January 2015 Session A Wrap

And we’re back. The January Sessions of the NYSF2015 are done and all of our young people are home and hitting the books for their final year at high school.

Both Session A and Session C were successful, with individual highlights that the students and those of us involved in delivering the program will remember for a long time to come.

Session A will be remembered for being the first NYSF session to host 200 students on campus at the Australian National University – an increase of about 50 students who were able to be accommodated by our friends at Burgmann College. Finding additional lab visits for this cohort wasn’t anywhere near as difficult as we might have imagined, thanks to all of the wonderful providers without whose support the program could not exist.

We were delighted to have our new council Chair, Professor Tanya Monro, Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation at the University of South Australia and an Australian Research Council Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow  – an alumni of the NYSF herself, – officiate at our Opening Ceremony for Session A.  Professor Monro was joined by Professor Ian Young AO, Vice Chancellor of the ANU, and Rowley Tompsett, NYSF Council member and District Governor of Rotary District 9710, Senator the Hon Kate Lundy, who hosted our visit to Parliament House for the Opening Ceremony and the Parliamentary Education Office session that followed. Senator Lundy steps down from the Senate soon, and we would like to thank her for her support over the years in hosting and welcoming our students to Parliament House.

Professor Tanya Monro, Chair NYSF Council addresses Session A NYSF 2015 Opening Ceremony

Professor Tanya Monro, Chair NYSF Council addresses Session A NYSF 2015 Opening Ceremony

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Senator the Hon Kate Lundy, Megan Lowry, Damien Pearce, Professor Tanya Monro, Professor Ian Young

Students with Rotary D9710 District Governor Rowley Tompsett and NYSF Council member Rob Woolley

Students with Rotary D9710 District Governor Rowley Tompsett and NYSF Council member Rob Woolley

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Rotarians Danny Matson, Ruth Barber and Kevin Trent  were volunteer aunt and uncles for Session A NYSF 2015

The next two weeks were a blur of visits, chants, forums, photos and special dinners, including the Rotary Dinner, where alumni (1997) Peter Nixon regaled the students with stories of his rich and varied career, leading to his role as Manager Core Architecture Evolution at Vodafone Hutchison Australia.

Peter Nixon (c) NYSF Alumni 1997 spoke at the Rotary Dinner for Session A 2015

Peter Nixon (c) NYSF Alumni 1997 spoke at the Rotary Dinner for Session A 2015

Peter Nixon, Geoff Burchfield and student at Session A 2015 Rotary Dinner (image Sarah Samsara)

Peter Nixon, Geoff Burchfield and NYSF 2015 student Toby Roat at Session A 2015 Rotary Dinner (image Sarah Samsara)

Students with Rotarians Padma Lal and Brij Lal at Session A 2015 Rotary Dinner (image Sarah Samsara)

Students with Rotarians Padma Lal and Brij Lal at Session A 2015 Rotary Dinner (image Sarah Samsara)

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Rotarians Ann and Roger Quarterman with students at the Session A 2015 Rotary Dinner (image Sarah Samsara)

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Rotarians Lolita and Vic Gibbons with student Sarah Skitt at the Session A 2015 Rotary Dinner (image Sarah Samsara)

And at the Science Dinner for Session A we hosted UNSW Australia’s Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla as she launched the Science 50:50 Project, which is funded by the Australian Research Council.

Laura Frank, Damien Pearce, Gillian Burrowes, Veena Sahajwalla, Dr Aidan Byrne, Dr Deanna D'Allesandro and Geoff McNamara at the Session A 2015 NYSF Science Dinner

Laura Frank, Damien Pearce, Gillian Burrowes, Veena Sahajwalla, Dr Aidan Byrne, Dr Deanna D’Allesandro and Geoff McNamara at the Session A 2015 NYSF Science Dinner

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Our panel discussion members comprised representatives from industry – Ms Laura Frank, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Lockheed Martin Australia, Ms Gillian Burrowes, Chief Executive Corporate Affairs, Arrium Mining and Materials; and academia and research – Professor Aidan Byrne, CEO of the Australian Research Council, Dr Deanna D’Alessandro, an NYSF alumni (1996) and ARC Queen Elizabeth II research fellow from the University of Sydney, and Mr Geoff McNamara, winner of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in 2014.

Together they nutted out some of the key issues relating to engaging and continuing young women’s involvement in science after high school, including different funding models, mentoring, flexible working arrangements.  They also touched on the key role that young men have in encouraging women into their circle and supporting and delivering social change.

