NSW alumni engaged in science outreach

In March, Erin Prince and Shivani Shah, NYSF alumni in Sydney, participated in a workshop hosted by Inspiring Australia’s NSW office.  The workshop aimed to inform NSW-based stakeholders in science outreach about the support available through Inspiring Australia for activities that could be held as part of National Science Week (15-23 August).

Erin says that the first part of the meeting discussed the most recent report from the Australian Industry Group, Progressing STEM Skills. This report has identified that Australia’s performance in STEM disciplines is not “keeping pace with the needs of the economy”. However, the need for these skills in our workforce continues to grow. There was much discussion about the challenges of encouraging students to continue science education all through their schooling and on to a tertiary level. Erin says that as an NYSF student, this was quite confronting as science had been one of her passions at school.

The importance of improving communication and collaboration among all of the science education outreach organisations as well as increasing collaboration between research providers and industry was also discussed, so that there are pathways for STEM students into careers.  “Investing in the NYSF is one way companies could do this, as NYSF students are already interested in STEM careers. I remember learning about the possible jobs available in the various companies that are partners in the NYSF during my session.”

As a result of attending the workshop, Erin and Shivani are both keen to look at how the NSW NYSF alumni could get involved in National Science Week, perhaps through organising a meet up of past students.  Anyone interested in helping out can contact them via the NYSF at communications@nysf.edu.au

Check the Inspiring Australia NSW website for information about accessing funding for Science Week activities.

Importance of science communication

NYSF was represented at a networking event hosted by Inspiring Australia in Sydney last month.  Alumni and student staff leaders, Steven Falconieri and Rhys Kilian were among about 100 people from across New South Wales who attended the event, which was part of a series of talks given by science communicator, Malcolm Love.

Malcolm Love talks about FameLab at the Inspiring Australia event in May 2014

Malcolm Love talks about FameLab at the Inspiring Australia event in May 2014

Malcolm spoke about his role providing media and presentation training for FameLab participants. This international competition is held annually and requires participants to do a three-minute presentation of their thesis topic in layman’s terms.

“This event was very beneficial,” says Steven.  “It gave Rhys and myself an opportunity to learn more about the importance of being able to communicate clearly about our science.  But it also gave us a chance to chat with others about the NYSF and the possible interactions we might be able to have in the future.

Malcolm also talked about the FameLabAcademy, which is a junior version of FameLab, and I believe many of our students would benefit from being involved in this if it was to be available in Australia.”

Further information:  http://sydney.edu.au/science/outreach/inspiring/news/science-stories.shtml