From the CEO

With the end of 2016 fast approaching, I’d like to wish all of our supporters, participants, alumni, volunteers and readers best wishes for the festive season, a fantastic summer holiday and a happy new year!

Of course here at the NYSF the end of the festivities marks the beginning of our busiest time. As we write, there are just 21 sleeps to go until the start of Session A, and 34 until Session C, and we are looking forward to welcoming the next round of 400 participants to join us here at the NYSF. As always, the focus of the NYSF program will be to show our young people the wide range of study, research and career options available to them, and to support them to make informed choices for their futures. In doing so, we also aim to inspire, as we know that inspired students are motivated students, and motivated students go on to achieve incredible outcomes.

inspired students are motivated students

It was very concerning to read in the media recently about Australia’s rankings drop in the latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS) and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Here at the NYSF we are particularly aware of and concerned about these results, and consequently are even more driven to ensure we deliver a quality program to engage young people in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects. In light of these results, we also recognise that the timing couldn’t be more significant for the opportunities we’ve recently been given to expand the programs we offer in 2017 and beyond.

2017 is going to be an exciting year for the NYSF and our participants. We will be piloting a new program targeting younger students in years 7 and 8. This pilot program will run in Adelaide in July 2017 in collaboration with the South Australian Department of Education and Child Development, with development funds from the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS). The new program is a residential program that aims to foster and encourage an interest in STEM at a time when many students start turning away from these subjects. Once the pilot is completed, we aim to roll the program out in even more locations around the country.

As a result of funding also secured from the Department of Industry Innovation and Science (DIIS) via the National Science and Innovation Agenda (NISA), the NYSF is nearing the final stages of negotiation with a current partner university to deliver a third NYSF Year 12 January Program to be run in 2018. We have also started discussions for a fourth program to be run at another site in 2019. This will give an additional 200 students the opportunity to participate in 2018, and by 2019 could see as many as 800 young people participating in the NYSF Year 12 Program, across four sessions. In addition, funding has been secured to establish the NYSF Equity Scholarship, which will contribute to reducing the participation fee for young people from communities that may previously have not applied to attend. We will be working closely with our Rotary colleagues to identify young people to access these funds.

We are also negotiating funding and hosting arrangements with the same current partner university to run an additional NYSF National Science Teachers Summer School (NSTSS) program in 2018, as well as maintaining the long-running and popular program that we have delivered at The Australian National University (ANU) for the past 12 years. Our NSTSS Program offers professional development to science teachers, as well as an opportunity to support their engagement levels and passion for teaching science to our young people.

I am sure you will agree, there is a lot in the pipeline here at the NYSF – the result of some hard work by our Board and corporate team in the past two years, and I must acknowledge their role, and in particular, Professor Tanya Monro, our immediate past Board Chair.

Before I sign off, I note that we are seeking some assistance in billeting students who are travelling to and from different locations around the country, via Sydney and Melbourne, to attend the NYSF Year 12 Program in January. This is a great opportunity to get to know some of the bright young people who are attending the program, and be involved, even if you’re not in Canberra.

In Sydney, we’re looking for people to host students overnight on these dates:

  • Sunday 1 January
  • Sunday 15 January

In Melbourne, we’re looking for people to host students overnight on these dates:

  • Sunday 1 January (students travelling to Session A)
  • Saturday 14 January (students travelling home from Session A)
  • Sunday 15 January (students travelling to Session C)
  • Saturday 28 January (students travelling home from Session C)

The NYSF believes that child protection is everyone’s responsibility and those interested in billetting will need to meet the community standards (legislative requirements) in your state of territory. For more information, and to volunteer as a host, you can go to  https://goo.gl/forms/vBwhE6oWICM4QCML2.

We look forward to welcoming in the 2017 year, with all of its new opportunities, along with the next cohort of 400 young people to join our Year 12 January program.

Once again, all the best for the festive season, and thank you for your support.

 

Dr Damien Pearce

Chief Executive Officer

Update from The University of Queensland

Careers that Started in Science

Ann Damien, Bachelor of Biotechnologyann-damien-biologist-photo

“I first became interested in science when I attended the National Youth Science Forum while I was in high school. That was the first time I really saw people who were genuinely excited about science! I was hooked.

UQ’s international ranking and reputation for world-acclaimed researchers in life sciences along with excellent campus facilities placed UQ at the top of my preference list.

I now work as a New Technology Associate in the Asia-Pacific New Technologies Team (ANTT) at Cook Medical.

