CSL Scholarship supports Indigenous Student

The NYSF is committed to exploring ways to support the ongoing engagement in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) of young Indigenous Australians.

Kiah Henderson, from Geraldton in Western Australia attended the NYSF Indigenous Program in Perth in October 2013, and was identified as a student who would benefit from coming to the national program.

With the generous support from CSL Ltd, Kiah was able to attend the January Session C in 2014.

Dr Jenny Chia and Dr Thomas Barnes from CSL with Kiah Henderson

Dr Jenny Chia and Dr Thomas Barnes from CSL with Kiah Henderson



IYSF encourages Indigenous students in WA

The third Indigenous Youth Science Forum was held in Perth in October, supported by Rio Tinto, IBM and the Defence, Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO).

Aiming to engage indigenous students in years 10 and 11 to continue their studies in science, technology, engineering and maths, the IYSF brings together young people from regional and remote areas of Western Australia – including Karratha, Derby, Port Hedland and Geraldton – for a week-long camp.

Rio Tinto’s Superintendent, Communities, Shannara Sewell said, “We are proud of the Indigenous education and training programs that we deliver, and strive to support initiatives such as the IYSF, that broaden opportunities for young people living in regional communities allowing them to reach their full potential.”

Run along similar lines to the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF), the IYSF provides participants with hands-on experiences, visiting laboratories and science and engineering related corporate sites, and talking with scientists about their work.  Consulting with the WA Department of Education’s Follow the Dream coordinators, young people are identified who have an interest in science at school, and who may have the potential to follow a study and career path in the science areas.

IYSF Chem Centre 2013 C Indigenous students at IYSF 2013 UWA Sports Exercise program C

This year’s program covered the broad strokes of science content looking at physics, chemistry, energy, technology, and water. The students visited

  • The University of Western Australia – International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research and the Department of Sport Science, Exercise and Health,
  • Bankwest Office of the Future
  • IBM
  • DSTO at Stirling Naval Base
  • NCEDA (Desalination Centre of Excellence), located at Murdoch University
  • Curtin University – Physics lab and Renewable Energy Fuel Cells
  • ChemCentre

Presentations were made after dinner by representatives from Rio Tinto, IBM, Elementaurs, and Shane Nannup, who talked to the students about the night sky, and provided a reading of the Milky Way seen through Indigenous eyes.

Murray Bruce, Director of Natural Resources at IBM Australia & New Zealand, says supporting the IYSF was a good opportunity for IBM to engage with indigenous communities in WA.   “Through interacting informally with a wide range of IBMers to discuss career ambitions and thoughts on success and lessons learned in their careers, we were able to bring the students’ studies of science alive and demonstrate where these studies can take them in the future. The students were particularly interested to hear first hand from one of our key clients about the role that IBM is playing on one of the region’s largest and  most complex liquefied natural gas projects.”

Feedback from the students who attended the IYSF was very positive and enthusiastic, with the majority indicating that they would recommend the program to other students in a similar position to themselves.

Science is actually going to be difficult to study, but worth it in the end 

Sarah from Mount Barker Community College said she learned, “a lot of different things, such as how naval bases can help in (the) everyday… how IBM has changed and developed the way we interact with and navigate through our world.  I also learned that camp is always worth it!  Science is actually going to be difficult to study, but worth it in the end.”

Indigenous students at Chem Centre 2013 C IYSF Flying Fox 2013 C

IBM at IYSF 2013

The visit to the Desalination Centre for Excellence elicited a number of feedback responses from the students, relating to how it improved their understanding of the process of turning saltwater into drinking water.

And the outdoor activities designed to establish communication and break down barriers were a big hit.  Joseph from Derby said, “I learned how to tie a harness and do some epic tricks on the flying fox.”

At ChemCentre, the students listened to real-life stories of how chemistry is being used every day. They toured a working laboratory, investigated microscopic physical evidence from ‘crime scenes’, explored an Emergency Response van and related equipment.

It was clear from the students’ responses that they enjoyed the hands-on activities, presentations and tours. Through their visit to ChemCentre, the students demonstrated high levels of chemistry knowledge, understanding and inquiry skills.

“ChemCentre is committed to inspiring the community with real-world, relevant science and to enhancing chemistry education in WA”, says Yvette Leong, from ChemCentre. “The IYSF was a great opportunity to do this for a group of bright and budding science students who were, in essence, ambassadors for their communities across WA.”

Indigenous students IYSF 2013  C

 NYSF recently announced that IYSF participant, Kyah Henderson from Geraldton Senior College (above with student mentor, Isaac Alexander) has been offered a place at the second January Session in Canberra; Kyah will be supported by NYSF partner CSL Ltd to attend the NYSF.

NYSF Annual Report 2013

NYSF’s Annual Report 2013 is now available to view online.

Students selected for Indigenous Youth Science Forum

Twenty four (24) young people from remote and regional areas of Western Australia have been selected to attend the Indigenous Youth Science Forum in October this year.

Supported by NYSF partner Rio Tinto, the IYSF is a developmental opportunity for indigenous Year 10 and 11 students from Western Australia to gain exposure to the study and career opportunities within science, engineering and technology. This program is an abridged version of the January NYSF sessions and is held in Perth during the October school holidays.  This year, students are coming from Geraldton, Karratha, Derby and Kalgoorlie.  The program is a collaboration with Western Australia Department of Education Follow the Dream: Partnership for Success program.

2013 IYSF Students

2013 IYSF Students

The Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and IBM Australia are also supporting the program.