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Dr Deanna D’Alessandro and Gillian Burrowes

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Geoff McNamara and Laura Frank

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Panel members

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Geoff McNamara, Laura Frank and Professor Aidan Byrne

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Professor Veena Sahajwalla

Session A garnered some media attention as well, with West Australian student Peggy Atkinson interviewed live to air on ABC News 24, and David Steketee (another WA student) and Sachini Perera (from Victoria) also being interviewed live along with academic Jeremy Smith from ANU Engineering, about their hands-on workshop run by Engineers without Borders. You can engage with these and other media stories from both of the January sessions here.

Needless to say, our volunteer Rotary parents, aunts and uncles joined our Session A staff in waving off the students, sadly on the Saturday morning, with sounds of the banana chant fading into the distance.

And yet …  there’s more.

January 2015 Session C Wrap

Session C kicked off two days later, and this Opening Ceremony was significant because of our announcement that Lockheed Martin Australia was coming on board as a major sponsor of the NYSF for 2015-2016-2017.

The NYSF Science Patron, Chief Scientist for Australia, Professor Ian Chubb again welcomed the students and encouraged them to continue their studies in science and to grab with both hands the opportunities and experiences they would have over the coming 12 days at the program.

Lockheed Martin Australia’s Chief Executive Raydon Gates explained the company’s motivation behind supporting the NYSF for the next three years, and was as generous as Professor Chubb in sharing insights with students who wanted to know more about the opportunities available in STEM careers.

Professor Ian Chubb, Senator Kate Lundy and Raydon Gates at the NYSF Session C 2015 Opening Ceremony

Professor Ian Chubb, Senator Kate Lundy and Raydon Gates at the NYSF Session C 2015 Opening Ceremony

National Youth Science Forum Opening Ceremony with Lockheed Martin Australia - Wednesday, 21 January 2015 at Parliament House, Canberra

Waiting for the Opening Ceremony to begin

National Youth Science Forum Opening Ceremony with Lockheed Martin Australia - Wednesday, 21 January 2015 at Parliament House, Canberra

Professor Ian Chubb, Chief Scientist for Australia

Damien Pearce and Raydon Gates

Damien Pearce and Raydon Gates

Our special guests at this Opening Ceremony were three alumni of the program:

Flying Officer Kim Shearman attended the NYSF in 2006, returning as a student staff member and ultimately the senior staffie for the program. He studied at the Edith Cowan University, and is now a Flying Officer with the Royal Australian Air Force flying fast jets. Kim is converting to F/A-18 Hornets later this year.

Clare Paynter, who attended the NYSF in 2009, and moved to the Australian National University from Darwin. Clare has recently completed her Engineering degree and has much more than a passing interest in renewable energy; she has recently moved to Melbourne to take up a place in the three year graduate program of the Australian Energy Market Regulator.

Brody Hannan, who attended the NYSF in 2014, was selected to attend the London International Youth Science Forum in 2014, and will return to London in July as a staff member. Brody has opted to also study at the ANU doing Advanced Science, and is also one of the six NYSF alumni awarded a Tuckwell Scholarship for 2015. Read more about Brody’s NYSF experience here.

xxx Kim Shearman, Laura Frank and Brody Hannah at Opening Ceremony, Session C NYSF 2015

Christopher Hess,  Kim Shearman, Laura Frank and Brody Hannan at Opening Ceremony, Session C NYSF 2015

All three of our alumni guests said that they valued sharing their stories with the students as well as the opportunity to reflect on what they had been doing since attending the program.

National Youth Science Forum Opening Ceremony with Lockheed Martin Australia - Wednesday, 21 January 2015 at Parliament House, Canberra

John Harvey, Managing Director of Grains R&D Corporation, another major NYSF funding partner with students at Session C Opening Ceremony 2015

National Youth Science Forum Opening Ceremony with Lockheed Martin Australia - Wednesday, 21 January 2015 at Parliament House, Canberra

Professor Chubb holds forth with students

National Youth Science Forum Opening Ceremony with Lockheed Martin Australia - Wednesday, 21 January 2015 at Parliament House, Canberra

Senator Kate Lundy with students

National Youth Science Forum Opening Ceremony with Lockheed Martin Australia - Wednesday, 21 January 2015 at Parliament House, Canberra

Raydon Gates with students

Another round of engaging and exciting lab visits and site tours, discussions and social events followed for Session C. The Rotary Dinner speaker, Dr Renee Kidson, (alumni 1992) inspired the students and other guests with her message of continual re-invention and up-skilling to manage the transition through an exciting career of research, travel, teaching and policy development.

