Science in ACTion 2016

The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) will be taking part in Science in ACTion as part of the ACT’s National Science Week activities on Friday and Saturday 12 – 13 August.

National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology and thousands of individuals – from students, to scientists to chefs and musicians get involved, taking part in more than 1000 science events across the nation.

NYSF Alumni entertain event goers at National Science Week 2015

NYSF Alumni entertain event goers at National Science Week 2015

The NYSF will host a stall, with an opportunity for event goers to meet our alumni, participate in an interactive display and play dress-ups at the NYSF Photobooth across the two-day event at the Old Bus Depot in Kingston, ACT. Last year saw over 5,000 visitors across the two days.

Dress-up at the NYSF Photobooth

Dress-up at the NYSF Photobooth

Friday is Schools Day designed for Year five to Year 12 students and showcases STEM careers and pathways on offer in the Canberra region. Bookings are essential for this event. Saturday is open to the general public.

NYSF Chief Executive Officer Damien Pearce said, “The NYSF has participated in the past two Science in ACTion events and we are looking forward to participating again with assistance from NYSF alumni, who are always great ambassadors for our program.”

For more information about National Science Week, visit the website.

To register your school for the schools day event, please contact

Indigenous Science Experience 2016

The National Indigenous Science Education Program (NISEP) is running the Indigenous Science Experience Family Science Fun Day at the Redfern Community Centre in Sydney in August as part of National Science Week.

NISEP is a grassroots, community-based organisation that works with communities in both rural and metropolitan low socio-economic status regions to improve educational outcomes, especially of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth. Through engagement in fun and interactive science activities it aims to enhance scientific literacy, build confidence and open pathways to higher education.

At this year’s National Science Week event, NISEP partners and the Redfern Community Centre, City of Sydney will host a celebration of Indigenous and western science, demonstrating the value of traditional knowledge and Aboriginal culture in science, and the relevance of science to our everyday lives.

The event provides the opportunity to meet and speak with Indigenous elders and youth as they demonstrate their knowledge to members of the wider Redfern area community, through a range of activities . Working alongside them will be academics and students from Macquarie University, NISEP partners and a number of other science and outreach providers.

The Family Science Fun Day runs from 10:00am to 3:30pm on Sunday 21 August. There will be a range of fun hands-on activities that demonstrate scientific principles in a culturally relevant way.

All activities will be held at the Redfern Community Centre, 29-53 Hugo Street, Redfern.

For more information, visit the National Science Week events page.

NSW Department of Industry supports NSW-based NYSF students

For several years, the NSW Department of Industry, through the Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer, has supported travel costs for NSW-based NYSF students travelling on international programs.

In 2015, the Department’s grant contributed to the travel costs of 15 NYSF students, who attended the Canada-Wide Science Fair, Research Science Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the National University of Singapore Science Summer Camp, the London International Youth Science Forum, and the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar.

The students who were fortunate enough to participate in these programs all indicated that there was significant value in attending, and were grateful to the NSW Department of Industry for the support that was provided through its Research and Acceleration Program.

Responses to our annual survey of students indicate that all of the students participating in the International Programs have gone on to study STEM fields at a tertiary level – or intend to after gap-years. They also report that participating in the International Programs offered a very unique opportunity, and one that would not have been available to them had they not attended the NYSF.

Tammy Cai from Sefton attended the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar in November 2015. “Attending the NYSF in year 12 has opened many doors for me, and has given me many opportunities to engage in my passion for science, and network with like-minded youth around the world. The experiences, memories and friends I have gained at SIYSS are priceless.”

Thomas Ellis, from Medowie attended the London International Youth Science Forum 2015. “The theme of the LIYSF forum for 2015 was ‘global endeavour’; attending the Science Bazaar – where students from around the world showcased the research they have undertaken – has galvanised my interest in not only pursuing my own research endeavours but to work with others to collaborate and try to help them to reach theirs.”

In 2016, 11 students from New South Wales are being supported by the Department of Industry, travelling to Research Science Institute, Canada Wide Science Fair, National University of Singapore Science Summer Camp, and London International Youth Science Forum.

