Launch for NYSF 2017

The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) launched its 2017 January programs earlier this month at the Australian National University (ANU).

Andrew Metcalfe, AO, Chair of the NYSF Board said the January program would be better than ever due to the ongoing support of our funding partners and organisations that facilitated the program.  Mr Metcalfe made special mention of the recent funding announcement by Minister Greg Hunt of funding for the NYSF’s activities through the National Innovation Science Agenda (NISA).

NYSF Chair Andrew Metcalfe speaking at the NYSF 2017 launch

NYSF Chair Andrew Metcalfe speaking at the NYSF 2017 launch

Mr Metcalfe also welcomed our newest Funding Partner, IP Australia, who’s Deputy Director General, Ms Deb Anton, also addressed the group underlining the value of supporting the NYSF as a program that attracts Australia’s next generation of leading innovators. “This aligns with IP Australia’s position,“ she said, “as we are at the forefront of innovation in Australia.”

“Supporting new talent will result in a strong, positive impact in securing Australia’s future as a global leader in science and technology.”

Attendees at the launch included representatives from NYSF funding partners, ANU academics and researchers who assist with the delivery of the NYSF program in the form of the lab visits and guest lectures; other facility lab visit and site tour providers; alumni of the NYSF Program, many of whom are students or graduates of the ANU; NYSF Board and Council members; and the NYSF corporate team.


Dr. Chris Hatherly, Anne MacKay, Daniel Lawson, Emily Rose Rees, Ellen Lynch


Prof. Jenny Graves, Deb Anton, Dr. Alison Shield


Alumni Sam Backwell, Laura Wey,                Mitchell de Vries


Andrew Metcalfe AO and Deb Anton


Andrew Metcalfe AO and Deb Anton


Mitchell de Vries, Natalie Williams,                Merryn Fraser


Rowley Tompsett, Madeline Cooper,             Melanie Tacey


Ken Maxwell, Dr. Damien Pearce, Jo Hart


Tony Trumble, Prof. Jenny Graves, Deb Anton, Adrian Hearne, Brody Hannan

All images:  Emma Robertson

Access free interactive teacher resources on river health

Are you teaching a unit on river health this year? The Murray-Darling Basin Authority has a free interactive program – Basin Champions 2015 – designed for students from years 3 through to year 10.

The goal of the program is for students to learn about

  • The rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin
  • Human impacts on the natural environment
  • Working collaboratively with peers
  • How to investigate river health
  • Effective communication strategies.

Basin Champions combines videoconferencing with an in-class investigation in which students look at the health of a river or creek near their school. Through the Basin Champions, students can learn about the importance of healthy rivers for communities, the economy, and the precious environments of the Basin.

The program runs in terms 2 and 3, with a final video-conference in term 4. To celebrate World Water Day, the program will kick off with a live-streamed video-conference on 23 March. Schools that register early will be invited to take part in this special event.

The time you allocate to the program is flexible, you can join the program throughout terms 2 and 3, and your class can complete the program in as little as one (very busy) wekk or as long as the two terms.

Teachers will receive a pack containing lesson plans, worksheets and basic water testing equipment as well as technical guidance and phone and email assistance as needed.

The program is provided free as a partnership program between the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and classroom teachers. The Murray-Darling Basin Authority is a funding partner of the National Youth Science Forum, and also hosts lab visits for students during the NYSF January sessions and Next Step programs.

Further information is available by emailing, and you can register online at