ANU features NYSF alumna in video on studying science

NYSF student Claire Taylor and her family from Guyra in New South Wales were recently featured in this video about studying science at the Australian National University, “Making a move”.

Sam Hutton, former president of the Rotary Club of Guyra, which supported Claire’s application to attend the NYSF says, “Claire’s big shift was going to the National Youth Science Forum.”

Science Teachers Summer School nominations

Nominations have been coming in from teachers of science around the country, keen to participate in the National Science Teachers Summer School 2014 program in January.

Held simultaneously with the January Session A of the National Youth Science Forum, the NSTSS has been running for five years, and is designed to inspire teachers, and reignite their passion and enthusiasm for science and teaching.

Further information is available ahttp://asta.edu.au/programs/nstss or by contacting Vic Dobos, at the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA). Nominations will be held open until 15 November.

NSTSS is run in collaboration with ASTA and is supported by the Australian National University.

NYSF International Programs open up opportunities

In June this year eight National Youth Science Forum students travelled to South Africa to attend the National Science Olympiad Focus Week and spend two unforgettable weeks traveling around the south of Africa.

 Central … was the interaction by the NYSF students with such a diverse group of like-minded students from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Before heading to the Focus Week, the students stopped off in Cape Town, including a visit to the infamous Robben Island in what one of the students, Ashly Vu, described as, “a particularly sombre experience”. There was “a strange feeling of serenity on the island that has witnessed so much pain and hardship.” After visiting a local township and taking in the majestic views from Table Mountain, the students were excited to fly on to Johannesburg for the Focus Week.

The National Science Olympiad Focus Week is held for the top 100 science students from over 30,000 participants from across Africa who took the Science Olympiad exam.  Like NYSF, it aims to introduce the students to how much they can achieve in a career in science. Eight Australian NYSF students took part in the event.

During the week the students attended lectures by world-class scientists, visited various cutting edge research laboratories and industry workplaces and had the chance to speak to mentors in a wide variety of scientific fields. Ashly particularly enjoyed visiting the Cullinan Diamond Mine and debating the ethics about how science is applied at Denel Dynamics, a company that produces defence equipment. Another student, Lauren Booth, enjoyed visiting the Nuclear Energy Corporation and the South African National Biodiversity Institute.

Sth AFrica 2 2013 Ashly Vu C

Central to the experience of the Focus Week was the interaction by the NYSF students with such a diverse group of like-minded students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Along with the official activities the students played cards, baked cakes and successfully introduced Tim-Tams to their newfound friends. Although the Tim-Tams were a big hit Vegemite definitely did not go down so well!

Salt Pans Sth Africa Ashly Vu C

Before heading home after the Focus Week, the students experienced a ten-day safari through the wilds of South Africa, Botswana and Zambia.  They watched magnificent sunrises from the backs of elephants, saw lion cubs feeding, a rare white lion and even two rhinos. Along with visiting a wildlife rehabilitation centre, participating in traditional meals and dances, and a night-time cruise along the Zambezi River, Lauren said, “a personal highlight was watching a spectacular sunset from the Botswana salt pans and eating braai under a starry night sky.”

“It was truly a life-changing experience,” said Lauren, “that opened my eyes to the beauty of Africa and intensified my passion for science and my interest in pursuing a rewarding career in this area.” Ashly perhaps summed it up best by saying she’d “taken enough photos and videos to fill 40GB of an SD card and enough memories to last a lifetime.”

Story by Max Rintoul, based on report from Ashly Vu

First students from Brazil to NYSF 2014

The 2014 January Sessions sees three students coming from Brazil for the first time to attend the NYSF.

The REDE Programa de Olimpíadas do Conhecimento (REDEPOC) partners with programs in Colombia, Costa Rica, Eduador, France, India, England, Peru and Portugal, as well as with the NYSF.  The Brazilian program provides opportunities for extension work in science, including attendance at international programs such as NYSF, the Youth Meeting of Sciences in Portugal, and the London International Youth Science Forum.

“Over the years, NYSF has established strong links with a number of international programs,” says NYSF Director, Damien Pearce.  “These are mainly based in countries where Australian students might traditionally look at undertaking postgraduate research, such as the UK, Europe and the United States.  Most recently, South Africa has come on board and this year we will welcome four students from there to the January Sessions.  By expanding the breadth of the International Program we are acknowledging the wider horizons available for international exchange.  This could not be better represented by a move into South America, where a number of large Australian companies already do business and are seeking expansion. One of the NYSF’s key goals is for our students to begin to build professional networks, and these international programs are key to this engagement.”

NYSF Annual Report 2013

NYSF’s Annual Report 2013 is now available to view online.

Down memory lane

Thanks to Dave Snowdon (NYSF 1998) who got in touch to identify all of the people in this photo, which was published in the July issue of NYSF Outlook. Dave writes,

“The photo is of the session when I was staff. I’m sitting on top of the Kombi. Good times!”

The people in the photo are (left to right, top to bottom):

Matt Wenham, Ashley Norris, David Snowdon, Gavin Uncle, Simon Angus, Emily Tyson, Emma Jamieson, Glenn Gooding, Ewan O’Brien, Sarah Dunning, Lachlan McIver, Rod Jory, Rebecca Shakovsky, Gina Bilenkij

NYSF 1999 Session A student staff

NYSF 1999 Session A student staff

Dave says, “I’m still in touch with a few of the people here… Rod Jory and Gavin Uncle in particular. A truly wonderful group of people — attending NYSF was a pivotal event for me.”

NYSF Alumni — we love to hear your stories. Email amanda.caldwell@nysf.edu.au if you want to let us know what you’ve been up to.