NYSF Funding Partner organisations are pivotal to the successful delivery of each year’s program. Their financial support allows the NYSF to continue to deliver a quality program of activities for NYSF’s student participants.
Funding partners participate in the NYSF at each session’s Partners’ Day program. Presentations about each organisation are made to the students, and an Expo Display session held in the afternoon allows the students to speak one on one to the Partners’ representatives.
The NYSF is very grateful for our partners’ support and acknowledges the effort and resources that go into their contributions to the program.
A full list and links to the NYSF partners is here.
With the end of 2016 fast approaching, I’d like to wish all of our supporters, participants, alumni, volunteers and readers best wishes for the festive season, a fantastic summer holiday and a happy new year!
Of course here at the NYSF the end of the festivities marks the beginning of our busiest time. As we write, there are just 21 sleeps to go until the start of Session A, and 34 until Session C, and we are looking forward to welcoming the next round of 400 participants to join us here at the NYSF. As always, the focus of the NYSF program will be to show our young people the wide range of study, research and career options available to them, and to support them to make informed choices for their futures. In doing so, we also aim to inspire, as we know that inspired students are motivated students, and motivated students go on to achieve incredible outcomes.
inspired students are motivated students
It was very concerning to read in the media recently about Australia’s rankings drop in the latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS) and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Here at the NYSF we are particularly aware of and concerned about these results, and consequently are even more driven to ensure we deliver a quality program to engage young people in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects. In light of these results, we also recognise that the timing couldn’t be more significant for the opportunities we’ve recently been given to expand the programs we offer in 2017 and beyond.
2017 is going to be an exciting year for the NYSF and our participants. We will be piloting a new program targeting younger students in years 7 and 8. This pilot program will run in Adelaide in July 2017 in collaboration with the South Australian Department of Education and Child Development, with development funds from the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS). The new program is a residential program that aims to foster and encourage an interest in STEM at a time when many students start turning away from these subjects. Once the pilot is completed, we aim to roll the program out in even more locations around the country.
As a result of funding also secured from the Department of Industry Innovation and Science (DIIS) via the National Science and Innovation Agenda (NISA), the NYSF is nearing the final stages of negotiation with a current partner university to deliver a third NYSF Year 12 January Program to be run in 2018. We have also started discussions for a fourth program to be run at another site in 2019. This will give an additional 200 students the opportunity to participate in 2018, and by 2019 could see as many as 800 young people participating in the NYSF Year 12 Program, across four sessions. In addition, funding has been secured to establish the NYSF Equity Scholarship, which will contribute to reducing the participation fee for young people from communities that may previously have not applied to attend. We will be working closely with our Rotary colleagues to identify young people to access these funds.
We are also negotiating funding and hosting arrangements with the same current partner university to run an additional NYSF National Science Teachers Summer School (NSTSS) program in 2018, as well as maintaining the long-running and popular program that we have delivered at The Australian National University (ANU) for the past 12 years. Our NSTSS Program offers professional development to science teachers, as well as an opportunity to support their engagement levels and passion for teaching science to our young people.
I am sure you will agree, there is a lot in the pipeline here at the NYSF – the result of some hard work by our Board and corporate team in the past two years, and I must acknowledge their role, and in particular, Professor Tanya Monro, our immediate past Board Chair.
Before I sign off, I note that we are seeking some assistance in billeting students who are travelling to and from different locations around the country, via Sydney and Melbourne, to attend the NYSF Year 12 Program in January. This is a great opportunity to get to know some of the bright young people who are attending the program, and be involved, even if you’re not in Canberra.
In Sydney, we’re looking for people to host students overnight on these dates:
- Sunday 1 January
- Sunday 15 January
In Melbourne, we’re looking for people to host students overnight on these dates:
- Sunday 1 January (students travelling to Session A)
- Saturday 14 January (students travelling home from Session A)
- Sunday 15 January (students travelling to Session C)
- Saturday 28 January (students travelling home from Session C)
The NYSF believes that child protection is everyone’s responsibility and those interested in billetting will need to meet the community standards (legislative requirements) in your state of territory. For more information, and to volunteer as a host, you can go to https://goo.gl/forms/vBwhE6oWICM4QCML2.
