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500 young Australians connect with quantum, probe the planets, tackle food waste, and explore endless opportunities at the NYSF! - feature image, used as a supportive image and isn't important to understand article

From 5 to 20 January, high school students from across the nation will live and breathe science and technology at the 2024 NYSF Year 12 Program in Canberra and Brisbane. Housed together for 9 days, participants will go behind the scenes and get hands-on at a wide range of different science and technology facilities. They’ll meet the real people who work in STEM and hear about the many different areas and career pathways they can explore in a jam-packed schedule.

Whether it is delving into space and astrophysics, sustainability and climate, or autonomous transport and robotics, students will be experiencing hands-on activities across a broad range disciplines including AI & cyber, engineering, chemistry, environmental science, health & medicine, and physics.

In addition to amazing facilities in Australia, the 2024 NYSF Year 12 Program features live crosses to some of the world’s very best science and technology facilities, including to the research vessel JOIDES Resolution in the Mediterranean and to CERN in Switzerland. Amongst a line-up of inspiring presenters, NYSF is thrilled to announce our keynote speakers, Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist, Professor Tanya Monro AC FAA FTSE FOSA FAIP GAICD, and 2023 Queensland Women in STEM Prize award winner, Dr Lena Oestreich. The program also offers critical skill building workshops in communicating science and technology and a Great Debate with the future STEM workforce of Australia!

Excitingly, 2024 kicks off the 40th Anniversary celebrations for the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF). A not-for-profit charity, the NYSF has connected more than 15,000 Young Australians with their futures since 1984. This makes the NYSF Year 12 Program the longest running and largest residential science and technology experience in Australia.

The NYSF helps young people, who may not otherwise have the chance, to explore science and technology. In 2024, 45% of participants are from remote and regional areas of Australia, and 68% are young women or gender diverse. An accessible program, 97 participants have received scholarships, made possible by the Department of Industry, Science and Resources; GHD Foundation; the Queensland Government's Department of Environment and Science; the Western Australian Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science & Innovation; the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer; Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre; and private donors.

Rotary clubs nationwide play a pivotal role in ensuring students in local communities across the nation are aware of and get the opportunity to benefit from NYSF by providing crucial funding support for families and volunteering hours of their time.

NYSF CEO, Dr Melanie Bagg GAICD, said the NYSF Year 12 Program is often described by participants as life changing.

"It relieves the pressure as they enter their last year of high school and think about what next by exposing lots of job options they were previously unaware of. The program gives them a chance to meet others interested in similar areas to them, they forge long-term friendships, networks and stay in touch for decades. This is particularly valuable for those who don’t have others with similar interests around them and to highlight people with a wide range of abilities pursuing and succeeding in science and technology careers.”

“A diverse array of backgrounds also catalyses more innovative outcomes. By showcasing what working in STEM is really like and actively engaging those who may otherwise be overlooked, NYSF fosters a STEM landscape that reflects the true diversity of Australia,” said Dr Bagg.

Support from NYSF Partners in Government, industry and academia including the Australian Government through the National Innovation Science Agenda (NISA), our Major Partner Lockheed Martin Australia, and host universities, The Australian National University and The University of Queensland, along with other NYSF partners, is vital to the continued success of the organisation and program delivery.

NYSF is grateful for the financial and in-kind support of our funding Partners:

  • Lockheed Martin Australia
  • The Department of Industry, Science and Resources
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian Space Agency
  • ADF Careers
  • Australian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine
  • CSL
  • Defence Science Technology Group
  • GHD Foundation
  • Griffith University
  • Monash University
  • NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer
  • Organon
  • ResMed
  • The Queensland Government, Department of Environment and Science
  • The University of Adelaide
  • The University of Melbourne
  • The University of Newcastle
  • University of Canberra
  • UNSW Sydney

Media opportunities are available throughout the program with STEM events in Canberra (between 5 – 13 January) and Brisbane (between 12 – 20 January). The NYSF CEO and a range of participants are happy to be interviewed, and we can find students from your local area for stories and photos.

Media Contacts 0491 044 104 | 0439 037 773

NYSF thanks our visit hosts and visit presenters from the following organisations for sharing their science and technology facilities and stories with Australia’s youth. NYSF can organise media interviews at a number of these locations.

Canberra 5-13 January:

  • ANU Department of Nuclear Physics and Accelerator Application
  • ANU National Computational Infrastructure
  • ANU College of Engineering, Computing & Cybernetics
  • ANU Bushfire Ecology Lab
  • ANU Biology
  • ANU Solar Racing
  • ANU Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU Research School of Chemistry
  • ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU Canberra Pollen Count
  • ANU Effective Altruism
  • ANU Rocketry
  • ANU Centre for Advanced Microscopy
  • ANU Mathematical Sciences Institute
  • ANU John Curtin School of Medical Research
  • ASD-ANU Co-Lab
  • Mt Stromlo Observatory
  • Geoscience Australia
  • CSIRO Synergy Lab
  • CSIRO Herbarium
  • CSIRO Bushfire Research Facility
  • Mulloon Institute
  • Canberra Innovation Network
  • Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex
  • Gollion Farm
  • Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG)
  • Australian Defence Force (ADF)
  • Questacon
  • Australian Federal Police Forensics
  • Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch
  • NatureArt Lab
  • Snowy Hydro
  • National Museum of Australia
  • Gondwana Dreaming
  • Mid Lachlan Landcare
  • Goterra
  • University of Canberra
  • Canberra Region Cancer Centre (Canberra Hospital)
  • Seeing Machines
  • Icon Water
  • Wildbark, Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary

Brisbane 12 – 20 January:

  • UQ Biology
  • UQ Chemistry
  • Universal Field Robots
  • UQ Integrated Pathology Learning Centre
  • UQ Cyber Security
  • UQ Centre for Advanced Imaging
  • UQ School of Mathematics and Physics
  • UQ Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis
  • Symbio Laboratories Pty Ltd
  • Cross River Rail Delivery Authority
  • Griffith Health
  • Griffith Centre of Biomedical and Rehabilitation Engineering (GCORE)
  • QUT Designing Smart Devices
  • QUT Robotics and AI
  • QUT The Fascinating World of Ground Water
  • Translational Research Institute
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Success
  • Boeing Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific
  • Queensland Herbarium
  • Queensland Government Ecosciences Precinct (CSIRO, Dept of Environment & Science, Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries)
  • Queensland Government Hydraulics Lab
  • Queensland Government Health and Food Sciences Precinct
  • Griffith Institute for Drug Development (GRIDD)
  • Griffith Cyber Security
  • Griffith Criminology
  • Griffith Sea Jellies and Dolphin Enrichment
  • Queensland Museum
  • Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine - Nuclear Medicine
  • NatureBase
  • Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Hub
  • Advance Queensland | Queensland Government
  • SEQ Water
  • Circonomy
  • ARC Bioplastics and Biocomposites
  • Public and Environmental Health
  • BOP Industries
  • Brisbane Sustainability Agency
  • TAFE Queensland
  • QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
  • QLD Forensic Science