National Youth Science Forum visits IBM in Canberra

Students who have attended the National Youth Science Forum were very fortunate to be treated to a visit to IBM’s Linux Development labs in Canberra in July.

They learned about the history of the company, and its leading role in some of the key milestones in the development of modern information management systems. They also heard about the work the company is doing in Canberra and across the country today in servicing clients from a very broad spectrum of business and government operations.

The visit to IBM reignited my interest in the field of computer science. As a result, I am currently investigating the possibility of applying for an internship there. Max Jones 

The students chatted with staff working in the lab to gain insights into the kinds of career paths that are possible should they decide to seek jobs in the IT sector. The varied backgrounds of the team members illustrated well that sometimes it’s a passion along with study that combine to direct our career paths.

Next Step Canberra - IBM’s Linux Development labs in Canberra

Next Step Canberra – IBM’s Linux Development labs in Canberra

Next Step Canberra - IBM’s Linux Development

Next Step Canberra – IBM’s Linux Development labs in Canberra

Max Jones from Mackay in Queensland is now studying at the Australian National University. “The visit to IBM reignited my interest in the field of computer science. As a result, I am currently investigating the possibility of applying for an internship there.”

A couple of hands-on activities put the students to the test, offering a fun spin to the visit and showing what can be achieved with team work and clear communication.

Thanks to the IBM team for sharing their experiences with the NSYF.


NYSF alumni awarded 2016 Tuckwell Scholarships

The 2016 Tuckwell Scholarships have been announced with eight out of the 25 finalists alumni of the National Youth Science Forum.

To be eligible for a Tuckwell Scholarship, students must attain an ATAR of 95 and above, have proven academic potential and achievements, demonstrate the Tuckwell Scholar attributes and a desire to give back to Australia.

Supported through the generosity of the Graham and Louise Tuckwell Foundation, recipients receive a scholarship of $21,700 per annum for the length of their undergraduate degree at The Australian National University for expenses such as accommodation and living costs.

This is the third year the scholarships have been awarded.

“NYSF Alumni have been recipients of Tuckwell Scholarship since they began three years ago. Two alumni received the award in 2013, six in 2014 and eight this year. Each of these students is to be applauded for their hard work in achieving this honour and recognition,” Dr Damien Pearce, Chief Executive of the NYSF.

Congratulations go to:

Samuel Bannister – NSW – Kooringal State High School – Rotary District 9700 – Club – Wollundry Wagga Wagga

Lachlan Campbell – NSW – Molong Central School – Rotary District 9700 – Club – Molong

Brendan Falk – ACT – Canberra Grammar School – Rotary District 9710 – Club – Woden

Jonah Hansen – SA – Loxton High School – Rotary District 9520 – Club – Loxton

Yu-Ting Hung – VIC – MacRobertson Girls High School – Rotary District 9810 – Club – Manningham

Julia Lindblom – QLD – Mary MacKillop College – Rotary District 9600 – Club – Geebung

Isabella Mortimore – QLD -All Saints Anglican School – Rotary District 9640 – Club – Southport

Lucy Stedman – QLD – Nambour State High School – Rotary District 9600 – Club – Nambour 76

For further information, visit

By Julie Maynard

Tanzina Kazi, NYSF 2014 Alumna at Monash University

Tanzina Kazi attended the NYSF in 2014 and comes from Mildura in regional Victoria. In 2015, she started at Monash University, doing a Bachelor of Surgery/Bachelor of Medicine.

“Year 12 exams are done, results are out and you’ve left behind the high school world. All of a sudden everything you’ve grown to know and love has ended and it’s time for something new: university.

When you’ve been to the NYSF, you’re never without friends and university life has been eased by the fact that there are a bunch of lovely familiar faces at my residential college.

For me, this was such a scary thought; it had been a distant idea for so many years, something that had been coming, but never seemed to happen. However, after what seemed like both the longest and shortest year of my life had come to a close, I found myself packing up my gear and moving off to Melbourne to study a Bachelor of Surgery/Bachelor of Medicine at Monash University.