The dinner also featured the award of the Bruce and Lois Sharp award to former NYSF Council member, Bob Greeney.

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Dr Renee Kidson and students at the Session C 2015 Rotary Dinner

Rob Woolley,   and Damien Pearce at the Session C 2015 Rotary Dinner

Rotary’s Rob Woolley, Lois Sharp and NYSF Director, Damien Pearce at the Session C 2015 Rotary Dinner

The Session C Science Dinner included the Indigenous Knowledge and Engagement Symposium, with the overall aim of placing western science within the context of Indigenous knowledge. This event was sponsored in part through IBM’s Diversity program, and we acknowledge their support.  IBM has been involved with the NYSF for several years, and understands the importance of encouraging students to think about science, engineering and IT careers.

Our special guest at this dinner was the newly appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Science, the Hon Karen Andrews, MP, who took opportunity to mix with the students and NYSF funding partners.
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Scott Thompson, Lockheed Martin Australia, the Hon Karen Andrews, Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Science, students Josh Liaw and Jimmy Fan, and Damien Pearce, NYSF Director

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Students with Penny Calvert and Caroline Bradshaw from ANU Science

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Students with Professor Sandra Kentish, University of Melbourne

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Joe Sambono and Marian Heard, CSIRO Indigenous STEM Education Unit, with Bradley Moggridge and Josie Douglas

Panel speakers were Mr Bhiamie Williamson from the Native Title Research Unit and Dr Rod Kennett, Senior Research Fellow from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Ms Josie Douglas, Aboriginal Research Fellow, CSIRO,

Mr Bradley Moggridge, Aboriginal Water Initiative, NSW Office of Water, and Professor Group Captain Lisa Jackson-Pulver, Chair of Indigenous Health, University of New South Wales and Royal Australian Air force, Specialist Reserve. Each speaker brought a particular personal perspective to the discussion, relating his or her experiences of working within science.

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Josie Douglas from CSIRO

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Brad Moggridge, from NSW Office of Water

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Bhiamie Williamson, IATSIS

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Professor Group Captain Lisa Jackson-Pulver, UNSW and RAAF

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The Panel answering questions from               NYSF students

Stories about many of the activities in January are available on our Outlook website (http://outlook.nysf.edu.au) – take a moment to explore to learn more about what the 2015 cohort learned.

NYSF thanks to contributing organisations

The NYSF is fortunate to be supported by a large number of organisations that host visits to their facilities and research teams during the January Sessions.

Access to these world leading organisations is one of the things that makes the NYSF unique and without the support from our lab and site visit providers – many of which develop content specifically for the NYSF students – the NYSF would be a lesser program.

For students, it provides them with the opportunity to participate in a “hands-on” environment during each lab session and allows them the opportunity to learn from real scientists and engineers.

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image courtesy Geoscience Australia

Geoscience Australia is one of several organisations that offer science experiences to NYSF students each year.

Chief Executive Officer, Dr Chris Pigram, highlighted the importance of current students having access to Australia’s leading geoscientists and being exposed to cutting edge groundwater investigation techniques.

“By applying themselves to a topic of national importance like groundwater, we hope the students will further engage in science and ultimately follow a geoscience career,” Dr Pigram explained.

“We know water security in arid Australia, for example, is going to be one of the most important resource issues we face in ensuring community sustainability into the future. Drawing upon today’s leading science students could mean the difference in solving tomorrow’s national challenges – such as water security,” he said.

Read more about the groundwater activity undertaken by the NYSF students at Geoscience Australia during this year’s session.

A list of all the NYSF 2015 contributing organisations is available here

“ I recommend the experience as Rotary Aunt …”

The NYSF District Chair of Rotary D9700, Sue Moffatt, participated in the 2015 Session A for the first time, taking on the role of Rotary Aunt. This important volunteer position provides backup to the volunteer Mum and Dad on each session, and works closely with the counterpart Rotary Uncle, the NYSF Director, and the senior NYSF session student staff, to ensure pastoral care and support is provided to students during the program.

Sue talks about her NYSF experience:

“I arrived at Burgmann College at ANU on Saturday afternoon and soon met up with Rotarian Ruth Barber from Wagga who had been an Aunt in the previous week. After a quick handover, I attended the Saturday night disco with the students who were all dressed up in crazy science related costumes. What a start! Sunday was home hospitality day for the students, which meant a bit of free time. That would be it for the week though. A ‘day’ in NYSF terms is very long – up at 6.30am and in bed by 11.00pm with not a minute wasted in between. In the evenings, there were often structured activities, of the students had career talks, exploring different career options.”

