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.

NYSF International Programs Offer Exciting Opportunities – 2016 Wrap Up

Each year the NYSF offers a range of opportunities to participants from the January Sessions to attend similar science programs in locations around the world. With 2016 drawing to a close, we can now look back on the year’s events and feature some of the reflections of the students who were lucky enough to attend.

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Chris Hadfield (Astronaut) speaking at CWSF, 2016

Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF)

The international program to kick-off the year is the Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) held over six days in May. Each year, up to six Australian students are invited to act as ambassadors for Australian Science at the event. The key feature of CWSF is the inclusion of the national science competition final where more than 500 Canadian participants present their science projects for the year.

“Attending the Canada Wide Science Fair, held this year in Montreal, was an utterly unique experience for me, and one that has given me such a broad range of experiences that I never would have otherwise.” Harrison Rook, 2016

“The Canada Wide Science Fair was a showcase for the next generation of entrepreneurs, academics, scientists and technologists; minds that will tackle and solve some of the most challenging issues facing our planet. For the 500 finalists, participation at CWSF is a great achievement and a life-changing event.” Isabella Aitkenhead, 2016

 

I knew my teachers would be supportive and what I would get from this program would be well worth the stress of doing assignments in the holidays

XLAB International Science Camp – Göttingen, Germany

Targeted at students aged 17-22, the XLAB International Science Camp (XLAB) held by the University of Göttingen each year in the European summer, offers experimental courses in biology, chemistry, physics and more. Students have the opportunity to conduct hands-on experiments under the supervision of scientists from the University and affiliated research organisations. The weekends and evenings offer a range of social and cultural programs as well.

 

“This trip to Göttingen was an absolute eye opener into actually being on the frontier of science, an experience I was extremely fortunate to encounter at the perfect time in my life, allowing me to peer into the reality of my intentions for the future while I still have time to consolidate them.” Tom Houlden, 2016

 

The International Science Summer School Heidelberg (ISSSH), Germany

If it’s Germany you want to go to then there is another excellent option each year. The International Science Summer School Heidelberg (ISSSH) offers a four week program where students can gain practical insight and experience in the natural sciences under the supervision of renowned scientists. Each there are places for three Australians to attend with peers from all over the world in the beautiful city of Heidelberg.

“Heidelberg invited us into their city to allow us to experience both their culture and share with us their love for science.” Erica Coxon, 2016

Students at ISSSH, 2016

Students at ISSSH, 2016

 

National University of Singapore Science Summer Camp (NUS SSC)

In July each year, the National University of Singapore (NUS) runs an annual science summer camp program that offers a curiosity stirring series of lectures, workshops and lab sessions led by experienced university professors. The program includes visits to NUS’s state of the art scientific research centres. The goal of the NUS SSC is to help students discover their passion and potential in the broad world of STEM.

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Students enjoying NUSSSC, 2016

 

Research Science Insitute (RSI) 

The longest program on offer, running for six weeks in the U.S. summer, is the RSI program. This program is operated by the Center of Excellence in Education and held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston. Each year Australia, through the NYSF, sends two participants to attend, and competition for this highly regarded program is fierce. For the first week students have the opportunity to take part in intensive STEM classes. For the remaining five weeks, participants have the opportunity to conduct their own research in a field of their choice with leading scientists, engineers and professors as their mentors and supervisors.

“RSI has redefined my future as a research scientist, and I am certain this program has and will allow me to become greater scientist than I would have before. ” Matt Craigie, 2016

 

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Courtney Graymore at LIYSF, 2016

London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF)

With more than a 50 year history, the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) is one of the largest programs on offer. Running for two weeks, this residential event is hosted by the Imperial College in South Kensington. Participants have the opportunity to attend lectures, research labs industrial sites and other scientific institutions that are led by some of the most recognised scientists in the UK. An active social calendar is also part of the fun.

“Overall, my attendance at the LIYSF and CERN program will be an experience I will never forget. In addition to giving us the opportunity to hear from incredible scientists from all over the world and visit world-class facilities in London, my enthusiasm for science was renewed by the excitement and wonderful people.”  Courtney Graymore, 2016

EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) 

The EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) is a biannual event run in a different location in Europe every two years. ESOF is a huge event attracting an incredible 6,000 participants including: researchers, business leaders, government officials, media, students and scientists Europe-wide. At each event there are opportunities for six NYSF participants to attend. In 2016, Manchester, UK was the chosen city. NYSFers will now have to wait until 2018 when the next event is held in Toulouse, France.

“The EuroScience Open Forum completely changed my outlook on science, and for that matter the world! Being the largest general science meeting in Europe, the forum attracted some of the best and most highly regarded researchers and students from across Europe.” Wesley Flavell, 2016

ESOF may have only lasted for ten days, but the memories will surely last me for a lifetime.” Kate Morcom, 2016

Applications for the International Programs open in early February, following the January Sessions each year. We encourage all current NYSF participants to look at the NYSF database for reports completed by previous international participants to inform their own considerations to apply. While it is often a big financial and time commitment during year 12, the opportunities and benefits are momentous.

“Many others from NYSF said that they didn’t want to apply for international programs because they would miss a lot of school. Personally I wasn’t fazed by this because I knew my teachers would be supportive and what I would get from this program would be well worth the stress of doing assignments in the holidays.” Erica Coxon, 2016

Travel costs for students from New South Wales were supported by the NSW Department of Industry, Office of Science and Research.  NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer

 

The NYSF from a parent’s perspective

Daniel Lawson from Kingaroy in Queensland attended the NYSF in January 2015 and has recently returned from London as one of the 25 NYSF Alumni representing Australia at the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF). Here is what his mum Nicki Rossi has to say about the positive effects that attending the NYSF and LIYSF have had on her son.

