit local facilities, take part in science tours and activities, listen to fascinating lectures and talks from leading Australian researchers, take part in debates and speed-date events with our funding partners, and have fun at a range of social activities – all designed to facilitate the development of their first professional networks.

From Albany to Ararat, from Broken Hill to Bundaberg , the participants in the NYSF 2017 will arrive in Canberra keen to learn about possible tertiary study options, and the potential for future careers that arise from those study choices. And they will go home, ready to embark on their final year of secondary schooling, with renewed enthusiasm.

Over its thirty-year history the NYSF has a proven track record in providing our future scientists, engineers, technology practitioners and mathematicians a program that offers insights and opportunities to discuss the variety of study and career options available to them in STEM fields.

Current NYSF funding partners are listed here: http://www.nysf.edu.au/partners

 

Additional background

In 2015-16 the NYSF

  • Attracted approximately 1200 applicants
  • More than 600 were assessed as suitable to attend the program
  • 400 places were available for students to attend
  • 60 panels of volunteers from 21 Rotary Districts across Australia selected students to attend
  • 196 science visits and site tours were conducted in January 2016
  • 23 Next Step visits were conducted in major partner centres during school holidays in 2016
  • 43% of our NYSF 2016 participants came from rural and regional areas of Australia, reflecting our national reach, facilitated by Rotary
  • 59% of our NYSF 2016 participants were female
  • NYSF’s established national networks allows it to reach Australian schools and their students

 

 

Further information:  Amanda Caldwell, NYSF 0410 148 173

 

IP Australia: What Students Need to Know

The NYSF welcomes IP Australia as our newest funding partner for the NYSF 2017 program. NYSF participants in the upcoming January Session will be able to learn more about this organisation first hand during Partners’ Day and through a site visit.

But as a bit of background reading, IP Australia has provided the following information:

ip-australia-logo-with-booksIP Australia

“IP Australia is the national body that administers intellectual property (IP) rights and legislation, and provides educational material on patentstrademarksdesigns, plant breeder’s rights, copyright and trade secrets to the general public.

Inventions, brands and designs can grow to become financially significant personal or commercial assets and should be protected so ownership can be established and proven.

IP is everywhere and simply refers to an expression of an idea in some form. Everyone interacts with products that have protected intellectual property status on a daily basis: from the brands of technology we use, to the logos on our sneakers, to the bikes we ride, to the videos we watch online.

As a workplace, IP Australia attracts highly intelligent individuals who embrace an inventive spirit and appreciate considering the value of ideas, brands and designs. By becoming a Patent Examiner or Trademark Examiner you could see the latest cutting edge technologies and developments before they hit the market. For example, companies such as Google or Apple apply directly to IP Australia to seek protection for their new inventions and brands.

NYSF participants who plan to undertake tertiary studies in engineering or science are encouraged to consider career opportunities with IP Australia upon completion of their degree. To explore these opportunities please visit www.ipaustralia.gov.au or connect via Facebook or Twitter.”

 

Adult volunteer roles for NYSF 2017 January Sessions

The NYSF is seeking expressions of interest from volunteers keen to participate in the NYSF 2017 January Sessions  – filling the pastoral care roles of Mum/Dad or Aunt/Uncle. This would be a great opportunity for alumni who have finished their tertiary studies, have been working for a while, and would like to return to NYSF and give back to the program, or for Rotarians who are keen to learn more about how the NYSF works. However, you don’t have to be a current or former member of Rotary to apply.

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See the full position description below (including dates for 2017). If you’re interested in applying, also in the document is an application form, which is due by 31 October. Further information contact madeline.cooper@nysf.edu.au

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Please feel free to share this with any friends or family who you think might make a great Mum/Dad or Aunt/Uncle!

A few places left in NYSF’s National Science Teachers Summer School (NSTSS) 2017

NYSF has a few places left for teachers to attend the NYSF National Science Teachers Summer School (NSTSS) 2017 which is being held again with the support of our host university partner, The Australian National University, in Canberra from 9-13 January 2017.

Participants will visit world leading research labs and facilities at the ANU and around the region, hear from organisations developing resources that support class-room teaching, and network to learn from an engaged cohort of peers.

The NYSF is proud to be continuing its delivery of this program, developed over many years’ experience. We invite you to join us in January, for STEM fun in the sun!

Further information is at http://www.nysf.edu.au/other/teachers

 

Call for Volunteers: Speed-date-a-Scientist – January 2017

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Would you like an opportunity to share your passion and experience in STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) with young people interested in a career in STEM themselves? Perhaps you studied a STEM degree but are now using your skills and talents in a different field. Are you an alumni of the NYSF/National Science Summer School and would like to re-connect with the program?

Either way we invite you to join our Speed-Date-a-Scientist sessions in January to share your STEM journey so far with the next generation of  STEM students.

 

img_4763What’s involved?

