An update from the CEO

We are certainly approaching a busy time of year for the NYSF – heading into our 35th year celebrations in 2018.

Our planning for the NYSF Year 12 program is ahead of schedule. We are expecting nearly 600 young people from across Australia in January, within our Canberra and Brisbane sessions. It has been very exciting to be able to scale this program with the support of our Brisbane host, the University of Queensland. We are also thrilled to be introducing some new activities into the program this year. Participants will have the opportunity to choose activities outside of their interest groups and attend a new STEM + day. The STEM + activity encourages students to explore combined STEM related disciplines such as ‘science and law’, ‘science and linguistics’, ‘science and arts’ and ‘science and business’ – to name a few.

I am excited to advise that the NYSF’s National Science Teachers Summer School in Brisbane is now full, and the Canberra program is not far behind with limited places remaining for those still wanting to attend. I believe this validates our approach to teacher professional development. In contrast to some other teachers’ programs, NYSF’s program doesn’t focus on “telling teachers how to teach better”. Our focus is on developing a community of practice amongst our participants, who come from schools and school systems across Australia, about learning across the STEM disciplines through reinvigorating the passions of the teachers – their passions for science engineering, technology, mathematics – along with the passion and potential of their students.

At the time of writing, we have two new confirmed funding partners for the 2018 programs that I am very pleased to welcome on board – Macquarie University and Defence Force Recruiting. Expanding the number and range of organisations willing to support the NYSF’s activities allows us to continue to expand the opportunities for our young participants to make informed choices about their futures.

The NYSF recently accepted an opportunity to speak at a summit about future proofing STEM industries, specifically about the importance of partnerships that yield opportunity for Australia’s young scientists. The NYSF was asked to be involved due to our track record of collaborating with industry, universities and research organisations to provide tangible learning experiences and inspiring leaders and entrepreneurs to determine and invent their futures. Further to this, the NYSF has also been involved in consultations with regard to the Science in Society initiative currently being developed by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Another engagement opportunity has included the industry skilling strategy of the Department of Defence.

I would like to take this opportunity, as the end of the year approaches, to thank my Board which is very capably lead by Mr Andrew Metcalfe AO. I have very much enjoyed working with such a professional and committed group of individuals with incredibly diverse careers and achievements. Additionally, an even bigger thankyou to the NYSF’s corporate staff who diligently work behind the scenes to facilitate our suite of outreach programs. Without these people, our funders, and Rotary friends, the amazing work that we do here at the NYSF would not be possible.

No matter how or why you celebrate the forthcoming festive season – of Christmas, Ashura, Yom Kippur, Bodhi or Hanukkah – on behalf of all of us here at the NYSF, we hope you enjoy the time with your family and friends and remain safe.

A full house of Governors’ Receptions

Each year, September to November marks the season for Governors’ Receptions in the NYSF calendar. This year with almost 600 participants selected to attend the NYSF Year 12 Program next January, a significant proportion had the opportunity to attend a reception in their local state, to honour and celebrate their achievements of being selected to attend the NYSF, as well as acknowledging the extensive efforts of Rotary in selecting them.

In Victoria, Her Excellency, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, and her team at Government House generously  extended invitations to all 150 plus Victorian-based students, along with two guests each. A number of Rotarians and NYSF Partners were also invited. To accommodate the total of more than 400 guests, the event was hosted in the ballroom – a truly spectacular space.

Emily Mannix, who will be attending Session C in Canberra, travelled from Bendigo to Melbourne to attend the event. Here is what she had to say:

The Victorian Governor’s Reception for NYSF 2018 students was an exciting event for all involved – this was the first opportunity to meet some of the lucky few attendees like ourselves. The Victorian Governor the Honourable Linda Dessau AC and her husband Anthony Howard met with students at the reception and after a few words of congratulation had the room buzzing with enthusiasm for what was to come.”

Next, on the other side of the country, it was time for the West Australian Governor’s Reception which was held by Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC. This was a more intimate event for the students, giving more opportunity to get to know each other and have time to talk with the Her Excellency.

Alex Troung from Perth said, “The Western Australian Governor’s Reception was a magnificent event – we all were looking forward to attending and were not disappointed! It was amazing to hear from our Governor, Her Excellency, Kerry Sanderson, who both congratulated us and inspired us with her own journey in the field of science. The event was both warm and grand, and I loved meeting my fellow participants there!”

A week later we saw two events on the same day. In South Australia, His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC and his wife, Mrs Le, hosted a delightful morning tea event where students and a parent/guardian had the opportunity to explore all corners of Government House. Around the same time in another part of the country, it was Tasmania’s turn with Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC hosting students, parents and Rotary members from the Rotary District 9830.

With no number too small, the next event to be held was in Darwin with the Administrator of the Northern Territory the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM. Both of our Northern Territory based students were able to attend this very intimate event.

Later that week, it was off to Brisbane, Queensland for an afternoon tea hosted by His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC. Excitement was high for this event with the new session planned for Brisbane in January 2018 and a number of representatives from our partner the University of Queensland also in attendance.

Sadly, the final Governor’s Reception to be held at Government House in Sydney on the 9 November by His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC had to be cancelled at the last minute due to severe illness. Disappointing but very understandable.

The NYSF would like to thank sincerely each of the Governors for hosting our incoming students, along with their fabulous staff whose support is essential for the success of these events.

 

Alumna Kat Jackson is building her own road to success

NYSF 2001 Alumna Kat Jackson (formerly Kathryn Campbell) tells us about her journey from a small rural town in Central Victoria to working on motorway projects in Auckland, New Zealand.

Nobody in my family had ever been awarded a degree, and few graduates from my high school went to university. My parents were very supportive of me undertaking tertiary qualifications. It was always going to mean leaving home, as we lived rurally in central Victoria. I had a tough time at high school. Not academically, but I struggled to fit in and had no idea what I was going to do when it was over. Most of those that did further education, studied teaching or nursing – and I knew those were not the careers I wanted.

Spending two weeks living in Canberra at NYSF 2001 made me excited for my future, and gave me a goal to focus on through Year 12. At NYSF, I met “my people” and realised that STEM wasn’t just for other special smart people, it was for me!

I went on to study Civil Engineering at Monash University. During breaks and part-time during the years, I worked in engineering roles for various organisations. One favourite role was as an Education Officer for Melbourne Water – using science communication skills to explain wastewater treatment to everyone from 5 year olds to foreign industry experts.

After finishing my Honours degree, I was employed as a graduate engineer by FRH (now Fulton Hogan). Skill shortages in New Zealand meant that they paid me to move to Auckland to work on an exciting and innovative motorway project in 2008.

I have since worked on several large construction and operations projects, and am now employed by Downer. My science communication skills have set me apart in my career. For the last 5 years I have worked as a Quality Manager on large motorway projects in Auckland. Recently, I have devised several in-house construction training courses (focusing mainly on quality assurance) – these have been successful for people ranging from managers to labourers.

The lessons I took from NYSF weren’t all directly science-related. I learned how to confidently speak to greatly admired leaders and peers. I also learned how to engage effectively with people when we didn’t have much in common. Most importantly, I realised that even the best amongst us are always striving to be better still.

ANU graduates rated Australia’s most employable

ANU graduates have been rated the nation’s most employable (for the 5th year in a row!). ANU students get a well-rounded education that employers are looking for. They learn from the world’s leading minds and they get the chance to do fieldwork, internships and global travel.

ANU graduates have been ranked Australia’s most employable graduates and are among the most sought after employees worldwide. The latest Global Employability University ranking, published by the Times Higher Education, rated ANU as Australia’s top university for getting a job for the fifth consecutive year.

ANU is a world-leading university in Australia’s capital city, Canberra, a world-leading centre for research, education and policy engagement. ANU counts more Nobel Laureates among staff and alumni than any other Australian university (including our Vice Chancellor!).

At ANU, you’ll get a world class qualification and an educational experience to help you stand out in the jobs market, here and overseas. Our students get internship experience in places like the Australian Parliament, the Australian Academy of Science, CSIRO and Geoscience Australia (to name a few). ANU have a global outlook in which we strongly encourage students to seek international experiences as part of their education and develop leadership skills, it’s our students that make us among the top most employable universities in the world.

For further information on what makes ANU graduates so employable, click here.

What’s happening at the University of Melbourne? News and Updates from Parkville

COURSE INFORMATION DAY

Course Information Day is a great opportunity to hear first-hand what STEM related opportunities exist at the University of Melbourne. The event will run on Monday 18 December, where you can ask questions about our Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics courses and have a tour of our campus and residential colleges.

The University of Melbourne offers through its Melbourne Model, the opportunity to create your own study path in over 41 different areas of Science through our Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Biomedical Science degrees like in areas such as Biology, Chemistry, Animal Health and Disease Management, Physics and Physiology.

Register to attend our Course Information Day here!

THRIVING AMID THE RISE OF THE MACHINES

Since 1948, futurists have warned about the impact automation could have on the human workforce, and now those changes are becoming a reality. Does it mean a re-think about what jobs humans can do better than machines?

Technology is destroying jobs, says Dr Greg Adamson, an expert in the social impact of advanced technology. There can no longer be any doubt about that hard fact of life in the 21st Century. The process is now inevitable, as automation, robotics and artificial intelligence embeds deeper into our society.

But with robots and automation proliferating – and with traditional jobs disappearing – what opportunities are there for humans in this new age?

WHY CAN’T WE CURE CANCER?

After heart disease, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world – 8.8 million people lost their lives to cancer in 2015.

A generation ago, one in three people in the developed world were diagnosed with cancer; in some countries it is now approaching one in two. Low- and middle-income countries are also severely affected – with the majority of cancer cases now presenting themselves in these countries.

Why despite the great strides in medical knowledge, does the world continue to struggle in finding a cure for cancer? This episode of The PolicyShop addresses this question with two world leading experts.

Nobel Laureate, Dr Harold Varmus, currently the Lewis Thomas University Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, who formally served as the Director of the National Institute of Health and as the Director of the National Cancer Institute in the United States and Associate Professor Sherene Loi, head of the Translational Breast Cancer Genomics Laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne join the host Professor Glyn Davis, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne.

You can find the podcast on iTunes or listen on our website, here!

ETHICS IN SCIENCE EVENT

With the rapid advancement of science, ethical dilemmas arise frequently. These range from the use of embryonic stem cells or animals in research, deciding how much power to give robots and artificial intelligence, how far to go with clinical trials in humans or using modern technology to decide whether one should turn off the life support of someone in coma.

Though science is not infallible, it is essential that scientific research is pursued with integrity and transparency and to the highest possible standards. Scientists owe this dedication and honesty to their pursuit of truth and to the tax-payer who both funds and is the beneficiary of the research.

At this forum, five internationally renowned scientists working in different fields will address some of these ethical issues and answer questions from the floor.

This Q&A type session will be moderated by Bernie Hobbs from the ABC (The New Inventors).

Register to attend our Ethics in Science forum here!

WHAT COULD SUSTAINABLE AUSTRALIAN CITIES LOOK LIKE IN 2040?

It’s 2040.

As you wake and look outside, things might not look hugely different to 2017 – there aren’t any hoverboards or sky highways – but Australian cities have managed to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent.

And how your day unfolds will look very different depending on how we reached this point.

How can Australia meet its cities energy needs whilst also meeting the country’s clean energy targets?

Read more about this article here!

NSW Department of Industry supporting NYSF International Program Participants from NSW

NYSF alumni from NSW who are travelling this year on NYSF International Programs have again had the good fortune to receive a grant contributing to their travel costs from the NSW Department of Industry through the Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer.

The Department has been offering this support to NYSF students for several years now. In 2016, 11 NSW students received the grant.  Programs attended by those students included the Canada Wide Science Fair (CWSF), the National University of Singapore Summer Science Camp (NUS SSC), the Research Science Institute (RSI) at MIT, and the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF).

The opportunity to travel on these International Programs is often life changing for the students who take part. For some it is the first time they have been overseas. Alysse Cook from Moruya, a small town on the south coast of NSW, shared her experience of visiting the Canada Wide Science Fair:

“I arrived home with an entirely new perspective on life. Being able to witness first-hand the work that young students all over Canada are doing, and the unique and society-changing ideas that they are presenting to the world, I developed a new sense of self-purpose and motivation. I have always wanted to pursue a career in medicine, though I doubted my abilities to do so. The Canada Wide Science Fair unleashed a whole new world of possibilities, and helped me realise my full potential.”