I highly recommend the NYSF to all Rotary clubs. I also recommend the experience of being an Aunt, Uncle Mum or Dad. You live, eat and can interact with Australia’s best scientists of the future.

During the week we went on a number of science (a forum on the science and impacts of nano-science) and cultural visits, and the students prepared talks about an area of science of interest to them. We also had presentations from visiting international students from Canada and Fiji.

Tuesday was a highlight for me when I visited the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Mt Stromlo and witnessed the redevelopment of the site since the bush fires destroyed several telescopes. I then followed the physics interest groups to the ANU supercomputer facility. After dinner we boarded the bus to Questacon to participate in a live videoconference with Dr Rolf Landua from CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research which controls the the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Part of our Aunt/Uncle role is to support students who were unwell and, as can be imagined, with 200 students at a time, there were a few trips to the medical centre over the course of the week.

On Wednesday I did hear some of the informative presentations by NYSF partners during partners’ day. And that evening, the celebratory science dinner was held at the Australian Institute of Sport when the 50:50 campaign to encourage young women to continue studying science was launched by UNSW Australia Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, an Australian Research Council Future Fellow.

Thursday included a visit to SMEC who provides consultancy services on major infrastructure projects, such as a major road being constructed to the Canberra airport. Then I managed to win at scrabble on activities night. Woohoo!

Friday was the gripping closing seminar about modern designer drugs, given by a medical emergency doctor and frontline research scientist, Dr David Caldicott, and perfectly targeted to the audience. The last full day wrapped up with a fun visit to Questacon, before the final concert.

On the Saturday, Session A students returned home – exhausted but fulfilled by the program and all that they had learned. But they were quickly replaced by incoming Session C students; and it all started again for the NYSF staff.

I was amazed at the energy and professionalism of the NYSF “staffies” who are volunteer NYSF alumni – many in year 12 – willing to give back to the organisation through the year by studying for the skills they will need on session, as well as giving up two weeks of their holidays in January to work on the program as student staff leaders. Their ability to have fun and at the same time encourage discipline and bonding with their group is admirable and reflects the support and quality training program that the NYSF provides to them.

I highly recommend the NYSF to all Rotary clubs. I also recommend the experience of being an Aunt, Uncle Mum or Dad. You live, eat and can interact with Australia’s best scientists of the future. Please contact me if you want more information about my experience susimoffatt@gmail.com or Sandra.meek@nysf.edu.au if you would like a general overview of the role.”

Sue Moffatt students

The clubs from District 9700 who provided financial reports for 2015 students were, Coolamon (1), Cowra (1), Grenfell (1), Molong and Orange Daybreak (1), Wagga Wagga (1), Wagga Wagga Kooringal (3), Wagga Wagga Murrumbidgee (1), Wagga Wagga Sunrise (1), South Wagga Wagga (1) and Wollundry Wagga Wagga (2).

GRDC’s new Seed to Store initiative a hit with science students

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) presented a new suite of science-based activities at the 2015 NYSF January Sessions.

GRDC Capacity Building Program Manager Kathleen Allan says the new activities explored the biology and chemistry of cereal grains, engaging school students with the story of grain production from being sown as seed in the ground to ending up as products in stores.

“The GRDC is taking on a much more proactive role on behalf of the grain growers who support the organisation in educating students about the vast range of rewarding and challenging career opportunities on offer in our industry,” Ms Allan said.

There is an incredible range of science-based careers on offer in the grains industry

“There is an incredible range of science-based careers on offer in the grains industry – from engineering, molecular biology, agronomy, food science, grain chemistry and more – and there are plenty of jobs available.”

At the NYSF, students worked on a series of activities with GRDC science educator Belinda Cay, from AgCommunicators in Adelaide.

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Grinding grain to make dough

“Belinda helped students review soil health, extract DNA from wheat, assess dough quality and chemistry of weather-damaged and healthy grains and looked at the stomata and cell structures of drought tolerant and susceptible crop varieties,” Ms Allan said.

“It is always exciting to see the students work through the activities, achieve some great results and have a good time.”

Jana Dixon, a year twelve student from Clare in South Australia rated the GRDC Seed to Store session a five out of five.

“The Seed to Store activity was relevant to the field I want to work in, and it was fun, we had a great time doing the experiments and learning about the careers on offer,” she said.