We look forward to welcoming in the 2017 year, with all of its new opportunities, along with the next cohort of 400 young people to join our Year 12 January program.
Once again, all the best for the festive season, and thank you for your support.
Dr Damien Pearce
Chief Executive Officer
In 2015, PwC developed the 21st Century Minds Accelerator Program to unearth, grow and scale Australia’s best STEM education initiatives. Twenty initiatives, including the National Youth Science Forum, were selected to be involved, and the program has operated throughout 2016. The final program workshops were held in November, prior to presentation pitching events held in Sydney and Melbourne.
These final workshops were facilitated by Education Changemakers, with contributions from The Difference Social Impact team and The School of Life, and allowed the initiatives one last formal opportunity to engage with each other, and consider possibilities for further collaboration.
“The PwC 21C Minds program has been an extremely valuable experience for the NYSF,” said CEO, Dr Damien Pearce. “It has allowed us to fast-track some of the development work we had already been undertaking, and in addition, it offered insights into the activities of other groups working the STEM arena, who we might be able to work with collaboratively in the future.”
“But perhaps most importantly, the support from the PwC Canberra mentor team, led by Ken Maxwell, has provided us with some clear directions for our future business development activities, and for some of our processes. We cannot emphasise how important accessing this support has been for us at this critical time in the public STEM discourse.”
PwC will be working with two of the 21CM initiatives in 2017 to further their development objectives.
The National Youth Science Forum is proud to announce that we will be hosting an event as part of the World Science Festival Brisbane to be held in March, 2017.
The event will be for local students in years 10-12 who are interested in studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) at university. And who better to answer their questions than NYSF alumni who are currently studying or have recently graduated from a STEM degree themselves!
The event will be in a Speed-date-a-(young)-Scientist format, giving participants the opportunity to move around and talk to a range of alumni, asking them their toughest questions about completing high school science and what it’s like to study at university.
The event will include three separate sessions, giving more young students the chance to participate, and is currently being promoted through the Queensland schools’ network by the team at the World Science Festival Brisbane.
We are now on the lookout for Brisbane based NYSF alumni who want to get involved with this opportunity to give back to the next gen of young students coming through. We understand it’s a bit early to know for sure if you’ll be available on the day, so for now we encourage you to let us know you are interested, and we’ll put you on the email list for future updates. Alternatively, if you know someone that you think would be interested, we encourage you to share this article with them.
You can read more about the event here – Five Minutes With Your Future
Title: National Youth Science Forum – Five Minutes With Your Future
Date: Friday 24th March, 2017
Times: There will be three sessions starting at 10am, 11:30am and 1:00pm
Location: Collectors Cafe, Queensland Museum & Science Centre, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Audience: High School Students in years 10-12.
Each year the NYSF offers a range of opportunities to participants from the January Sessions to attend similar science programs in locations around the world. With 2016 drawing to a close, we can now look back on the year’s events and feature some of the reflections of the students who were lucky enough to attend.
Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF)
The international program to kick-off the year is the Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) held over six days in May. Each year, up to six Australian students are invited to act as ambassadors for Australian Science at the event. The key feature of CWSF is the inclusion of the national science competition final where more than 500 Canadian participants present their science projects for the year.
“Attending the Canada Wide Science Fair, held this year in Montreal, was an utterly unique experience for me, and one that has given me such a broad range of experiences that I never would have otherwise.” Harrison Rook, 2016
“The Canada Wide Science Fair was a showcase for the next generation of entrepreneurs, academics, scientists and technologists; minds that will tackle and solve some of the most challenging issues facing our planet. For the 500 finalists, participation at CWSF is a great achievement and a life-changing event.” Isabella Aitkenhead, 2016
I knew my teachers would be supportive and what I would get from this program would be well worth the stress of doing assignments in the holidays
XLAB International Science Camp – Göttingen, Germany
Targeted at students aged 17-22, the XLAB International Science Camp (XLAB) held by the University of Göttingen each year in the European summer, offers experimental courses in biology, chemistry, physics and more. Students have the opportunity to conduct hands-on experiments under the supervision of scientists from the University and affiliated research organisations. The weekends and evenings offer a range of social and cultural programs as well.