The word “new” seems to become a buzzword throughout the transition from high school student to a first year university student; new city, new environment, new people. Well, almost. When you’ve been to the NYSF, you’re never without friends and university life has been eased by the fact that there are a bunch of lovely familiar faces at my residential college, my university and in my course who I can always reminisce with about the good old NYSF experiences. Also, NYSF merchandise never fails to win compliments from other alumni, and is always a great way to make new friends.

When you’ve been to the NYSF, you’re never without friends and university life has been eased by the bunch of lovely familiar faces

Tanzina Kazi and Daffodil Anton at Monash Uni

Tanzina Kazi and Daffodil Anton, NYSFers, at Monash University

In general, my move to university has been relatively seamless and much of this can be attributed to the holistic experience provided by the NYSF. College is just like an extended stay at Burgmann and walking around the Monash Clayton campus reminds me of the times spent wandering through ANU, despite the vast differences between the two campuses.

Without a doubt, the university experience is unlike anything at high school; the hours are longer, the work is harder and there is a lot more responsibility. At the same time, the extra freedom, ability to learn about what truly intrigues you and opportunity to meet more people who have the same interests and aspirations as you, amongst other things, make it that little bit easier to get used to the drastic change that is your first year at university.

Rio Tinto’s support for ATSI students at NYSF 2015

Four students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island backgrounds were supported by Rio Tinto to attend the National Youth Science Forum in January 2015.

Sarah from Western Australia, Thane from Queensland, Connor from the Northern Territory and Bronte from New South Wales, all immersed themselves in the program.

 “… really motivated me to push myself to get to where I want to be and has given me a reminder of how good school/education can be.” Sarah

Each of the students has diverse interests in science, allowing them to gain from the variety of lab visits and site tours available from the NYSF program.

I believe the session jump-started me back into the academic aspects of my lifestyle before school started this year. This really helped me become motivated for my year 12 studies. Connor 

NYSF Chief Executive, Dr Damien Pearce, says the funding available from Rio Tinto to support the students’ attendance was extremely valuable. “This kind of support from the Australian corporate sector provides extra opportunities for our young people, and we can not thank Rio Tinto enough for their investment in the future.”

Sarah came to the NYSF in January with a strong interest in animals and zoology and enjoyed the opportunities to visit the ANU’s Department of Zoology, and the CSIRO’s Australian National Wildlife Collection, as well as the Bungendore Veterinary Clinic where the NYSF students were shown some of the key aspects of a modern large animal clinic. Sarah says attending the NYSF, “… really motivated me to push myself to get to where I want to be and has given me a reminder of how good school/education can be.”

Sarah is aiming to study a Bachelor of Science at the University of Western Australia, majoring in Zoology or Biology.

Connor from the Northern Territory is planning on studying a Bachelor of Science, Chemical Systems at the University of Melbourne. “I believe the session jump-started me back into the academic aspects of my lifestyle before school started this year. This really helped me become motivated for my year 12 studies.”

Connor enjoyed the visits to the ANU Chemistry Department and ACTEW Water Treatment Facility at Cotter Dam. “The dam was informative in showing how chemistry comes in when treating water for a city.”

Connor from NT (left) learns more about university options at NYSF 2015 (image T8 Photography)

Connor from NT (left) learns more about university options at NYSF 2015                         (image T8 Photography)

Bronte from Gerringong, New South Wales, came to the NYSF interested in studying physics, and was able to visit the ANU’s Physics Department and Research School of Physics, as well as the Mount Stromlo Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics.  Bronte showed leadership on session in conducting the Acknowledgement of Country at Parliament House and the Science Dinner (Session C).  Bronte hopes to pursue a career in the area of Quantum Physics.

