NYSF 2017 Session A: Partners’ Day Expo

After the Partners’ Day presentations the students gathered for the Partners’ Day Expo , where they were able to meet, chat and network with representatives of the NYSF partners.

The students were able to meet reps (and the presenters) from Lockheed Martin, IP Australia, UNSW Australia, Monash University, Melbourne University, Australian National University, University of Queensland, CSIRO, CSL, Resmed, and Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

The one-on-one conversations with the representatives proved to be valuable for the students – they got their questions answered and expanded their horizons in terms of career choices and opportunities.

All of the students were obsessively engaged in conversation that evening, but I managed to pull two aside for a quick chat about their thoughts on the expo.

“It encourages people to think and create change, and I’m a big advocate for creating change.”

“IP Australia really stood out for me” said Sharon Nguyen. “People are coming up with new ideas all the time, and so the work that they do at IP Australia is important because they can protect it. It encourages people to think and create change, and I’m a big advocate for creating change.”

“Before NYSF I wanted to do occupational therapy, then through talking to NYSF friends and the presenters I realized there was a whole world of opportunity and options out there that I hadn’t thought of.”

Sharon Nguyen with Matt Lee (Assistant Director of Strategic Communication, IP Australia)

As well as career choices, the conversation with the university reps in particular also illuminated life as a tertiary student. It seems as though it not only helped inform the students, but also sparked some excitement.

“Talking to all the presenters and other professionals has got me really excited to start university and the next stage of my career.”

“[Partners’ Day] made me realise how many options are out there, and it got me thinking about and considering many different universities” said Danyon Farrell.

“I’ve always wanted to do a double degree but I wasn’t sure, but after hearing the talks today it really made it obvious how valuable they are and the opportunity that they open.”

“Talking to all the presenters and other professionals has got me really excited to start university and the next stage of my career.”

One happy Danyon Farrell

By Jackson Nexhip, NYSF 2017 Session A Communications Intern and NYSF 2013 Alumnus

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:



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

Rebecca Johns NYSF (NSSS) 1990 alumna – the beginning of a lifetime of science and teaching

Rebecca Johns attended the NYSF (then called National Science Summer School (NSSS)) in January 1990, and was totally inspired by her time. Not only because of the variety of research labs and scientists she visited and learned from, but for the enthusiasm of her fellow students for science in its many forms.

“I came from a small rural high school in Mossman, North Queensland and gained a lot from the opportunity to mix with different people with big dreams. My experiences at the NSSS encouraged me to apply for a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland after finishing high school.”

Rebecca also enjoyed studying physics and maths in her first two years of university but found her real passion was for chemistry. “I ended up gaining first class honours after working with Dr Trevor Appleton on cis-platin compounds in my honours year. I also received a scholarship to participate in a summer research session back at The Australian National University (ANU) at the end of my third year, which brought back many memories of my time at the NSSS.”

After completing her honours year, Rebecca wanted to experience something different. She started working as an analytical chemist at an aluminium smelter in Tasmania. “After nearly two years in this position, where I was involved in both regular environmental monitoring processes and quality control of different instruments, I was transferred to the research section working on developing a more effective electrolytic cell design. Not long after my transfer the government cut research and development support. My department lost a number of staff, including me.”  

“It was very exciting to be involved with this world-class facility.”


Rebecca Johns at Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station

This sudden change in circumstances prompted her to return to university, after receiving a scholarship to undertake her PhD studies. “My environmental monitoring work at the smelter had sparked my interest in the atmosphere and I was able to immerse myself in a project investigating the effect of non-methane hydrocarbons in baseline air. I worked for the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research at the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station and the University of Tasmania. Cape Grim station is located on the western tip of Tasmania and receives the cleanest air in the world. This is where baseline carbon dioxide, methane, and CFCs have been measured for many years and shown to be increasing. It was very exciting to be involved with this world-class facility.”

Rebecca did not complete her thesis as her focus shifted to looking after her young family, but as her youngest approached school age, she returned to university to train as a teacher to pass on her love of science – especially chemistry, to another generation of students.

“I completed my Diploma of Education at La Trobe University in Bendigo and was keen to work at a rural school, given my personal background and current location in a small country town.”


Rebecca Johns (right) with Lachlan Twigg (centre) at Rotary dinner

For the last five years she has been teaching maths, science and VCE (year 12) chemistry at East Loddon P-12 College, located in a farming area 40 minutes drive north of Bendigo. “The school teaches 240 students from prep to year 12, with one class of students per year level. This results in some very small VCE classes, with my chemistry classes ranging from one to four students.” 

“I hope to continue encouraging students to attend NYSF as the need for scientists and scientifically literate people continues to be an issue for Australia.”

“One of my students, Lachlan Twigg, was particularly outstanding and I strongly encouraged him to apply for the NYSF. He took on the challenge and ended up attending the NYSF in 2014. He also thoroughly enjoyed the experience and in turn encouraged Sarah Collins to apply. She was selected to attend the New Zealand session in 2015, which was a huge experience for her as she was the first member in her immediate family to board an aeroplane, let alone travel overseas. Sarah also found the experience very inspiring and it encouraged her to not only finish Year 12 but go on to apply for university courses in agricultural science.  Both students said the highlight was definitely meeting other participants who were also passionate about science.”