In an informal setting, you’ll talk to a small group of students about your career path (approx. 10-12 conversations lasting 5-7 mins). The students might ask you about your study, fields of research, and current role, how you got to where you are today, and where you might be heading. You won’t need to pre-prepare anything, just turn up ready to answer the questions the NYSF participants have for you.

When & Where?

There will be two separate events and opportunities to be involved. We welcome you to join for both, or just one of the dates. Please click the dates below that you would like to attend to complete your registration. If you want to come to both sessions, please complete the separate registrations. You’ll find more info about the event on the registration page too.

Register here:

Session A – Tues, 10 January 2017 – 10:30am – 12:15pm

Session C – Tues, 24 January 2017 – 10:30am – 12:15pm

Location: Burgmann College, Australian National University

NYSF supports alumnae at Women in STEMM Symposium

Five NYSF alumnae accompanied Madeline Cooper, NYSF’s Manager, Programs, to the Connecting Women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Maths) symposium held in Melbourne in September. The event aimed to share best practices and policies in academia and industry as well as featuring leading initiatives that aim to foster an environment where more women in STEMM can lead and excel.

Over the two days there were a range of panels and speakers, focusing on topics such as entrepreneurship, how to engage girls in STEMM, and the variety of career paths open to women who are interested in Science.

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Anne-Aelis, Tayla, Karli, Ellen and Charlotte represented the NYSF at the Women in STEMM Symposium in September

“Roughly 60% of those who attend the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) January Sessions are female – young women who are deeply interested and engaged in STEM,” said Ms Cooper. “Attending the conference gave some great ideas on topics to incorporate into our educational programs so that we can better support these young people in their future careers, as well as an overview of the current ‘state of play’ in STEM research and industry.”

“It’s important for the NYSF to be engaged in this space, and to make connections with people and organisations who are similarly committed to empowering young people, particularly young women, to pursue careers in STEM. Attending events such as the Women in STEMM National Symposium helps us do that.”

The full program can be viewed at https://womeninscienceaust.org/national-symposium/program/.

NYSF 2012 alumna, Anne-Aelis Perfrement, says that she took a lot away from attending the symposium. “I’d like to thank NYSF for sponsoring NYSF alumnae such as myself to attend the event. It was wonderful to make new friends and reconnect with other NYSFers.”

Anne-Aelis added, “The Symposium broke down many of the preconceived notions I held of women in STEMM and their career paths. I now have much more confidence going forward, as I saw with my own eyes that there is a will to help one another and a will to build Australia. As a young woman, this is the strongest message I took from the Symposium.”

Karli Williamson, NSYF 2014 alumna, saw the importance of encouraging more women and girls to engage in STEM related fields during their education and later on in the workforce.

“When so many health related issues are killing thousands of Australians each year, and putting a larger and larger dent in the economy, why wouldn’t we want Australia’s brightest and most innovative young people to study STEM? But instead, we hear that girls are turning away from STEM because they lack the confidence to study subjects that seem challenging, and fall into humanities-based university degrees, and hence, workplaces.”

“(You should) encourage the girls in your life to participate in STEM programs and subjects. If people don’t acknowledge the gender disparity in STEM, call them out. If you know a woman in science, be her champion,” Ms Williamson said.

Further reading: Professor Ian Chubb’s AC MSc DPhil (Oxford) FTSE, FACE, FRSN, take on the gender inequalities that women face in STEM disciplines, featured on the Women in STEMM Australia site.

https://womeninscienceaust.org/2016/09/09/she-did-it/

 

NYSF supports Ecolinc seminars to target girls interested in STEM study

Twice a year, Ecolinc, the Science and Technology Innovations Centre in outer Melbourne, runs a very successful program – Emerging STEM for Women. Participants are girls in years 9 and 10 from both government and independent schools and the program includes presentations from guest speakers about studying particular areas of science, workshops, and a speed-dating session.

In October, the NYSF was able to support the program through a number of ways. NYSF alumna, Rebecca Johnson, gave the afternoon keynote talk about her STEM study pathway since attending the NYSF in 2009. She also attended the London International Youth Science Forum, has completed her undergraduate studies, and is currently studying for her PhD, based at the CSIRO.

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NYSF 2009 alumna, Rebecca Johnson            image courtesy Ecolinc

Meg Lowry, who will be the NYSF 2017 Session A Student Chief of Staff, is currently studying at the University of Melbourne. She talked to the participants about the NYSF and how to apply for the January program opportunity, and some of her own experiences that attending has offered.

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NYSF 2013 alumna, Meg Lowry                        image courtesy Ecolinc

Other NYSF alumni participated in the speed-dating event, sharing their insights and knowledge with the students – we thank them for their willingness to be involved to promote STEM to the next generation of young women.

For further information about the Ecolinc Emerging STEM for Women program go to http://www.ecolinc.vic.edu.au