“First of all thank you for giving Daniel the opportunity to attend both the National Youth Science Forum in Canberra and for selecting Daniel to attend the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) which includes a trip to Geneva visiting the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

it does not matter where you live, if you are willing to apply yourself you can achieve whatever you set out to do

Before the NYSF, Daniel was veering towards studying engineering but the NYSF experience helped him to decide which career path he wanted to focus on – the field of scientific research. He thoroughly enjoyed the lectures and activities that he attended. He enjoyed meeting the NYSF staffies, aunts and uncles and the other students who attended the program.

One of his fundraising events for the trip to Canberra involved running a stall at the yearly Goomeri Pumpkin Festival where he sold a mixed variety of timberwork, bric-a-brac, soft toys etc. He spent the whole day talking to people about his trip and what he wants to do at University. It was great to see him interacting with people. He raised $900 that day.

The Murgon Rotary Club (D9600) in Queensland, who supported Daniel’s attendance, invited him to present about his experiences to members of the club. They were impressed with his presentation skills and how he answered their questions. Prior to going, he was very quiet but on his return he was much more confident. He had clearly matured since his NYSF experience.

Daniel is passionate about influencing other year 11 students interested in the program. He has written a couple of articles for the school newsletter, promoting the NYSF including details of how to apply. He also included his contact information to answer prospective students’ questions.

When he was successful in being selected to go to the LIYSF program, we were very excited. It also goes to show that it does not matter where you live, if you are willing to apply yourself you can achieve whatever you set out to do.

Daniel Lawson 2015 in London

Daniel Lawson 2015 in London

Daniel Lawson at Trafalgar square NYSF 2015

Daniel Lawson 2015 in London

Most people think that kids from a small country school are missing out … (but) his teachers work with him to supply him with challenging assignments

Most people think that kids from a small country school are missing out. Daniel attends Goomeri State School with approximately 110 students, situated 235 kilometres northwest of Brisbane. His teachers work with him to supply him with challenging assignments as he found class work relatively easy.

From what I can glean from photos received and the short messages I saw on Skype he had a great time in London and was very busy. We believe that this program will give him an opportunity to make friends from different countries and will provide him with a great base for travel and job opportunities in the future.

Daniel was selected as the Nanango District Youth Parliament Representative and has been busy working with other young members. He applied for this position, as he strongly believes that scientific research is important to Australia’s future and he hopes to make a difference.

He was also granted an RSL Academic Award of $5000, which helped fund his NYSF & LIYSF trips. Along with other young Queenslanders, he was presented with a certificate and plaque from Bond University on the Gold Coast in early March.

As parents, we did not quite grasp the importance and opportunity that the NYSF would provide for Daniel until we attended the orientation meeting in Brisbane where Rotary outlined what the program was about and how it helps those attending the two-week program in Canberra to consider their future study careers options. We believe that it has been beneficial in so many ways and the friends he is making along the way is an added bonus.”

Nicki Rossi, Proud Mum

Edited by Julie Maynard

 

Fundraising tips from Rotary’s Harry Howard, District 9700

Cowra Rotary Club’s Harry Howard is an experienced fundraiser who has helped many NYSF alumni raise funds to attend international science programs such as the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF).

The LIYSF is a two-week residential event that attracts over 400 of the world’s leading young scientists aged 17-21. It is held at Imperial College London, with lectures and demonstrations from leading scientists, visits to industrial sites, research centers, scientific institutions and organisations, including world-class laboratories and universities.

Like many students before him, NYSF alumni Brody Hannan from Cowra was accepted to attend the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) in 2014 while studying toward his year 12 exams.

Brody turned to his local Rotary Club for support in raising the necessary funds. Harry and the Rotary team of Cowra helped Brody to undertake a number of fundraising activities including a raffle of firewood donated by Rotary raising $800, organising a dinner at his local club with auctions and entertainment, and along with his friends, distributed brochures promoting Rotary’s collection of unused batteries for scrap. They also organised a film night with all proceeds going to Brody’s trip.

Local advertising and an interview with ABC Central West radio generated a number of donations including an original painting from a local artist that was raffled.

Harry said, “Brody’s enthusiasm, style and keenness were most important as our club perceived that he was totally committed to achieving his aim. That enthusiasm and commitment brushed off on us and we enjoyed the challenge.”

“The timeframe was quite tight as we decided to raise the money before he departed for LIYSF so fundraising was done over a two month period.  An additional incentive was to raise enough funds to ensure he participated in the CERN Discovery Program in Geneva Switzerland to view the Large Hadron Collider as part of his LIYSF experience.”

“The timeframe given was until the end of November but our thinking was that to continue to raise money after he returned would be difficult –‘let’s get it done before he leaves’. We raised about $12,000.”

“Despite Brody missing several weeks in his final year of high school, he was awarded dux of Cowra High School,” he said.

Brody spoke during the fundraising activities and is now a regular speaker at Cowra Rotary meetings. “Since his return from LIYSF, Brody has been to Rotary meetings a couple of times and has talked about his trip.  He has shown great gratitude to Rotary and is always asking to assist in other activities,” said Harry.

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“Cowra Rotary is fortunate to have regular contact with a large number of NYSF students. Each year, we provide lunches for the students travelling to and from the January Forum as they pass through Cowra, and we are never short of volunteers for these events. Brody assisted at all four lunches in January 2015 and enjoyed talking and meeting the latest NYSF students, he said.

“Rotary is a respected name and a respected club in Cowra and our club managed the money and the account so that would-be donors had confidence in the fundraising arrangements, which was important,” says Harry.