Biotech is an amazing field to be a part of, because the opportunities for new technologies and development are almost unlimited.”

Read more at career-profiles.science.uq.edu.au/ann-damien

 

New Program Offerings in 2017

Biomedical Science
The University of Queensland is introducing some exciting changes to its biomedical science offerings in 2017, giving greater flexibility and more choice than ever.

In addition to our flagship three-year Bachelor of Science program (majoring in Biomedical Science), UQ will offer several new ways to study biomedical science next year.

These include:

  • UQ will offer the three-year Bachelor of Biomedical Science and the four-year Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) majoring in Biomedical Science.
  • while an honours research year was embedded in the advanced science program, honours was available as an additional year of studying following graduation for the Bachelor of Biomedical Science and Bachelor of Science programs.
  • a new dual program combination, the Bachelor of Biomedical Science/Bachelor of Science, will enable students to obtain a core background in a range of scientific disciplines and expand their scientific knowledge.

For more information about application procedures visit the future students website.

Equine and Wildlife Science – now available online
The University of Queensland has introduced an online study option for the Bachelor of Equine Science and Bachelor of Wildlife Science, so students can study wherever they are and at their own pace. There’s never been a better opportunity to access some of Australia’s top equine and wildlife specialists who will help them to realise their career ambitions.

The online program will assist students to develop advanced scientific and theoretical knowledge, while an intensive residential school at UQ’s Gatton campus will enhance practical skills in animal handling with access to the best specialist equine, wildlife and veterinary facilities in the southern hemisphere. It’s not too late to make dreams a realityand it has never been easier.

Apply to QTAC now for study in 2017: Bachelor of Equine Science – QTAC Code 787109, Bachelor of Wildlife Science – QTAC Code 787209.

For further information on these programs visit the future students website or contact enquire@science.uq.edu.au

 

masterclassUQ Create Change Masterclasses

UQ is now offering a series of online learning opportunities: Create Change Masterclasses.

These engaging and interactive classes complement the Federal Government National Innovation and Science Agenda, which highlights the need for new ideas in innovation, and new sources of growth to deliver the next age of economic prosperity for Australia.

The first three classes in the series each take around an hour to complete:

 

 

Media release: Associate Professor Graham Hardy and Professor Shari Forbes speak at the National Science Teachers’ Summer School

We know that enthusiastic and committed teachers make a difference to Australian students studying science both in and beyond high school. Supporting teacher engagement is important to address the current high drop out rates from STEM subjects, particularly among female students.

The federal government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda released this month injected $48 million into improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education with the aim of increasing numbers of coding classes, training for teachers to teach digital technology, and boosting participation in STEM classes.

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb earlier this month endorsed the Education Council Report, National STEM School Education Strategy[1], which is an important step toward improving STEM skills of students by lifting the standard of STEM content in teacher education.[2]

For 10 years, the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) has been delivering the National Science Teachers Summer School (NSTSS) each January. The NSTSS aims to address issues of teacher engagement in a five-day residential program based at the Australian National University (ANU).

Running from 10–15 January 2016, the program aims to reignite teachers’ passion for science and to conduct a professional dialogue about teaching and learning, as well as exploring ways of engaging students in STEM.

The 2016 program has an exceptional line-up of speakers including two lectures by Associate Professor Graham Hardy from the University of South Australia who will share his research on Science as Human Endeavour: Exploring the Big Ideas, and Approaches of Teaching, covering how interdisciplinary inquiry can benefit STEM teaching.

His recent work includes a project on interdisciplinary learning in science and mathematics, and a second project focused on developing Inquiry Based Learning approaches and how to apply them in science and mathematics. He is now working on a Higher Education Priority Pool (HEPP) funded STEM project to support the development of pedagogical practice in low socioeconomic schools around Adelaide.

Professor Shari Forbes from The University of Technology Sydney and coordinator of Australia’s first body farm will also address the teachers, exploring her experience of the advantages and challenges of interdisciplinary research.

Please contact the NYSF communications team if you would like to interview Associate Professor Graham Hardy or Professor Shari Forbes.

END

Media enquires: Julie Maynard 0421 154 201, julie.maynard@nysf.edu.au

[1] Education Council, (2015), National STEM School Education Strategy, http://www.educationcouncil.edu.au/site/DefaultSite/filesystem/documents/National%20STEM%20School%20Education%20Strategy.pdf

[2]Australia’s Chief Scientist, (2015) Media Release: Making STEM a priority in schools http://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/2015/12/media-release-making-stem-a-priority-in-schools/