STEM teachers: Tell us what you’re doing!

We have been inspired by the upswell of STEM initiatives taking place in our high schools around the country.  So many schools are going beyond the curriculum to inspire and encourage STEM skills in their students. Please let us know what your school is doing! Click here to let us know what’s happening at your school.

(Note: FYI, the url is www.science.unsw.edu.au/future-students/stem-at-your-school)

Science 50:50 Competition Now Open

Teachers, please encourage your Year 12 girls to share their ideas with us.

We are offering $4000 prizes to five young women who share the most innovative solutions to real-world problems.

We will also be offering five runners-up the chance to join our 50:50 mentorship and industry immersion program if they enrol at UNSW.

More info: science.unsw.edu.au/50-50/competition

Science Info Day

Thursday 23 July 9:00am – UNSW Kensington Campus

Details: This full-day activity is designed to give high school students a taste of university life as part of UNSW Science. Our Science Schools will offer activities and lectures to help students determine what area of science may be right for them

Learn more and register here

(Note: FYI, the url is www.science.unsw.edu.au/events/science-info-day)


UNSW Engineering making research real

Students at NYSF 2015 had the opportunity to hear from Emma Colenbrander from Pollinate Energy, a non-profit organisation that provides people with access to affordable solar products, including battery torches, desk lamps, room lights and hanging lights. Their main area of operation at the moment is in India where people live in tent cities without electricity.  Pollinate Energy was started by alumni of the University of New South Wales’ School of Engineering.

Emma Colenbrander from Pollinate Energy with NYSF 2015 Session C students

You can read more about their work below, as well as the work of other UNSW alumni who have used their networks and the resources of the university to make their research into real products.





“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…


“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?”

UNSW Science – In the News

Talented Students’ Program at UNSW Science

Each year, the Dean of Science invites the top students in the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Science (Advanced) degrees to join a bright and inquisitive elite group of students who are mentored throughout their study program. Students typically have an ATAR (or equivalent) of 97.50 so you are mixing with some of the best and brightest students on campus. To find out more, please visit www.science.unsw.edu.au/tsp

New UNSW Science degree for 2015 – Bachelor of Life Sciences

In 2015, UNSW will launch a Bachelor of Life Sciences degree which focuses on the biological, environmental and health sciences areas. To find out more, please visit: www.science.unsw.edu.au/life-sciences

UNSW Project 50:50, Inspiring Young Women into Science

Science 50:50 aims to inspire Australian girls and young women to pursue degrees and careers in science and technology so they can succeed in an innovation-driven future. Science 50:50 makes the simple point – since half the population is female, why not half the scientists and technologists? To find out more, please visit www.science.unsw.edu.au/50-50

UNSW in first Australian team to win Biomod competition

A DNA nanomachine designed to detect viruses such as Ebola has won the Grand Prize for a team that includes three UNSW students in Harvard University’s biomolecular Biomod Competition – a biomolecular design competition for undergraduates from around the world.

Team Echidna – the first Australian team ever to enter the Ivy League university’s annual competition – beat 33 other teams with their ultra-sensitive biosensor which was inspired by the cooperative behaviour evident in the natural world.

The team included two UNSW Science students and one UNSW Medicine student – Advanced Science student Jon Berengut and Honours student Robert Oppenheimer, who are both studying in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences; and Andrew Tuckwell, an Honours student carrying out his project at the Victor Chang Institute.

The six students, who were supervised by Dr Lawrence Lee of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, also won the YouTube video prize at the competition.

Their winning entry can be seen here.

Their YouTube video can be watched here.

UNSW Science stands out in the 2014 Young Tall Poppy Science Award

Stand-out researchers in the UNSW School of Psychology have won three of this year’s 10 Tall Poppy Science Awards recognising excellence in science.

The awards, run by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS), honour emerging researchers and award them for their world-class research and passionate commitment to communicating science.

Overall, UNSW won five awards, the largest number of winners from one university. The New South Wales winners, Dr Muireann Irish, Dr Angela Nickerson, Dr Thomas Whitfordm Dr Nicola Newton, Dr Megan Lord – from the science, medicine, and engineering faculties – are nominated by their peers and will spend a year engaging with school students, teachers and the broader community to share their knowledge.


The Beacon newsletter from UNSW Science

Are you a Maths and/or Science high school teacher? Sign-up for The Beacon – our Maths & Science Newsletter aimed at high school teachers – to receive the latest Science and Mathematics research and industry news, events, info about new degrees and changes, and more! Sign up here: http://www.science.unsw.edu.au/teachers-newsletter

UNSW Women in Engineering Camp opens girls’ eyes to possibilities

For girls who love maths and science, the second week in January is shaping up to be fun and inspirational. UNSW runs an annual Women in Engineering Camp for girls in year 11 and 12 who want to get a taste of what it means to be an engineer. Hands-on activities, problem solving and field trips are all on the agenda for the young women who attend. They also get to stay on campus for the week and experience what uni life is really like. During all of this, the participants make new friends who have similar interests and even mingle with current students and successful engineers working at the uni and in industry.

The 2015 camp runs from Monday 12 to Friday 16 January 2015. Applications open on Tuesday 5 August 2014.

For more information:engineering.unsw.edu.au/wiec

UNSW Women in Engineering camp runs in January

UNSW Women in Engineering camp runs in January