Meet NYSF Alumnus Jason Borg (NYSF 2010)

Jason Borg attended the NYSF in Canberra in 2010 and National Youth Science Week (NYSW) in Pretoria, South Africa later that same year.

Since then he has graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in biology. He completed his Honours year in the University of Sydney’s Evolutionary and Ecological Physiology Lab looking at whether different behavioural phenotypes determine movement in thermally variable environments. He graduated earlier this year with First Class (Class I) Honours.

I always saw science as being a part of my future career

Jason decided to put research aside for the time being to pursue his passion for teaching and is currently undertaking a Masters of Teaching (Secondary) in Science also at the University of Sydney. “I loved my undergraduate science degree and all the fieldwork opportunities it provided but I figured I would follow my passion for both research and teaching so that I would have no future regrets, having dabbled in one and not the other. I always saw science as being a part of my future career and this way it always will be. I always have the option of completing my PhD in the future but for now teaching is where I want to be. There’s a need for more STEM teachers and students in schools so my goal is to instil the same zest and passion for science in future students that my teachers and NYSF did for me. I will definitely try to promote NYSF to any future students and all school aged students I meet. As cliché as it may sounds NYSF and NYSW was home to some of my fondest life experiences to date.”

My goal is to instil the same zest and passion for science in future students that my teachers and NYSF did for me

Jason is now completing the final one and a half years of his Masters degree, with his first school practical experience in August of this year.

 

“NYSF is a four letter word!”

This January, Session C will hear from NYSF alumni and academic Dr Neeraj Sharma from the University of New South Wales during Partners’ Day.  Here’s a bit about Neeraj…

Neeraj

“Summer of 2001 was when I discovered that scientists are very cool – they get to discover completely new things and play with complicated and funky pieces of equipment. Most importantly, they were others like me who loved science and loved finding out about how things work (and making them better). People often ask me what got me into science and I would say two things – my high school science teacher and the four letter word, NYSF!

People often ask me what got me into science and I would say two things – my high school science teacher and the four letter word, NYSF!

After attending NYSF in 2001 (and while being a Staffie in 2002), I studied a Bachelor of Science at the University of Sydney and spent a year on exchange at Uppsala University in Sweden – study abroad is an awesome experience that I would recommend to all. I continued on to do Honours and a PhD at the same institution working on new materials for solid oxide fuel cell applications and ones that show weird-types of magnetism. Then I moved to ANSTO as a post-doctoral fellow, essentially irradiating batteries with neutrons and trying to figure out how to make better batteries – so our phones can last longer and we can all drive around in electric vehicles. Now I am a lecturer in Chemistry at UNSW, teaching, making new materials and trying to make new and better batteries. I also dabble in making materials that contract when heated and room temperature superconductors (I wish).

Neeraj Sharma

Neeraj Sharma

One thing NYSF has instilled into me is the need to communicate the science that I do – so I am involved in a number of outreach activities. I also enjoy making science fun and exciting and am often amazed at the types of questions I get from audiences! All in all, NYSF was an eye-opener and I am so glad to be a part of it from the scientists’ perspective now – to encourage students to do what they love (or at least appreciate what they love even if they end up elsewhere).

So if you’re an NSYF-er and find yourself at UNSW, pop by my office for a coffee =). Did I mention I met my wife at NYSF 2001?”