From the CEO

The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) 2016 January Sessions program is over, with the 400 students returning home to begin their final year of high school with newfound friends, knowledge and ideas for future study and career options within science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

A big thank you to our Chiefs of Staff Brett Slarks (Session A) and Meg Trinder-McCartney (Session C), the team of student staff leaders, corporate staff, the various members of Rotary clubs across Australia, Burgmann College, and NYSF Partners and Sponsors for their hard work and support over January. Highlights from session are featured in this edition of the NYSF Outlook newsletter – I encourage you to read about the students’ experiences and the engaging activities that the NYSF is able to offer through our networks and supporters.

We also successfully delivered the National Science Teachers Summer School in January. The NYSF has been operating the program for the past 10 years offering the opportunity for participants to network with their peers and engage in high quality science learning and teaching techniques through lab visits and discussions with Australia’s leading scientists. We are particularly proud of this program’s history and our long involvement with The Australian National University and other science community members around the Canberra area who work with us to support teachers and their commitment to STEM education in their local communities.

To the year ahead, Expressions of Interest (EoI) from students currently in year 11 for the NYSF 2017 program will open on our website on 1 March. Prospective participants should review the requirements as soon as possible so that they can have all of the documentation completed by the 31 May closing deadline.

I am very proud to announce that the NYSF has been selected as one of 20 organisations to take part in PwC’s 21st Century Minds (21CM) Accelerator Program. This opportunity provides us with a unique experience to consider our strategic direction in a supportive and innovative environment. The 21stC Minds program is designed to grow Australia’s best STEM education initiatives and we look forward to its outcomes having a positive impact on the sector.

In March, the NYSF will be taking part in the inaugural World Science Festival in Brisbane. This week-long festival has been operating in New York since 2008; the announcement of the “southern hemisphere” festival in Brisbane is very exciting. The program is packed with great science outreach activities and information. NYSF alumni will feature in the Brisbane program as part of the “Letter to my teen self” event, designed to share experiences of study and careers in STEM fields. We will also be working with the Brisbane chapter of Young Scientists Australia in the Streetscape events to deliver a photo booth activity on Saturday 12 March and Sunday 13 March. If you are lucky enough to be visiting WSFB, come along and say hello to our volunteers.

Currently, our corporate team is evaluating the NYSF 2016 January Sessions; organising the NYSF 2016 International Program; preparing the Next Step suite of programs, as well as the Student Staff Leadership (SSL) program activities, which will be facilitated before the end of July 2016 and delivered in partnership with Outward Bound Australia. In reference to the SSL program, I would like to welcome our incoming Chiefs of Staffs for January 2017 – Meg Lowry from Victoria and Martin De Rooy, from Queensland, both of whom started their involvement with the NYSF as students in 2013. We look forward to working with them to deliver another successful January Sessions in 2017.

Finally, I must congratulate our 2015 students – many have now embarked on the next phase of their education at a tertiary institution of their choice. I hope that your NYSF attendance has contributed positively to your decision and I wish you all the best in 2016 and beyond.

Dr Damien Pearce

Chief Executive Officer