Calling all thinkers, doers, creators and innovators

Young Social Pioneers (YSP) is an incubator for Australia’s emerging social innovators, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and changemakers who are aged 18-29 years.

YSP is an initiative of the Foundation of Young Australians (FYA). Since 2009 through the YSP program, FYA has backed over 130 young Australians leading social change and innovation across Australia.

Over six months, participants will work alongside 50 other young people, build their business and leadership skills, turbocharge their social impact, meet world-class mentors, develop a network of impact-driven partners, join a passionate community of innovators and gain access to Australia’s only free co-working space for young people. Not to mention, our partners have generously offered up to $50,000 in total seed funding to be won!

YSP is looking for applications in the following categories – STEM, education, environment, youth mental health and arts and creative industries.

For more information or to apply, visit the Young Social Pioneers website

News from Monash University

Cosmic Dust Reveals Earth’s Ancient Atmosphere 

Monash University’s Dr Andrew Tompkins featured in The Conversation about his team’s research into what tiny micrometeorites from the Pilbara in Western Australia can tell us about the chemistry of the Earth’s atmosphere from 2.7 billion years ago.

Dr Andrew Tomkins and Dr Sasha Wilson, Monash University. Credit: Steven Morton

Dr Andrew Tomkins and Dr Sasha Wilson, Monash University. Credit: Steven Morton

To read the article, visit Monash University news and events.

To learn more about Dr Andrew Tompkins and his research, watch the video.

News from The University of Queensland

Future Students Contact Centre

For many future students, University can seem like a different world with a different language. The Future Student Contact Centre combines friendly service with helpful information on UQ programs, study options and applications.

Chat with us live

Our friendly student advisors are waiting to chat with you about study and life at UQ.

Visit us at

Give us a call

Call our dedicated call centre team or book a call back for support and advice.

Phone: (07) 3346 9872

Ask us a question

Email us your query and receive helpful advice about study and life at UQ –

For information, contact:

Linda Edwards

Phone: (07) 3346 8196



UQL Cyberschool – Library services for secondary schools

UQL Cyberschool is a free service for secondary schools, run by The University of Queensland Library.

For Students:

  • FREE borrowing of books – Year 11 and 12 students who live in Brisbane can join the UQ Library and borrow books
  • Links to free online resources are available from our website for most senior secondary subjects:

For information, contact:

Diane Nibbs

Phone: (07) 3365 6064




When: 11th July

Is science any use for saving species and habitat? Environmental conservation is a big challenge facing our planet. Isn’t it time to stand up and take action, rather than do more research? Why shouldn’t we just use the knowledge we already have to save threatened species?

This month we discuss the value of monitoring and information for achieving nature conservation outcomes. Is some research more useful than others, and should utility factor into decisions about research funding?

Join us as Professor Hugh Possingham, now chief scientist for the Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest conservation group, looks at how optimisation can be used as a framework to make the tough decisions.

For information, contact:

Leonie Small

Phone: (07) 3365 6455



Experience Science – Last few places left

When: 15 July 2016

Experience Science is a free event which provides students in Years 10 – 12 the opportunity to discover what studying science is like at UQ and how science is applied in industry and everyday life.

The event is facilitated by experts from UQ and industry through a series of hands-on, interactive science workshops. All workshops are held at the UQ St Lucia campus.

For information, contact:

Experience Science Team

Phone: (07) 3365 6455



UQ Geography and Environment Day

When: Friday 22 July 2016

Where can studies in geography, planning and environmental management take you?

The UQ Geography and Environment Day is designed for high school students to experience the applications and relevance of geography, planning and environmental management and see how studying these subjects can lead to a career with real world impact.

Sign up to the mailing list at the link below to be contacted when places open for the 2016 event.

For information, contact:

Science Events

Phone: (07) 3365 6455



You’re invited to UQ’s Open Days in August

Your students will discover a world of exceptional opportunities at UQ’s Open Days. Students can explore the campus and world-class facilities, learn about the range of programs and courses, receive personalised advice about study options, and get a feel for how great uni life can be.