“This trip to Göttingen was an absolute eye opener into actually being on the frontier of science, an experience I was extremely fortunate to encounter at the perfect time in my life, allowing me to peer into the reality of my intentions for the future while I still have time to consolidate them.” Tom Houlden, 2016
The International Science Summer School Heidelberg (ISSSH), Germany
If it’s Germany you want to go to then there is another excellent option each year. The International Science Summer School Heidelberg (ISSSH) offers a four week program where students can gain practical insight and experience in the natural sciences under the supervision of renowned scientists. Each there are places for three Australians to attend with peers from all over the world in the beautiful city of Heidelberg.
“Heidelberg invited us into their city to allow us to experience both their culture and share with us their love for science.” Erica Coxon, 2016
National University of Singapore Science Summer Camp (NUS SSC)
In July each year, the National University of Singapore (NUS) runs an annual science summer camp program that offers a curiosity stirring series of lectures, workshops and lab sessions led by experienced university professors. The program includes visits to NUS’s state of the art scientific research centres. The goal of the NUS SSC is to help students discover their passion and potential in the broad world of STEM.
Research Science Insitute (RSI)
The longest program on offer, running for six weeks in the U.S. summer, is the RSI program. This program is operated by the Center of Excellence in Education and held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston. Each year Australia, through the NYSF, sends two participants to attend, and competition for this highly regarded program is fierce. For the first week students have the opportunity to take part in intensive STEM classes. For the remaining five weeks, participants have the opportunity to conduct their own research in a field of their choice with leading scientists, engineers and professors as their mentors and supervisors.
“RSI has redefined my future as a research scientist, and I am certain this program has and will allow me to become greater scientist than I would have before. ” Matt Craigie, 2016
London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF)
With more than a 50 year history, the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) is one of the largest programs on offer. Running for two weeks, this residential event is hosted by the Imperial College in South Kensington. Participants have the opportunity to attend lectures, research labs industrial sites and other scientific institutions that are led by some of the most recognised scientists in the UK. An active social calendar is also part of the fun.
“Overall, my attendance at the LIYSF and CERN program will be an experience I will never forget. In addition to giving us the opportunity to hear from incredible scientists from all over the world and visit world-class facilities in London, my enthusiasm for science was renewed by the excitement and wonderful people.” Courtney Graymore, 2016
EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF)
The EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) is a biannual event run in a different location in Europe every two years. ESOF is a huge event attracting an incredible 6,000 participants including: researchers, business leaders, government officials, media, students and scientists Europe-wide. At each event there are opportunities for six NYSF participants to attend. In 2016, Manchester, UK was the chosen city. NYSFers will now have to wait until 2018 when the next event is held in Toulouse, France.
“The EuroScience Open Forum completely changed my outlook on science, and for that matter the world! Being the largest general science meeting in Europe, the forum attracted some of the best and most highly regarded researchers and students from across Europe.” Wesley Flavell, 2016
“ESOF may have only lasted for ten days, but the memories will surely last me for a lifetime.” Kate Morcom, 2016
Applications for the International Programs open in early February, following the January Sessions each year. We encourage all current NYSF participants to look at the NYSF database for reports completed by previous international participants to inform their own considerations to apply. While it is often a big financial and time commitment during year 12, the opportunities and benefits are momentous.
“Many others from NYSF said that they didn’t want to apply for international programs because they would miss a lot of school. Personally I wasn’t fazed by this because I knew my teachers would be supportive and what I would get from this program would be well worth the stress of doing assignments in the holidays.” Erica Coxon, 2016
Travel costs for students from New South Wales were supported by the NSW Department of Industry, Office of Science and Research.