“I hope to continue encouraging students to attend NYSF as the need for scientists and scientifically literate people continues to be an issue for Australia.”

News from The University of Queensland

CSI: BrisScience – 7 March 2016

Ever wondered what Brisbane’s forensic scientists are actually working on? BrisScience has invited four of the best to cut through the hype and give us an insight into the real life world of forensic science. Register to attend this free event.

World Science Festival 20169-13 March 2016

The World Science Festival is coming to Brisbane for four days of exploring the intersection of science and art. As a major event partner, we will be hosting events featuring UQ speakers, street science, school programs and more.

Pi Day at UQ – 12 March 2016

The annual UQ/QAMT 2016 Problem Solving Competition will be held around Pi day with an optional sitting on Saturday, 12 March at UQ’s St Lucia campus. In addition to the 2-hour competition there will also be professional development provided for teachers and a free BBQ lunch.

UQ Science Virtual Careers Fair – 16 March – 23 March 2016

Are you thinking about a career in Science? UQ lecturers from a range of disciplines will be online for an hour between 4.30-5.30pm to talk to students about career options, study paths and life at UQ. For more details, and to get a copy of the chat room timetable, email us at science.events@uq.edu.au

Brisbane Next Step stepped up

The Brisbane Next Step visit in April was very well attended again this year, with 70 students participating in range of different visits arranged specifically for NYSF students: the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, The Edge at the State Library of Queensland, The Museum of Queensland, Tritium Engineering, the Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence, and one a half days of activities at our partner university in Queensland, The University of Queensland.

20150416_150210 20150416_152815 20150416_112920 20150416_112810 20150416_113019 20150416_112740

Emily from Inglestone in Queensland says, “The Next Step Program was extremely beneficial for me to attend. I really felt that I was given a true representation of the University and that will certainly help my future decisions. Next Step has certainly made me feel that UQ is a great university that I would love to attend.

Hannah from Inverell in NSW says, “I found the trip around UQ helped me to see what they had to offer, and I’m now considering it as a potential university much more seriously than I was before.”

Adrian from Noosa in Queensland visited Tritium Engineering to learn more about their electric vehicle facility … He says, “I learned … how three engineering students started up a company now delivering orders around the world. Tritium is really awesome. It would be good to run a few more visits to those guys.”

Karla from Maryborough in Queensland also enjoyed the day at The University of Queensland. “… especially the lab visits to Institute for Molecular Biology and the nano-tech labs at UQ influenced me to consider research more seriously. The insights from the PhD students at the Speed Date a Scientist encouraged me to investigate bioluminescence, marine biology, and nanotechnology further.”

University of Queensland News

SPARQ-ed Senior Secondary Student Workshops at The University of Queensland
Experience authentic cell and molecular biology techniques at the TRI, Brisbane’s newest medical research institute. Topics include DNA Restriction and Electrophoresis, PCR, Mini-Preps, Making Mitosis Movies and Immunofluorescence.
Contact Peter Darben Phone (07) 34436920 Email p.darben@uq.edu.au Web http://www.di.uq.edu.au/sparq-ed

You’re invited to UQ’s Pharmacy Experience Day – Sunday 23 August
You are invited to Pharmacy Experience Day at PACE (Woolloongabba). Come along and experience a day in the life of a UQ Pharmacy student, participate in a range of hands-on activities, explore the state-of-the-art facility and meet staff and students. Contact Emma Mackenzie Phone (07) 3346 3033 Email e.mackenzie3@uq.edu.au Web www.uq.edu.au/pharmacy/experienceday

Interaction Design Exhibit – Wednesday, 3 June 2015
Experience the latest technology projects at the UQ Interaction Design Exhibit!
The exhibition gives you the opportunity to meet the new generation of Interaction Designers and discover the latest physical computing projects from UQ’s Multimedia and Interaction Design students.
Date: Wednesday, 3 June 2015 Time: School groups: 12pm – 5pm: Industry and public: 5pm – 7pm Venue: The Edge, State Library of Queensland Contact Helen Burdon Phone (07) 3365 2382 Email h.burdon@uq.edu.au Web http://www.itee.uq.edu.au/interaction-design

2015 Young ICT Explorers – register now!
Proudly supported by UQ’s Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, Young ICT Explorers is a free School Technology Challenge for year 3 – 12 students. It’s an opportunity for students to create and showcase innovative Information and Communications Technology related projects. The Challenge aims to inspire and encourage school students to be more involved in developing ICT projects.
Contact Helen Burdon Phone (07) 3365 2382 Email h.burdon@uq.edu.au Web http://www.youngictexplorers.net.au/

Experience Science – register now
School groups or individual students can register now for UQ’s Experience Science in July 2015.
Experience Science is a free event which provides students in years 10 – 12 the opportunity to discover what studying science is like at UQ and how science is applied in industry and everyday life. The event is facilitated by experts from UQ and industry through a series of hands-on, interactive science workshops.
Places are filling fast, so register now.