  • St Lucia – Sunday, 7 August, 9.00am – 3.00pm
  • Gatton – Sunday, 21 August, 9.30am – 3.00pm

For information, contact:

Jessica Glass

Phone: (07) 3365 1535



WE Explore Engineering Regional Schools

Are you an engineer of the future? Join us at UQ St Lucia and be inspired by engineering’s possibilities!

UQ’s Women in Engineering program is thrilled to offer students living outside of Brisbane the opportunity to come to UQ St Lucia and see if engineering could be the career for you.

If you’re in year 10, 11 or 12 and love maths or science but you’re not sure how it applies to a career, this is the event not to be missed.

We will provide return transport to Brisbane from six pick-up locations – Warwick, Toowoomba, Bundaberg, Torbanlea, Maryborough and Gympie.

Please note there will be one pick-up point in each town that you will need to make your way to.


Thursday 21 July 2016

You’ll arrive to UQ St Lucia by 3pm and attend Engineering Futures Evening from 4:30pm-7:00pm. Be inspired as you hear about the journeys of female engineers from:

  • Google – Anna Emmerson
  • Boeing – Rhianna Ferguson
  • Cochlear – Samantha Lichter
  • Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology – Claudia Vickers

Enjoy dinner and stay overnight in either The Women’s College or Duchesne College, located within the UQ St Lucia campus.

Friday 22 July 2016

After breakfast, you’ll attend WE Explore Engineering Day from 8:15am-2:00pm and tackle three of our hands-on engineering workshops to discover why engineers are society’s problem solvers.

From rockets to programming robots to developing a prosthetic limb, you’ll get great insight into the many fields engineers work in. You’ll be able to select the workshops that interest you.

Buses will depart UQ St Lucia shortly after 2:00pm and return to the six pick-up locations. You will need to be picked up from the pick-up location by your parent/guardian.


The cost to attend WE Explore Engineering Regional Schools is $50 per person. This includes return transport to Brisbane (from pick-up locations), accommodation, meals and activities.

We do have bursaries available for students in financial need – please email us for further information.

Check out the photos from this year’s WE Explore Engineering Day and last year’s Engineering Futures Evening on our Facebook page!

For further information, please contact:

UQ Women in Engineering –

When: Thursday, 21 July, 2016 to Friday, 22 July, 2016

Where: Advanced Engineering Building, Staff House Road, UQ St Lucia

Overnight accommodation in either The Women’s College or Duchesne College, College Road, UQ St Lucia

Registrations: Register by Friday 15 July

Engineering Futures Evening

Whether the seed to study engineering was planted by a teacher, parent, family friend or someone unexpected, every journey is a little different.

If you’re in year 10, 11 or 12 and love maths or science, come along to discover if engineering could be the career for you.

Be inspired by the journeys of female engineers from Google, Boeing, Cochlear and the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN). One of the speakers just may help you to decide your future path.

  • Anna Emmerson, Site Reliability Engineer – Google
  • Rhianna Ferguson, Avionics Engineer – Boeing
  • Samantha Lichter, New Product Industrialisation Engineer/ProcessEngineer – Cochlear
  • Claudia Vickers, Senior Research Fellow – AIBN

You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and then over a light dinner, speak with students and industry representatives at our industry booths. Students, parents and teachers are welcome to attend.

Engineering Futures Evening for regional students

Registrations are now open!

If you live in Warwick, Toowoomba, Bundaberg or Gympie, we will be arranging transport to/from UQ St Lucia campus so you can come along to Engineering Futures Evening on Thursday 21 July, stay overnight on campus and attend WE Explore Engineering Day on Friday 22 July.


For further information, please contact: UQ Women in Engineering –

News from GSK

$80,000 GSK Award for excellence in medical research

GSK are looking for leaders in medical research who are working to improve human health, to award their annual $80,000 grant.

This award recognises outstanding achievements in medical research and facilitates career development.

Last year’s winners Jim McCluskey and Jamie Rossjohn discovered how vitamin B provides an early warning to our gut’s immune cells.

Other past recipients include Chris Goodnow, Ingrid Scheffer and David Craik.

Nominations close Monday 4 July. See the website for further details.

News from CSL

Two new $1.25million CSL Centenary Fellowships for mid-career researchers

CSL are celebrating 100 years in science by establishing two new annual fellowships – each worth $1.25 million over five years.