Bronte with her interest group at NYSF 2015 (image supplied)

Bronte with her interest group at NYSF 2015 (image supplied)

Thane from Queensland is interested in further studies in science and engineering and during the NYSF in January was part of a visit to the Tidbinbilla Deep Space Network outside of Canberra. “What I enjoyed the most about the visit to the satellite tracking station was getting to see the gigantic satellite dishes that NASA uses and to learn a few things about the station itself and what it has done and what it is going to do for future space projects.

Going to NYSF has provided me with knowledge and perspective, Thane

“Going to NYSF has provided me with knowledge and perspective. I wouldn’t say it has provided me with any more motivation for grade 12 than what I already had. But it did give me motivation, knowledge and perspective on uni as well as science itself. Which is why NYSF has an excellent motto of, “We’ll show you things you’ve never considered!”

Hannah Worsley, NYSF 2015 Alumna, is Lions Youth of the Year in Public Speaking

Alumna Hannah Worsley has won the national final of the Lions Youth of the Year trophy for best public speaker.

To reach the national final, Hannah had to win club, regional, district then state finals.

“Winning the public speaking competition was an incredible feeling, because the other competitors are truly talented people, said Hannah, 2015 NYSF Alumna.

“Public speaking is something I love, so it’s an achievement that means a lot to me. Really, it was the icing on the cake, because the experience I got from the whole program, including experience with interviews and making a lot of new friends, was the most rewarding part.”

To win the national final, Hannah had to answer two questions, “Freedom of speech, how far is to far?” and then “How should we secure Australia’s energy future?”

“There is a lot of preparation that goes on behind the scenes to be up to date on current affairs, so that you’re as ready as you can be for the impromptu section. But being put on the spot is always a little nerve wracking, as that minute before you get the question is always full of anticipation for what you might be asked.“

Hannah Worsley - Imperial College London

Hannah Worsley – Imperial College London

Hannah has just returned from London where she represented the NYSF at the London International Youth Science Forum.

“There are no words to describe the feeling of sitting in an opening ceremony of a youth forum with 470 students from 65 different countries, or walking around Cambridge University, or looking at the machines where over a third of the human genome was mapped,” she said.

“I’ve had my eyes opened to so many different forms of science, not just the research side of things. The experience was honestly incredible, and I got the chance to make a whole lot of new friends and connections-the only downside is that they all live so far away.”

Hannah is currently undertaking her NYSF student staff leader training for the January 2016 session.

By Julie Maynard

What happens on an NYSF lab visit at ANU’s Research School of Biology?

In January 2015, NYSF students donned their lab coats, focused their microscopes, and honed their pipetting skills in an attempt to diagnose what ailed recently returned tourist, Meng …

Meng is an intrepid traveller with a love of languages who has recently returned from backpacking through South East Asia. She spent much of her time in a local village near the Thai-Cambodian border, honing her mastery of the Northern Khmer dialect. Since her return to Australia, Meng has experienced increasingly severe cycles of headaches, fevers and chills.

The NYSF students’ brief was to use modern approaches to diagnose their patients, and, through consultation of the medical literature, suggest an appropriate treatment.

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NYSF 2015 students with Dr Giel van Dooren, ANU’s Research School of Biology                 (images NYSF/Geoff Burchfield)


Using DNA samples from their patients, students performed diagnostic polymerase chain reactions to determine the identity of the parasite. They also examined microscope slides with blood smears and tissue samples to look for the presence of parasites in their patients. When they had established the likely cause of their patient’s illness, the students examined the medical literature to determine an appropriate course of treatment.

In addition to their crucial role in diagnosing their patients/demonstrators, the NYSF students got to chat with research scientists at various stages of their career, learning what it’s like to investigate the fascinating world of parasite biology. They also toured a modern research lab to learn about the sort of equipment that scientists use to investigate parasites.