Ellen de Vries is from regional Victoria, and attended the NYSF in 2014. She is currently studying a double major in Genetics and Food Science with a concurrent Diploma in Languages (Italian) at the University of Melbourne.
“Without the NYSF I would not have had the confidence nor the contacts to discover and develop my passion for crop genetics and research.”
“Since attending the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) in 2014 I have been really fortunate in pursuing the many opportunities offered to me. During the NYSF I met CSIRO researcher, Sally Walford, and she invited me to do volunteer work in her cotton genetics research lab in the summer after I attended the NYSF. This was my first real taste of research and I enjoyed every minute of. It consolidated in my mind that I really loved research and wanted to potentially spend the rest of my life doing it.
Through this experience and the NYSF I really developed my passion for researching plant genomes and genetic manipulation. In my first year of university, this led to me being a research assistant to a PhD student at the University of Melbourne, giving me a better understanding of how research projects work.
At the beginning of 2016 I returned to the CSIRO and spent a week in the wheat genetics lab. I continued to develop my interest in the manipulation and expression of genes in cereal crops – specifically wheat plants. There is a lot of potential to increase the yield of wheat crops, which would be of benefit to the Australian grains sector, and the economy more broadly . This volunteer experience has motivated me to contact AgriBio Victoria to seek more lab work in the plant genetics field.
I am about to finish my second year at University of Melbourne, and am hoping to pass and go on to do my honours, and hopefully onto a PhD in cereal crop genetics.
Without the NYSF I would not have had the confidence or the contacts to discover and develop my passion for crop genetics and research. I know my experience with the NYSF is not a unique one and is shared by everyone who attends. The opportunities have been so incredible and they’ve really encouraged me to pursue my passion.”
I attended the NYSF in 2009 (Einstein), before completing a Bachelor of Global and Ocean Sciences (Hons.) at the Australian National University (ANU) – where I’ve since been working on my PhD at the Research School of Earth Sciences, which I hope to finish towards the end of next year.
The NYSF certainly opened my eyes to what was actually possible for those of us who wanted to pursue STEM careers. However, for me the most valuable aspects of NYSF were the emergent phenomena – those which simply arise once you assemble 140-odd budding science enthusiasts under the same roof and take them to the frontiers of modern research. A sense of community arose from mutual curiosity and sincere excitement towards understanding how the world works (and a healthy dose of chanting). Of the many things NYSF offered, this was the most encouraging. Indeed, my interactions with the scientific community at ANU and across the world remain the most enjoyable aspect of my research today.
For me the most valuable aspects of NYSF were the emergent phenomena – those which simply arise once you assemble 140-odd budding science enthusiasts under the same roof and take them to the frontiers of modern research.
For my PhD, I’m currently attempting to constrain some of the geochemical systematics of seafloor hydration and subduction dehydration processes within oceanic crust. On a broad scale, these processes enable the generation of arc magmas within subduction zones, which are key to the formation and growth of the modern continental crust.
As part of this, I’m involved in an International Ocean Discovery Program expedition (Expedition 357: Atlantis Massif Serpentinization and Life), which recovered samples from near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge using seafloor drilling. Through this expedition I’ve already had opportunities to travel to Germany, Switzerland, France and Texas and to discuss my research with leading researchers across the world. My continuing work on rock samples recovered from the seafloor aims to constrain the evolution of alteration and hydration processes as the rocks are brought to the seafloor with increasing crustal extension. To do this, I’m using a novel combination of in-situ oxygen isotope (using SHRIMP), trace element, noble gas and halogen measurements.