These generous fellowships will cover a full-time salary, plus research costs and/or a postdoc assistant.

They are open to mid-career (three to six years post-doctoral) medical researchers for discovery and translational research with a focus on rare and serious diseases, immunology, and inflammation.

Applications close Sunday 31 July. For further details and to apply, visit the CSL Centenary Fellowship website.


From the CEO

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, launched Australia’s STEM Workforce report in March that provides an up-to-date detailed analysis of the status of Australia’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) trained workforce. The report addresses demographics and the types of occupations and industries graduates and PhDs move in to and the income they may earn.

This report is a great resource for students, and those who support students such as parents, teachers and career advisors, to inform about study and career decision-making within STEM.

A warm welcome to our new Rotary District Chairs (and sincere thanks to those who are continuing) who are now mid-way through the application and selection processes for the NYSF 2017 January Sessions. Expressions of Interest opened on 1 March for students to attend the National Youth Science Forum 2017 and applications have been steadily coming through. I strongly encourage potential applicants to not leave submitting their EoI until the last minute as there are several key steps in the process, which include talking to a local Rotary club about endorsing your application. Expressions of Interest close at midnight AEST on 31 May.

Congratulations to the 37 students from our 2016 and 2015 cohorts who have been selected to attend our 2016 International Programs. Once again the standard of applications was high, making the selection a challenge. Students will be heading off to London, Montreal, Singapore, Boston, Gottingen and Heidelberg. Our International Programs are invaluable to students with an interest in building overseas networks for future study and career opportunities.

Our Next Step programs have commenced with Brisbane and Canberra being a huge success. Thank you to our partner universities and organisations for hosting students. I must also thank student staff members Harley Gray for his help in Brisbane and Lucas Logan for his assistance with the Canberra program. Applications for our Melbourne and Sydney programs will be open soon.

Our participation in the PwC 21C Minds Accelerator Program has resulted in significant opportunities to develop our strategic direction as well as to learn more about some of the organisations also working in the STEM outreach space in Australia and explore potential for collaboration and expansion. In February, Dr Tony Wagner from Harvard University’s Innovation Lab, spent time with the 21CMinds participants and shared valuable insights and critiqued some of the thinking around the developing programs. This activity will continue to provide benefit to the NYSF as the year progresses, and we are extremely proud of our involvement. I also wish to acknowledge the NYSF’s Manager of External Relations, Amanda Caldwell’s contribution to this initiative.

I was privileged to attend the 100-year anniversary celebrations of long-term NYSF funding partner, CSL Ltd this month. This iconic Australian company has a proud history of pharmaceutical and health product development in Australia, including the manufacture of vaccines, insulin and anti-venoms. Six of our alumni are featured in this inspiring video released in conjunction with the celebrations – thanks Tayla, Meg, Kushani, Michael, Lachlan, and Charlie for agreeing to be involved. We are proud of all of our alumni, and thank you for representing them.

World Science Festival Brisbane

Early in March, the World Science Festival took Brisbane by storm. A reported 120,000 visitors participated in the program over the week of activities that covered everything from Nobel laureates to turtles.

The NYSF was there at the Street Science events on the weekend, alongside of the Young Scientists of Australia’s Brisbane Chapter. Much fun was had talking with young children about some basic science – magic mud and coiled spring theory – as well as playing dress-ups at the Photobooth.

World Science Festival Brisbane - NYSF and YSA Photobooth

NYSF and YSA Photobooth

A significant team of Brisbane-based NYSF alumni, some of who are also members of YSA, helped out with the activity. It was great to see so many of them enthusiastically encouraging others to get involved and interested in science.

In addition, two of our alumni, Dr Phil Terrill and Holstein Wong, took part in our Letter to my teen self talk, presented in conjunction with Women in Technology Queensland. They shared their insights and top tips with the audience about how to keep motivated and what they learned through studying science and moving into STEM related careers.

World Science Festival

NYSF Alumna Sam Cridland volunteering at World Science Festival Brisbane

Thanks to the team at the Museum of Queensland who managed the events at World Science Festival Brisbane. They will be back next March with a whole new program. Hope to see you there.