this is a crucial time for Australia to really ‘get it right’ in relation to science and technology education and careers
I am very pleased (and not just a little bit proud) to have been recently elected Chair of the Council for the National Science Summer School – the body that runs the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF).
I first became involved in the NYSF back in the distant mists of the last century, in the late 1980s, and over the years have taken part as a sponsor or guest speaker at events in Canberra and Perth. It has always given me a buzz to meet former NYSF students at universities or in workplaces (though I’m usually a bit stuck when asked, ‘Do you remember me, you talked to our NYSF group a few years ago?’).
As to my background (to save you Googling me) I have been working in science communications for over 20 years, and have, over that time, worked alongside most of the people and organisations involved in science communications and education in Australia. And I currently work at CSIRO Education, so this is not an unfamiliar space to me – although it may take me just a little time to learn all the processes and people and acronyms involved.
Enough of the past though, for I’m more interested in the future – in consolidating the recent changes made by the NYSF and strengthening partner relationships, to put us in good shape for what I suspect may be some challenging years ahead of us all. I think this is a crucial time for Australia to really ‘get it right’ in relation to science and technology education and careers – and programs like the NYSF are clearly an important part of helping our talented youth discover the challenges and rewards of both careers in S&T or just having a better appreciation of science thinking and science processes. And I’m confident that with the talent that we’ve got in the office, on the Council, throughout the Rotary Clubs, with sponsors and of course through our program participants, we will rise to any challenges like a pack of Mentos dropped into a bottle of Coke (try it – though not indoors).