The first week absolutely flew by as the NYSFers entered day 5 of the program!
Participants welcomed NYSF Partners, The University of Adelaide, Defence Force Recruiting, The University of New South Wales, Monash Unversity, and CSIRO.
Professor Mark Hutchinson, director of the ARC Centre of Excellent for Nanoscale Biophotonics, reminded the participants of some of the advice from the STEM communication workshop earlier in the week and how important networking, collaboration, and communication are in STEM.
"All my exciting science has happened not in the research lab, but in all my conversations and collaborations with networks and people across the world."
The remainder of the session was focused on the diversity of STEM careers outside of the typical lab-coat-wearing scientists that come to mind when most people think of STEM.
Ally Tingley, faculty recruitment officer with the University of New South Wales, summarised the situation perfectly:
"Everyone's journey with science and career path with science is very different. You learn skills that can take you in any direction... There is so much you can do in science that is outside of the traditional lab or research setting!"
Cpt Elizabeth Daly, Army Officer with the Royal Medical Crops, went one step further and took the NYSFers on a journey through the enormous number of STEM careers possible within the country's defence forces. Submariner engineering, mission coordination with the air force, or becoming a medical officer with the army - everything is possible in the defence forces with the added bonuses of being able to directly support humanitarian crises and travel all around the world!
"The defence force recruiting proved very interesting, and I would definitely consider seeking military sponsorship for a degree!"
It's not every day you get to hear from a Nobel Laureate, but that's exactly what NYSFers experienced in the final session of the day! Professor Peter Doherty AC, FRS, FMedSci, was gracious to spend the afternoon chatting about his extensive career, how science has changed over time, and how winning the 1996 Nobel prize for Physiology changed his life.
It turns out, that even Nobel Laureates have their limits as Prof Doherty explained how the NYSFers have definitely got the edge over him when it comes to science communication!
"You can all speak up for science because you can use social media, and if you have great experiments, especially if they are visual... put them on YouTube, get it out there, get people to see it. There is great democratisation of information, which your generation knows how to use much better than I do - I make a fool of myself on Twitter!"
Prof Doherty also mentioned that while future careers might be on everyone's mind, it's important to find balance in your life, and to enjoy the little things!
"It's been a pleasure to talk to you all, and I wish you all great careers. But, also be happy and have a life as well - that's also important!"
While the day 5 talks came to an end... a very special live-cross returned in the evening for another year... to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland! NYSFers went on a personalised tour of the enormous facility with Dr Steven Goldfarb and Dr Muhammad Alhroob and received first-hand insight into the incredible work they're doing on their hunt for the ever-elusive dark matter, and finding answers to some of the biggest questions in physics!
"I loved the CERN presentation and it has shown me that I may be able to go into a different area of physics that I didn't realise existed before an hour and a half ago... It was definitely one of my favourite sessions so far!"
Keen to hear more about what the participants got up to? Here's a taste of what unfolded in the first week of the NYSF Year 12 Program: