Double the fun for science teachers in January 2018 – only a few places left!

The NYSF is very excited to announce that two National Science Teachers Summer School (NSTSS) programs will run in January 2018.

Our well-established program at The Australian National University (ANU) will continue, with places for 40 teachers next year. In addition, a second program will run at The University of Queensland (UQ), also with places for 40 teachers.

These additional places are supported through funding from the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

The NYSF’s NSTSS is a five-day professional development program for experienced and new secondary science teachers from across Australia.

At the NSTSS, participants share experiences, engage in a professional dialogue about teaching and learning, gain knowledge on the latest cutting-edge research from scientists and academics, and explore new methods of engaging students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Last year’s participants reported a very high level of satisfaction with the program.

Vince from Canberra says, “The best thing about the NYSF’s NSTSS was being able to engage with other enthusiastic science teachers from across the country, and sharing and learning about cutting edge scientific research and pedagogies, in a collaborative manner.”

“Attending the NSTSS was the best way to wrap up my first year of teaching science. I was re-engaged with the content and the latest scientific research; re-connected to the academic community and like-minded educators; and re-inspired to bring the passion of my experiences to my students. NSTSS 2017 showed me the immeasurable value of professional development, and growing a professional learning network (PLN) outside of my school,” said Hannah from Sydney.

With the focus on STEM increasing in schools across the country, the NYSF’s NSTSS program is an opportunity for both new and experienced teachers to hear about the most up-to-date research, equipping them with the knowledge to not just teach their students, but to inspire them.

At NYSF’s NSTSS you will:

  • learn about the latest science breakthroughs in a range of subject areas, and how to communicate them to your students;
  • visit world-leading research facilities at our host university campuses;
  • hear from guest educator lecturers;
  • discuss what works in the classroom and share experiences with peers;
  • build your STEM teaching networks across the country and make new friends at a series of social events; and
  • engage with Australia’s leading STEM students attending the NYSF Year 12 program, giving you an understanding of that program’s benefits.

The NSTSS is part of the NYSF’s suite of programs to inform young people about study and career pathways within STEM so they may make informed decisions and reach their full potential.

Cornelia Cefai, NSTSS 2017

Georgia from Victoria says, “The week of the NYSF’s NSTSS in January strengthened my love of science, and provided me with additional tools to engage students with the science disciplines. It was an amazing opportunity, and one I will remember for many years to come.”

Location: In 2018, the NYSF will run two NSTSS programs concurrently:

  • NSTSS Canberra based at the Australian National University (ANU);
  • NSTSS Brisbane based at the University of Queensland (UQ).

Dates for both programs: Monday 8 January – Friday 12 January 2018.

Cost: $350 (This includes all meals and accommodation for the length of the program) or $200 if the applicant has their own accommodation (some meals provided) – Yes the program is heavily subsidised for you thanks to the funding from the National Innovation and Science Agenda!

Who can apply: Experienced and new science teachers at secondary and senior secondary schools across Australia

To secure your place, you just need to register here and pay the program fee. Once that is completed, you are in!

Further information: programs@nysf.edu.au

Help us celebrate our 35th year in 2018

The celebrations for the National Youth Science Forum’s (NYSF) 35th year in 2018 are well underway with many events planned to mark the occasion!

The festivities started at our Canberra Year 12 Program launch at The Australian National University (ANU) in November with a cake cutting and a heartfelt speech by an alumnus who attended our very first session in 1984, Professor Tim Senden, now the Director of the Research School of Physics and Engineering at the Australian National University (ANU).

This was quickly followed by our launch of Session B at The University of Queensland (UQ), attended by many alumni currently studying at UQ, where Provost Professor Aidan Byrne explained why he thought the NYSF would be a valuable addition to the UQ outreach programs. In 2018, two Year 12 Programs will be delivered in Canberra at the Australian National University (ANU) and a new third session in Brisbane at the University of Queensland (UQ).  Nearly 600 students will participate across the three sessions in 2018!

Our Science Teachers Program will also continue in 2018, with a session in Canberra at ANU and, for the first time, a second session also in Brisbane at UQ, catering for 80 teachers.  All of these NYSF programs are made possible through the hard work and dedication of many including our funding partners, 68 volunteer student staff, Rotary volunteers, guest speakers, lab visit providers, board members and corporate team – there are so many people involved to make the January Sessions come to fruition!

NYSF CEO Dr Damien Pearce said the 35th Anniversary looking forward to the NYSF’s 35th year celebrations.

“The 35th Anniversary celebrations allow us look at our past and reflect on the events and people who have helped shape the NYSF – from its days as the National Science Summer School (NSSS) – into the organisation it is today. It also allows us to look to our future, as we continue to evolve to meet the demands of the Australian community.”

“We encourage our alumni to participate in our events and activities and share their stories with the NYSF and other alumni. With over 11,000 alumni there are a lot of stories to tell,” Dr Pearce said.

The NYSF Year 12 Science Dinners are always a favourite event, and in 2018 we have three very distinguished and inspirational keynote speakers who have accepted the invitation to address the students.  The Session A Science Dinner keynote speaker is Professor Lyn Beazley AO FTSE, former Western Australia Chief Scientist, an eminent scientific innovator, communicator, educator, and neuroscientist. In Session B, 2017 Australian of the Year, Professor Emeritus Alan Mackay-Sim, a biomedical scientist specialising in adult stem cell research, will be speaking; and at the Session C Dinner we will hear from internationally acclaimed medical researcher and philanthropist Professor John Shine AO FAA. Professor Shine is the current CSL Chairman and was recently appointed as incoming President of the Australian Academy of Science.

And the line-up of amazing speakers will continue at our Rotary Alumni Evenings with Professor Liesl Folks, (Session A), Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University at Buffalo in New York state, and an internationally recognised expert in nanotechnology and magnetism. Liesl attended the very first NYSF/NSSS session in 1984. Volcanologist, Dr Rebecca Carey, NYSF 1997 Alumna (Session B) a Senior Lecturer at the University of Tasmania, and meteorologist, Nate Byrne, NYSF 2001 Alumnus (Session C), the weather presenter on ABC TV News Breakfast.

We encourage all our alumni to ‘Save The Date’ and join us to hear from these talented scientists.

STEM Speed-dating is happening again in all three sessions in January – two in Canberra and one in Brisbane.

Students have the opportunity to “work the room” and talk to a range of people who have studied a STEM field or work in STEM-related careers.

We would love to have you and some of your colleagues along to this event to talk to students about career paths in your area. To find out more or to register, please follow the link HERE

In addition we will be featuring the stories of some of our alumni with our 35 alumni over 35 years in 35 weeks social media campaign.  Follow the NYSF Facebook Page to read about their stories, and if you are an alumni with a story to share, please contact leonie@nysf.edu.au. Our alumni are our best ambassadors!

We’ve also kept the designers at Shirty Science busy creating a special edition 35th Anniversary T-shirt.  Keep an eye on our Facebook page to find out when they’ll be available for sale.

We hope you can help us celebrate this milestone in 2018. For further information about up-coming events follow us on social media.

Facebook – /NYSFoz

Twitter – /NYSFoz

Instagram – /nysfoz

LinkedIn – National Youth Science Forum

or email Leonie at leonie@nysf.edu.au.

NYSF 2017 Shelterbox arrives in Syria

ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity supplying emergency aid to people affected by disaster worldwide.  In partnership with Rotary, aid is generally supplied as a ShelterBox or ShelterKit that contains essential items that assist in turning shelter into a home.

In January 2017, NYSF raised over $1000 in January through the sale of snacks – enough for us to buy our own ShelterBox. (You can read our original article HERE.) Each box is given a unique tracking number so that its progress to the recipient family can be tracked.  And then … we waited.

Recently, we were advised that the NYSF 2017 ShelterBox has been delivered. It has travelled nearly 14,000 kilometres from Australia to Syria and has been dispatched to a family with young children.

The war in Syria is now in its sixth year and has resulted in thousands of families fleeing to safety. Ibrahim, his wife and three children (one of them disabled) now live in an emergency camp in Syria.

Shelterbox provided us with the following story about 43 year old Ibrahim and his family:

Before he moved to the camp, Ibrahim worked as a farmer, relying on seasonal farming to provide his family’s needs.

Ibrahim said, “The crisis caused the destruction of the infrastructure in Syria. My financial situation was very badly affected and I became unemployed as a result.

Living under the control of so-called Islamic State was very difficult, because of the fear and terror that dominated us in their presence.”

When asked about the journey from their hometown to the refugee camp, he said, “During the journey, we faced a lot of risks. We paid huge sums to the smugglers in order to reach a safe area, and we were robbed by bandits. My children were also hit by the harsh weather because of the high heat and burning sun.”

Ibrahim was asked about the most important thing he was lacking when he arrived at the camp. He said, “The one thing we needed when we arrived here was to get some shelter for my children so they could hide from the hot sun.”

“Fortunately, your organisation was distributing tents on the same day that we arrived. The distribution team was the one who noticed us first and they immediately recorded our data and set up a tent for us.”

He told us that the tent was now our property and they asked us to put our things in it, they were really good people.

Ibrahim added, “The tent has made us feel independent and safe after all the bad conditions we faced during the displacement. The main things we need now is fuel for heating in anticipation of winter cold, winter clothes for our children and some medicines.”

As an expression of his hopes for the future, Ibrahim said, “I hope that my children will live in dignity, and that they can make their children in the future live in better conditions than the conditions we have made them live in.”

The NYSF is pleased that our ShelterBox has helped a family in need.  It just goes to show that small things can make a huge difference in people’s lives.

If you would like to find out more about ShelterBox or how you can help follow the link https://www.shelterboxaustralia.com.au

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.

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!

What’s on at The University of Queensland

 

OP Advice Night – December 18th


OP Results Advice Night is the perfect opportunity to discuss study options at UQ after you receive your OP.  Learn more about entry requirements and get personalised advice on pathways into your ideal program. Take a tour of the St Lucia campus or attend one of the many seminars presented by UQ staff.

View the seminar schedule  https://future-students.uq.edu.au/op-results-advice-night

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:

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,  the opportunities for new technologies and development are almost unlimited.”

Read more at career-profiles.science.uq.edu.au/ann-damien

How to lead in a disrupted world
This TEDxYouth talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEnnBEfKvLU) is presented by Bernie Woodcroft, Director of ilab, a Start-up Accelerator owned by the University of Queensland.
He talks about the current and likely future changes in the world of work and the skills needed to be successful.

Monash University – Dingley at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC)

From Monday 25th to Friday 29th September, Adelaide saw cosmonauts from Russia, science educators from America, space entrepreneurs from New Zealand, and a geeky kid from Perth come together to experience the 2017 International Astronautical Congress (IAC). It was truly one of the most inspiring events I’ve been to and the best thing I’ve seen Australia do since I attended the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF).

The congress was open to anyone who wanted to come, and had a nice 90% discount for Australian students which I was more than happy to take advantage of. Other students from places such as America or France were sponsored by their universities to attend. Many gave presentations at the Congress but I was just there to enjoy the show!

When the foundation of the Australian Space Agency was announced at the IAC’s opening ceremony I, along with the 3000 other attendees, was ecstatic. For me this became the theme of the Congress and I made sure to talk with as many people as possible (including some of the people actually designing the thing!) about what it might mean.

Mornings were spent trying to rapidly consume Weetbix in order to make it to the first 7AM presentations. Here we heard from Lockheed Martin about their “Deep Space Gateway” which would act as a stepping stone between Earth and the solar system; plans for a Moon Village made up of a patchwork of colonists; and discussions about creating a space congress … in space.

I spent most of the day attending technical sessions, where researchers discussed their work and the audience asked questions and provided advice or perspectives. One of my university lecturers gave a talk on how lunar dust behaves in zero gravity and the problems that this causes. In between these sessions I walked around the exhibition hall where private companies and government agencies would show off their latest tech. I was super excited to try out Boeing’s new to-scale simulated capsule as well as having a chance to talk to space entrepreneurs (some of who even agreed to be interviewed for the video I was working on – see link at end of article).

The afternoon and evening talks was where ‘space celebrities’ took the stage. Bill Nye told us about the Planetary Society’s Light Sail which would make chemical rockets obsolete; and Elon Musk concluded the conference with an update on his BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) which he wants to use to take crews of 100 to Mars in 2024 and revolutionise air travel with 30-minute flights to anywhere in the world. Both speakers were amazing to listen to and hear about their vision.

Attending the IAC was an amazing experience, giving me an opportunity to talk to students and professionals from across Australia and around the world. I’ve made some great friends whom I look forward to exploring the final frontier with.

I made two videos while there; one on Australia’s history in space  (https://youtu.be/Lh0HepsdyqQ) and the other on where we’re headed (https://youtu.be/Xp52XCY97D4). If you’ve got any questions about my experiences or where we’re headed in space I’m very happy to discuss in the comment section of either video!

You can also like the Atomic Frontier Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/atomicfrontier/

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”.

Congratulations! NYSF Alumni as Tuckwell Scholars in 2018

On 14 July, the 2018 Tuckwell Scholars were announced and the National Youth Science  Forum (NYSF) is very proud to see six of our own alumni amongst the successful candidates.

The Scholarships are funded by the largest ever contribution from an Australian to an Australian university.  Graham and Louise Tuckwell started the Tuckwell Scholarships with a commitment worth $50 million in February 2013.  The contribution has now been more than doubled to be worth around $100 million.

The Tuckwell Scholarship awards students approximately $21,700 for each year that they study at the Australian National University, for a maximum of five years. Students receive a range of additional support including but not limited to: an allowance to assist with relocation costs to move to Canberra, funds to support a yearly trip home thereafter, financial support for parents/family to visit once per year, a guaranteed place at ANU-approved student accommodation, as well as mentoring and other leadership development opportunities.

“I feel extremely excited and incredibly fortunate to have been offered such an amazing opportunity. I think the scholarship will have a huge impact on my future, providing mentoring and guidance – in addition to financial support – that will allow me to grow both academically and personally.” Harrison Rieck 2017 NYSF alumni

Scholarships are awarded to students from all over Australia, who come from a wide range of backgrounds and are interested in a variety of different study paths. The competition was tough for the 2018 round, with 785 applications and only 25 scholarships awarded. The selection process involves three stages, with the final stage involving an interview. This is now the fourth year the scholarship has been awarded, and also the fourth time that NYSF alumni have been amongst the recipients.

“Being awarded a Tuckwell Scholarship is beyond imaginable and takes so much stress off both myself and my family going into university next year, especially coming from a small country town.” Gemma Nunn 2017 NYSF alumni

A huge congratulations to all the NYSF alumni offered Tuckwell Scholarships for 2018:

Candidates for the Tuckwell Scholarship Interview Weekend were pictured as they toured the ANU College of Business and Economics building, the venue for their group and individual interviews.

  • Gemma Nunn – Bordertown, SA
  • Hayley Yates – Carnegie, VIC
  • Harrison Rieck – Greenslopes, QLD
  • Noah Hindes – Cedar Grove, QLD
  • Jade Lin – Sydney, NSW
  • Toby Tasker – Sydney, NSW

Information about the Tuckwell Scholarships and how to apply is available here http://tuckwell.anu.edu.au/scholarship