So how did the students go in diagnosing Meng? They soon learned that she was infected with Plasmodium falciparum, the most devastating species of malaria-causing parasites. Without rapid treatment, Meng’s future looked grim. After consulting the medical literature, students realised that the region of Cambodia where Meng acquired her infection is rife with parasites that are resistant to many of the common medications used to treat malaria. Meng was prescribed with a course of artemisinin combination therapy, one of the very few antimalarial treatments still effective. Of course, prevention is better than cure. Upon examining Meng’s case history, students realised that she had not been sleeping in bed nets, nor had she take prophylactic anti-malarial medication, both of which would likely have avoided the predicament she found herself in. After a stern talking to, the NYSF students left Meng to her recovery and continued on their paths of scientific discovery in the nation’s capital.

The ‘Parasite Detectives’ pracs were conducted by Meng Zhang, Edwin Tjhin, Esther Rajendran and Giel van Dooren (Research School of Biology, ANU), with wonderful assistance from Peta Moisis and her team at the ANU Biology Teaching and Learning Centre. Melanie Rug and Kathryn Parker also contributed to the design of the prac.

Everything you need to know about Uni of Queensland for science, engineering, and a whole lot more

UQ Future Students Contact Centre

Our contact centre team are here to help with your students enquiries about programs, courses, key dates and general information about UQ.  For information, contact:  Phone: (07) 3346 9872 Email:

UQ Sporting Scholarships – nominations close 31 October 2015

The University of Queensland and UQ Sport offer outstanding sporting facilities and services to support elite student-athletes pursue their academic and sporting ambitions.  For more information go to

 Encourage students to get on board with the TEAM UQ experience now!

For information, contact: Kim Cooper – Personal Development Advisor

Phone: (07) 3346 6243 Email:


New Programs in Equine, Agriculture, Veterinary Technology and Wildlife at UQ Gatton in 2016

In January 2016, four new focussed degree programs in agriculture and animal sciences will be introduced exclusively at UQ’s Gatton Campus to prepare the next generation of plant and animal scientists. Programs in Equine Science, Sustainable Agriculture, Veterinary Technology and Wildlife Science will provide students with a unique student experience and open up new career pathways into the local and global agriculture sector.

They complement the existing Agricultural Science and Bachelor of Science programs and will also take advantage of UQ’s position as one of the top ranked universities in the world for agriculture and biological sciences.

Guides with further details on these new programs can be sent on request or can be accessed at  For information, contact: Jackie Mergard Phone: (07) 3365 3634

Email: web:

New Bachelor of Mathematics at UQ in 2016

UQ’s new Bachelor of Mathematics will allow your students to study a broad range of courses in pure mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics and graduate with a Bachelor of Mathematics qualification. This new 3 year program will complement the existing options for mathematics study through the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Advanced Science or Bachelor of Arts already available at UQ. In addition.students will be able to combine their interest in maths with a commerce, economics, music, engineering or science degree and graduate with a dual qualification.

Students can find out more about the program by contacting the Faculty of Science at UQ.

For information, contact:  Jackie Mergard  Phone:  (07) 3365 3634 Email:

Get hands-on engineering experience at WE Explore Engineering Day – 24 September

Are you a female student who enjoys Maths C, Physics or Chemistry? With UQ’s Women in Engineering, students can find out how their interest in these subjects can lead to a career in engineering.

Years 10-12 female students, parents and teachers are invited to WE Explore Engineering Day at the St Lucia campus on Tuesday 24 September from 8:45am – 2:30pm.

Choose three workshops and explore a range of engineering career paths including perfecting the perfect drink, building fire safety, rockets and robotics.

Experience the UQ St Lucia campus and meet current undergraduate students to learn more about studying at UQ. Morning tea, lunch and refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

For information, contact: Women in Engineering Phone:(07) 3365 3934 Email:;


 Engineering & Technology Careers Evening – Thursday 27 August

The Engineering and Technology Careers Evening is an annual event for students who are considering a future career in Engineering and Information Technology.

At the event, students can:

Hear from recent Engineering and ICT graduates about their experiences in the industry so far

Talk to lecturers and current students about the programs available at UQ Discover why UQ provides students with the best foundation for a career in Engineering and ICT

Time: 5pm – 8pm Location: Advanced Engineering Building (TBC)

To register, please follow this link –

For information, contact: Helen Burdon  Phone:(07) 3365 2382 Email:



Monash University exploding science career myths

Monash University will bust some of the common myths that exist around science-related careers by hosting a conference for students and their parents in years 10-12.