Geography and Environment Day
Geography Day is a great opportunity for students in Years 10-12 to experience the practical applications and relevance of geography, planning and environmental management and to see how studying these disciplines can lead to a career with real world impact. Students will attend interactive presentations hosted by current UQ students and graduates from industry, hands-on workshops and lectures from our world-class academics on a variety of topics.
For information, contact: Aimee Parker Phone: (07) 3346 1629 Email: a.parker3@uq.edu.au
web: http://www.gpem.uq.edu.au/index.html?page=169789&pid=114393

2015 Key Dates
You are invited to experience UQ at these on-campus events in 2015:
Careers that Shape the World – Wednesday 15 July
St Lucia Open Day – Sunday 2 August
Gatton Campus Open Day – Sunday 16 August
OP Results Advice Night – Monday 21 December
For information, contact:  UQ School Liaison team
Phone: (07) 3346 9649  Email:  school.liaison@uq.edu.au

NYSF leads to limitless opportunities

Sylvie Guigere from Queensland on her NYSF experience:

Sylvie Guigere

“After attending NYSF in 2012, I was ready to take on Year 12 and go on to bigger and better things at university. After a year full of hard work, I got accepted into my dream course – a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland, with provisional entry into Medicine once I had completed my three-year undergraduate degree.

I got accepted into my dream course – a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland

I had my heart set on going to UQ because of its great medical program and the fact that it was still relatively close to my hometown of Mackay. Having to move away from home makes the transition to university so much harder; however, attending NYSF at the start of year 12 meant I knew a bit of what to expect at university. Unlike a lot of other regional students who had come straight out of high school, I had already sat in a lecture theatre, been inside a university laboratory and spoken to academics. These experiences made my transition to university a lot easier because my surroundings weren’t completely unfamiliar, especially since a huge university campus can be extremely intimidating at first.

After staying at Burgmann College during my time at NYSF, I also decided I wanted to live on campus, and I moved into the Women’s College at UQ at the start of 2013. When I moved in, I only knew two other people going into first-year at college with me, both of whom I had met at NYSF.

Now almost two years later, I have completed my second year of university and college, as well as having been lucky enough to be involved in the NYSF program as a staff member for the past two years. This brings me to two-thirds of the way through my Bachelor of Science and I have loved every minute of it. Due to my interest in going onto Medicine, I have chosen to major in biomedical science and have focussed mostly on anatomy and neuroscience. My time at university has been challenging but extremely interesting. My first semester was a shock to the system, after I realised how different university is to high school, but I have since learned to love that difference. The freedom to choose my courses has meant that I have been able to explore areas that I find the most interesting, something which is hard to do at high school.

Sylvie Guigere on the student staff trek 2013

The academic opportunities I have encountered at university have been complemented by the leadership opportunities available to me at Women’s College. One of these happened recently during the G20 summit in Brisbane. Through my college, I received an invitation to the address by President Obama, which was held at UQ. Being able to witness this momentous speech was incredible and an experience that I will never forget. One remark of his, which particularly stood out for me, was when he spoke about how lucky we are to be part of a generation which has such limitless opportunities, which is something I couldn’t agree with more. I have been extremely fortunate to receive so many opportunities already in my young life, including being involved with the incredible NYSF, and I am looking forward to making the most of every opportunity that comes my way in the future.”

NYSF students feature in 2014 Qld Peter Doherty Awards

Congratulations to NYSF alumni who have won an Outstanding Senior Science Student Award as part of the Peter Doherty Award for Excellence in Science and Science Education. Of the ten students who won awards this year, five were NYSF alumni.

Winners were announced by the Queensland Minister for Education, Training and Employment during National Science Week in August and include:

Jackson Huang – Queensland Academy of Science, Mathematics and Technology

Jordanna Mladenovic – Townsville State High School

Lachlan Oberg – Ormiston College

Rosalie Petersen – Mansfield State High School

Victoria Poon – St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School

The Peter Doherty Awards for Excellence in Science and Science Education, which commenced in 2004, recognise students, teachers, support officers, schools, volunteers, mentors and organisations that have made outstanding and innovative contributions to science and science education in Queensland.  They are named for Professor Peter Doherty, a Brisbane-born Nobel Prize-winning scientist who was educated at Indooroopilly State High School and the University of Queensland.

UQ host free talk on women in engineering and civil construction – Fri 31 October

The University of Queensland is delighted to host Professor Sarah Springman as the 2014 Seymour Whyte Visiting Scholar.

The Seymour Whyte Lecture for Women in Civil Engineering showcases what careers for women in engineering and construction can offer. The lecture aims to help industry to better understand challenges and opportunities associated with women in engineering by challenging the status quo.

Professor Springman has managed to combine a passion for international sporting competition with a distinguished engineering career. A civil engineer by training, she started out working on the design and construction of dams in the Pacific, spent time at Cambridge as a young academic before joining the respected civil and environmental engineering departments at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. In July of this year, Professor Springman became the new Rector of ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

In addition to her scientific accomplishments, Professor Springman has also achieved major sporting success having represented Britain at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Triathlon and was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her contributions to sport.