The National Youth Science Forum’s Year 12 program is the greatest collection of science workshops to end all other workshops. For two weeks during January, there are a range of science related workshops, lectures and panels by Australia’s top universities, companies and start-ups to address topics anywhere from molecular biology and genetic engineering to drones and mars rovers. Sounds pretty great right?
I personally had a great experience at the forum. Unfortunately, in January the in-person visits were cancelled due to COVID restrictions and were instead replaced with online workshops and lectures from around Australia – while disappointing, the online experiences were awesome and it was great to expand my knowledge of what is happening in the field of science all around Australia.
Some highlights for me from the online workshops was talking to the Queensland Chief Scientist about koala populations, meeting Dr Karl and finding out about some new advances in science, and talking to engineering students at UQ.
In addition, there was many social activities, which included making connections with other science nerds living all around Australia, as well making friends in Brisbane.
I got to meet up with some of them last holidays when the make-up in-person visits were held. Some highlights from these visits was having a look at UQ’s collection of electron microscopes, building a line following robot at Griffith University and mock-debating the ethics and consequences of patenting genes.
The only downside is the application process – its long but it’s worth it! It’s also a bit expensive, but there are plenty of opportunities for subsidy and rotary funding, which helped me pay for the entirety of my experience.
Overall, it was a very rewarding experience and I would recommend it to any Year 11 students who want to work in STEM and want to know more about university and career pathways, as well as meet likeminded people and industry professionals.
...article written by Jessica Smith, Year 12