Alumni and current students will provide insight into a range of topics:

  • Study strategies and resources to help students achieve their VCE goals and objectives
  • How to tackle the challenges involved in making the transition from secondary school to university
  • Networking and how industry placement programs connect you with career opportunities
  • Meet career advisors and science graduates who have turned their passion into a career

When: September 16, 4.00pm-7.30pm

Where: Green Chemical Futures Building, Monash Clayton

Find out more and to book tickets, visit Monash University website

By Julie Maynard

What’s happening at UNSW?

UNSW Science Open Day: Learn, Explore, Discover – Saturday 5 September 2015

If you have a curious mind, want to learn from world-renowned researchers and need a degree that is relevant to current issues, look no further than Science at UNSW.

UNSW offers a wide range of undergraduate science degrees including flexible programs that allow students to explore the breadth of science before selecting a major, and also structured programs tailored to the needs and ambitions of students, and to the knowledge and skills sought by employers.

At the UNSW Open Day, experience a flight simulator, explore your inner CSI, discover new materials and polymers, ace your HSC Maths paper by discovering the various tips and tricks from our Maths experts and don’t forget to check out our solar telescopes – find Science on the Uni Mall and Scientia Advisory Centre [G19].

For further information visit:

UNSW Engineering - NYSF - Open Day

Bragg Student Science Prize

UNSW is again running the 2015 UNSW Bragg Student Prize for Science Writing competition.

The Bragg Prize is an annual award celebrating the best non-fiction science essay written for a general audience. For the first time this year the prize is expanding to include a special category for student.

To enter, write 800 words or less about your chosen mind-blowing experiment and discuss what impact it has – or could have – on society.

The competition closes 7 September 2015. The winner will receive a $500 voucher. Every entry receives a free copy of The Best Australian Science Writing 2015 for their school.

For further information visit


UNSW has become the newest member of the Asia-Pacific region for FutureLearn’s and are one of five new global partners of the leading massive open online courses (MOOC) social learning platform.

FutureLearn joins Coursera and OpenLearning as the University’s MOOC partners.

UNSW’s first FutureLearn course, Maths for Humans: Linear, Quadratic and Inverse Relations, is available now for registration to commence in October 2015.

It is led by Associate Professor Norman Wildberger and Dr Daniel Mansfield of the UNSW School of Mathematics and Statistics.

To enroll in the course visit,

News from UNSW Engineering

Australia defeats Germany in RoboCup world soccer

Focus on your engineering future at UNSW Open Day

5 September 2015 – 9:00am to 4:00pm
UNSW Kensington Campus

Open Day is your chance to see UNSW Engineering up-close and personal. Chat face-to-face with our academics and our current students – have all your questions answered. Find the right information to help you choose your ideal degree from faculties and schools; learn more about life as a student at UNSW – including admission, accommodation, student services and more.

UNSW Engineering is the largest and highest ranking engineering faculty in Australia, offering internationally transferable degrees across nine schools.

All of our engineering degree programs incorporate a strong emphasis on design and problem solving  and our degrees provide a solid foundation for students to launch into a vast number and diverse range of careers. Engineers work in space technology, transport, health, renewable energy, sustainable mining and food technology to name just a few.

We educate engineers who become leaders in their fields both here and internationally and improve the world in which we live.

Apply for a UNSW Engineering Rural Scholarship

UNSW Engineering, Australia’s leading Engineering faculty, offers a wide range of scholarships including rural scholarships.

Rural students frequently have a strong interest in engineering areas but are not able to study close to their home as rural universities generally do not provide engineering education.  The UNSW Engineering Rural Scholarships Program is designed to assist students living in rural and isolated areas to study at the leading Engineering Faculty in Australia.

Applications close 30 September 2015

For more information and to apply visit