In addition to this, I’m working on relict oceanic rocks from Lago di Cignana (NW Italy), which have experienced the geological journey of a lifetime – from the Jurassic seafloor, through Alpine subduction (to ≈100km depth) before conveniently returning to the surface to be sampled by some keen geologists millions of years later. We’re using the relatively intact section of upper oceanic crust (consisting of altered seafloor sediments, altered basaltic rocks and underlying serpentinites) as a natural laboratory to investigate how, where and when hydrous fluids are ephemerally produced from metamorphic reactions as rocks are progressively subducted. By looking at chemical zonation of minerals growing as these fluids pass through, we can investigate changes in fluid composition (especially oxygen isotopes and trace metals) with successive pulses of fluids under different conditions. This gives us critical constraints on where fluids may have come from, which reactions might have generated them and the pathways they may have taken to get there – information we can put back into models and use to design new experiments to better understand how the system works.
Beyond the realms of the PhD, I’ll soon be chasing opportunities for post-doctoral research overseas. Ideally I’d like to continue research at the intersection between isotope geochemistry and oceanic geoscience, applying new techniques to better constrain fundamental processes to better understand how our planet works. There are many options for continuing research within academic, governmental and commercial spheres, and I look forward to exploring some new horizons in the years to come (while having a good deal of fun in the process).
The results are in again for the Times Higher Education annual global ranking of universities based on the employability of their graduates. For the fourth year running, the Australian National University has come out on top of all Australian universities.
A representative from ANU explains the foundation behind this positive result:
“Employers value ANU graduates for their well-rounded education that not only draws on academic excellence but also experience gained from fieldwork, global travel and internship opportunities. Former NYSF student, Brody Hannan shares his experience here.”
To find out more about what you can study at ANU, click here.
Careers that Started in Science
Ann Damien, Bachelor of Biotechnology
“I first became interested in science when I attended the National Youth Science Forum while I was in high school. That was the first time I really saw people who were genuinely excited about science! I was hooked.
UQ’s international ranking and reputation for world-acclaimed researchers in life sciences along with excellent campus facilities placed UQ at the top of my preference list.
I now work as a New Technology Associate in the Asia-Pacific New Technologies Team (ANTT) at Cook Medical.
Biotech is an amazing field to be a part of, because the opportunities for new technologies and development are almost unlimited.”
Read more at career-profiles.science.uq.edu.au/ann-damien
New Program Offerings in 2017
The University of Queensland is introducing some exciting changes to its biomedical science offerings in 2017, giving greater flexibility and more choice than ever.
In addition to our flagship three-year Bachelor of Science program (majoring in Biomedical Science), UQ will offer several new ways to study biomedical science next year.
- UQ will offer the three-year Bachelor of Biomedical Science and the four-year Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) majoring in Biomedical Science.
- while an honours research year was embedded in the advanced science program, honours was available as an additional year of studying following graduation for the Bachelor of Biomedical Science and Bachelor of Science programs.
- a new dual program combination, the Bachelor of Biomedical Science/Bachelor of Science, will enable students to obtain a core background in a range of scientific disciplines and expand their scientific knowledge.
For more information about application procedures visit the future students website.
Equine and Wildlife Science – now available online
The University of Queensland has introduced an online study option for the Bachelor of Equine Science and Bachelor of Wildlife Science, so students can study wherever they are and at their own pace. There’s never been a better opportunity to access some of Australia’s top equine and wildlife specialists who will help them to realise their career ambitions.
The online program will assist students to develop advanced scientific and theoretical knowledge, while an intensive residential school at UQ’s Gatton campus will enhance practical skills in animal handling with access to the best specialist equine, wildlife and veterinary facilities in the southern hemisphere. It’s not too late to make dreams a realityand it has never been easier.
Apply to QTAC now for study in 2017: Bachelor of Equine Science – QTAC Code 787109, Bachelor of Wildlife Science – QTAC Code 787209.
UQ Create Change Masterclasses
UQ is now offering a series of online learning opportunities: Create Change Masterclasses.
These engaging and interactive classes complement the Federal Government National Innovation and Science Agenda, which highlights the need for new ideas in innovation, and new sources of growth to deliver the next age of economic prosperity for Australia.
The first three classes in the series each take around an hour to complete:
- Ideas to Impact: Take your ideas and create change in the world
- Power to Change: Using power and influence to change the world
- Engage to Innovate: Bring your innovation to fruition with the right help