Viney Kumar from Sydney, attended the Research Science Institute – the most competitive and challenging program on offer. Here is what he had to say:

“The RSI allowed me to forge new friendships and interact with many peers with both similar and diverse interests from around the world. This strong and close community that I am now a part of will inspire me to do more, step outside my comfort zone, and become a better person as a result.”

In 2017, the Department is supporting 10 NSW students. The students are attending LIYSF, NUS SSC and XLab – a program based in Goettingen, Germany. We look forward to hearing the highlights from the 2017 cohort throughout the year as they complete these programs and on behalf of the students would like to thank the Department for their contribution.

STEM Explorer Wrap Up

The first National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) STEM Explorer Program ran from 17-21 July in Adelaide, South Australia. The Program was the first residential STEM camp in Australia for this age group of year 7-8 students and was delivered as a partnership by the NYSF and South Australian Department of Education and Child Development (DECD).  The aim of the Program – to enthuse the participants about the study of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Want to read more about the NYSF STEM Explorer Program?

If you’d like to know the institutions and organisations involved and the views of some of the key STEM advocates involved in the program you can read about that in “NYSF STEM Explorer roams across the Adelaide landscape”.

You can read about the activities undertaken by the participants in more detail in “Highlights of NYSF STEM Explorer 2017”.

Perhaps you’d like to know more about the NYSF’s “By Youth for Youth” program model and the NYSF alumni who volunteered their time and passion to support the young participants, while also gaining a valuable leadership development opportunity. You can read about that in “Meet the Youth Advisors of NYSF STEM Explorer”.

Join the ANU Open Day Lab Coat Party

ANU Open Day – Saturday 26 August

Join us at ANU Open Day on Saturday 26 August and get a taste of life as an ANU science student. We will be offering a range of fun and interactive activities to help you determine your scientific future. Check out some of the activities below:

Lab Coat Party

Pick up your free lab coat and come along to our Lab Coat Party. You’ll get the chance to see our multi-million dollar facilities while trying out some hands-on experiments including visualising sound and robot programming. You may even make some new friends! Register here for your free lab coat.

STEM Avenue

If you’re looking for more, check out STEM Avenue. We’ll be serving up everything Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Grab a bite to eat, dance to coded music and see some thrilling science and engineering demonstrations.

Meet a scientist

Meet our leading scientific minds (did we mention our Vice Chancellor is a Nobel Laureate in Physics?). Our academics will be available all day to discuss their passion for science and the study options available to you.

Read more about ANU Open Day

My Dream Job as a Bioanalytical Chemist with CSL

CSL has been a valuable partner to the NYSF for eight years and has a range of exciting career options available for STEM graduates. Keep reading to discover more about just one career path on offer at CSL.

“I always thought I would end up in biology, but through exposure to practical work I ended up in chemistry and then biochemistry. So I would definitely say expose yourself to as many different areas of science as you can. This can be through reading, attending public lectures, practical-based school holiday workshops, working with a tutor, emailing someone at a university, watching videos on TED and YouTube and the myriad of open access courses available online.

CSL Scientist Alistair Grevis-James turned his childhood love of fish-keeping and propagating plants into a dream job as a Bioanalytical Chemist. Now he helps develop biotherapies for people with life-threatening medical conditions.  Alistair’s dream job profile appears in the 2017-18 edition of Student Guide Australia, a survival guide to life beyond school. For more dream job profiles, study and career advice, you can grab a copy here: http://au.educationhq.com/student-guide-australia/

Monash – What’s happening at Monash University

Monash Open Day

What a fantastic day we had!  Plenty of hands-on demonstrations, informative talks and explosions. If you missed out – there’s another opportunity to visit us, just book a tour of the Science precinct during the upcoming school holidays at https://www.monash.edu/science/about/events.

In the meantime, please take a moment to watch some of the highlights from this year.

 

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How to Survive on Mars: The Science Behind the Human Exploration of Mars

Could you survive on Mars? Mars has always captivated the human imagination, and it’s the most explored planet in the solar system. Getting to Mars is relatively easy – but surviving once you get there is the real challenge. In this four-week course, you’ll learn the basic science to help you solve the problems Martian explorers will face around water, oxygen, food, energy and communications. The course is open to all students and will be particularly relevant for students interested in science, engineering and technology.

Course commences 7 August.

Monash short, online courses are offered for free through the FutureLearn platform. For more information and to register, visit https://www.futurelearn.com/partners/monash-university