Ms Allan says the GRDC’s participation in science education programs, such as the National Youth Science Forum, is integral to the future of the grains industry to ensure there are enough skilled job-seekers available to meet employment demand.

The grains industry is crying out for graduates in a range of science-based fields

“The grains industry is crying out for graduates in a range of science-based fields. In fact, the opportunities are so immense that while Australian universities produce 700 agricultural graduates per year, annual job market openings exceed 4000 positions – less than one-quarter of the jobs are being filled.

“With this in mind, we are very keen to engage more students in our industry’s opportunities and look forward to running more Seed to Store workshops with students in 2016.”

Teachers interested in receiving Seed to Store education resources can contact Belinda Cay, 0423 295 576 and cay@agcommunicators.com.au

Engineers R Us

A popular lab visit for Session A NYSF 2015 students was to Lockheed Martin Australia’s NexGen Cyber Innovation & Technology Centre in Canberra.  As a company that earns $US46 billion dollars annually, Lockheed Martin’s interests include aeronautics, information systems, mission systems and training, missiles & fire control, production, and space systems.

On entering the secure facility, the visit hosts explained to the students the logistical and corporate reach of both Lockheed Martin Australia and Lockheed Martin International.

When the students learned that 70,000 of Lockheed Martin’s employees were engineers (approximately 70% of their workforce), questions increased exponentially as they realised the areas of opportunity for employment within Lockheed Martin. True to the inquisitive nature of NYSF students, there were also many questions about Lockheed Martin’s operations and businesses both in Australia and internationally.

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The students were able to explore some of the capabilities of Lockheed Martin by doing problem-solving activities mimicking those that the company’s customers might present.

They all agreed that the visit was engaging and informative, offering a chance to learn about the numerous possibilities available in one corporate field of engineering.  This also emphasised the sheer magnitude of career possibilities in engineering with exciting and challenging decisions to be made in the future.

By Brett Slarks

 

Mulloon Institute hosts students from NYSF 2015

Students interested in environmental land science at NYSF 2015 Session C visited long-time NYSF collaborator, The Mulloon Institute’s agricultural educational farm.

The Mulloon Institute is a not-for-profit independent charity that aims to make holistic landscape management a mainstream practice for sustainable and profitable agricultural businesses. The Institute cooperates in a number of areas with the Fenner School conducting long-term research and developing educational models to facilitate the widespread adaptation of sustainable holistic landscape management.

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Dr John Field from the Fenner School with NYSF 2015 students at the Mulloon Institute (images Mulloon Institute)

Dr John Field from the ANU’s Fenner School with NYSF 2015 students at the Mulloon Institute (images Mulloon Institute)

The NYSF students gained first hand experience of the science behind best practice land management systems and an in depth understanding of landscape function in an intact environment.

Dr John Field, from ANU’s Fenner School of Environment and Society said, “Many of these students have no idea how they might apply their study of science at school, to some of the most important issues for Australia today – such as the continuum from healthy landscapes, through healthy soils to healthy plants and healthy animals including humans – and all in the context of sustainable agricultural production. There is nothing like being outside and amongst the agricultural system at Mulloon Institute, for them to begin to understand the science of an healthy food production system.”

Michael Thomes, Executive Director of the Mulloon Institute said, “It is very important that young leaders gain a real life experience of the benefits that a well functioning ecosystem can provide to biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and rural communities. The aim of The Mulloon Instititute is to educate the general public through sharing its knowledge – what better way to do that than inspiring these young scientists, with the potential to create change?”

“Visiting the Mulloon Institute is a unique experience for NYSF students hoping to study and move into careers in applied science such as sustainable agriculture and healthy food production,” said NYSF Director, Damien Pearce. “The Mulloon Institute’s contribution to education in restorative and sustainable agriculture is invaluable.”

NYSF students visit The Australian Academy of Science

The Australian Academy of Science once again supported the NYSF by hosting two interactive presentations during both sessions of the NYSF in January 2015.

“Being able to visit the heritage-listed Shine Dome, and learn about the role of the Academy is a unique activity for the students,” says NYSF Director, Damien Pearce. “We appreciate the Academy’s support and engagement with each year’s cohort.”

Dr T J Higgins spoke to the students about the history of the Academy, its members, and also the Shine Dome building.

Dr T J HIggins Academy of Science NYSF Session C 2015

Dr T J Higgins speaking to Session C NYSF 2015 students about the Australian Academy of Science

 

“The Academy Fellowship comprises about 480 of Australia’s top researchers from across the natural sciences, including two NYSF graduates – Professors Michelle Coote and Tanya Monro. We look forward to electing more former NYSF participants as they grow their love of inquiry, talent for research, and strong work ethic into successful careers in science,”  said Academy Chief Executive , Dr Sue Meek.

The Academy plays an important role in the promotion of science through the recognition of outstanding contributions to science, education and public awareness, science policy and international relations. It promotes and disseminates scientific knowledge and provides independent scientific advice for the benefit of Australia and the world.

It is recognised for its advocacy role through its work to develop and sustain a national scientific culture and provides valued independent scientific advice to assist policy development and program delivery.

In 2014, The Academy launched ‘Science by Doing’ a comprehensive online science program for Years 7 to 10 available free to all Australian students and teachers and supported by award winning professional learning modules and a research based professional learning approach.

A number of other resources are also available – visit https://www.science.org.au

Searching for CERN

A visit to Questacon on the evening of day 9 NYSF 2015 offered students an insight into an area of international research which is both answering and creating questions in the field of physics. And for the first time, Session A students engaged with the science teachers attending the National Science Teachers’ Summer School during the live cross to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
Hosted by Questacon, the evening began with a presentation from Kaitlin Cook, an NYSF alumna. Kaitlin delivered an overview of the operation of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.  Her background talk particularly explained about the discovery of the Higgs Boson which has enabled further verification of the Standard Model of particle physics.
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Kaitlin Cook an NYSF alumna

This sparked the interest of both the students and science teachers, and questions began to arise from the crowd.  The special guest, Professor Rolf Landua – who was being viewed live from the LHC at CERN, (8:30am, Switzerland time) left no question from the audience unanswered. Perhaps he had heard it all before?  He has been conducting this session for the NYSF in Canberra for nine years – a very unique and exciting activity for all who participated.
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Professor Rolf Landua live from CERN

by Brett Slarks

Fundraising tips from Rotary’s Harry Howard, District 9700

Cowra Rotary Club’s Harry Howard is an experienced fundraiser who has helped many NYSF alumni raise funds to attend international science programs such as the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF).

The LIYSF is a two-week residential event that attracts over 400 of the world’s leading young scientists aged 17-21. It is held at Imperial College London, with lectures and demonstrations from leading scientists, visits to industrial sites, research centers, scientific institutions and organisations, including world-class laboratories and universities.

Like many students before him, NYSF alumni Brody Hannan from Cowra was accepted to attend the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) in 2014 while studying toward his year 12 exams.

Brody turned to his local Rotary Club for support in raising the necessary funds. Harry and the Rotary team of Cowra helped Brody to undertake a number of fundraising activities including a raffle of firewood donated by Rotary raising $800, organising a dinner at his local club with auctions and entertainment, and along with his friends, distributed brochures promoting Rotary’s collection of unused batteries for scrap. They also organised a film night with all proceeds going to Brody’s trip.

Local advertising and an interview with ABC Central West radio generated a number of donations including an original painting from a local artist that was raffled.

Harry said, “Brody’s enthusiasm, style and keenness were most important as our club perceived that he was totally committed to achieving his aim. That enthusiasm and commitment brushed off on us and we enjoyed the challenge.”

“The timeframe was quite tight as we decided to raise the money before he departed for LIYSF so fundraising was done over a two month period.  An additional incentive was to raise enough funds to ensure he participated in the CERN Discovery Program in Geneva Switzerland to view the Large Hadron Collider as part of his LIYSF experience.”

“The timeframe given was until the end of November but our thinking was that to continue to raise money after he returned would be difficult –‘let’s get it done before he leaves’. We raised about $12,000.”

“Despite Brody missing several weeks in his final year of high school, he was awarded dux of Cowra High School,” he said.

Brody spoke during the fundraising activities and is now a regular speaker at Cowra Rotary meetings. “Since his return from LIYSF, Brody has been to Rotary meetings a couple of times and has talked about his trip.  He has shown great gratitude to Rotary and is always asking to assist in other activities,” said Harry.

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“Cowra Rotary is fortunate to have regular contact with a large number of NYSF students. Each year, we provide lunches for the students travelling to and from the January Forum as they pass through Cowra, and we are never short of volunteers for these events. Brody assisted at all four lunches in January 2015 and enjoyed talking and meeting the latest NYSF students, he said.

“Rotary is a respected name and a respected club in Cowra and our club managed the money and the account so that would-be donors had confidence in the fundraising arrangements, which was important,” says Harry.