Young scientists, engineers, mathematicians and technology practitioners of the future will benefit from a strengthened program under the National Youth Science Forum for 2016, which will include opportunities to hone their communication, entrepreneurial and critical thinking skills.
This coming January, The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF 2016) will offer its participants a refreshed and expanded program that focuses on three central ideas: engaging with science, technology and engineering and maths – STEM in Action; understanding the role of STEM in Society; and preparing the next generation of STEM Professionals.
“We have redesigned the program to provide a more cohesive and streamlined experience,” says Chief Executive Officer, Dr Damien Pearce. “By focusing on these three strands, we will lead students through a set of activities, lectures and visits that aim to build an improved understanding of the role of science in our lives, and how studying STEM at a tertiary level can lead them in many different directions.”
In 2015, the NYSF welcomed Lockheed Martin Australia as a major funding partner. “Lockheed Martin is proud to be a major partner of the NYSF, which builds on our well-deserved reputation as an advocate for STEM in Australian and across the globe,” says Lockheed Martin Australia Chief Executive, Raydon Gates.
“Our support for NYSF builds on our mission to help solve the world’s most technically pressing challenges and to advance scientific endeavour for a safer world in the future, but also recognises that we must inspire the next generation to pursue STEM careers by showing today’s students how exciting and rewarding these jobs can be.”
For 2016, the NYSF student interest groups have been realigned to reflect the national research priorities adopted by the Australian government in April 2015 – food, soil and water, transport, cybersecurity, energy, resources, advanced manufacturing, environmental change, and health.
NYSF provides its participants with a wealth of information about university and other tertiary level study options, through access to world leading research laboratories, with an inside view of local facilities where research outcomes are translated into real life products and processes. They also have considerable opportunity to network with the researchers and industry people that they meet, as well as each other.
“The NYSF is basically the young people’s first professional networking opportunity,” says Dr Pearce. “They go home fired up and ready to tackle year 12 with renewed enthusiasm and vigour.”
The range of skills the STEM graduates of the future will need are expanding every day. Also included in the 12-day program are lectures and panel discussions on critical thinking, entrepreneurship, communication skills, and the importance of having the diversity of our community represented in STEM working environments.
“We have also managed to pack into the program an extra lab visit,” says Dr Pearce, “offering even more science to the students! And along with our long-standing and extremely supportive lab and site visit providers across the campus of The Australian National University, it is really exciting to welcome IBM here in Canberra, hosting some groups at their Linux Development Lab; the National Film and Sound Archive, which is able to provide a lab visit for a large group; there’s an expanded program at the University of Canberra; and a really exciting visit to Lockheed Martin Australia’s NextGen Cyber Innovation and Technology Centre.”
The two NYSF Science Dinners will both feature inspirational guest speakers. For Session A, Dr Nick Gales, the Director of the Australian Antarctic Division has agreed to address the students and other dinner guests about his rich and varied career working for one of Australia’s most iconic and unique organisations. At the Session C dinner, acclaimed author, academic, and oncologist, Dr Ranjana Srivastava, has generously agreed to share with the students and guests her experiences of life as a working scientist. Information about the NYSF Science Dinners is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NYSF acknowledges funding and support provided by:
- Lockheed Martin Australia
- The Australian National University (host university)
- Cochlear Foundation
- CSL Ltd
- Grains R&D Corporation
- Monash University
- Murray Darling Basin Authority
- NSW Trade & Investment
- The University of Melbourne
- The University of New South Wales
- The University of Queensland
The 2015 program’s lab visit and site tour hosts are acknowledged here: https://www.nysf.edu.au/about/contributors.
In 2014-15 the NYSF
- Attracted more than 1200 applicants
- 600 of these were assessed as suitable to attend the program
- 400 places were available for students to attend
- 60 panels of volunteers from 21 Rotary Districts across Australia selected students to attend
- 135 lab visits and site tours were conducted in January
- 23 Next Step visits were conducted in major partner centres during school holidays
- 43% of our participants came from rural and regional areas of Australia, reflecting our national reach, facilitated by Rotary
- 55% of our participants were female
- NYSF’s established national networks allows it to reach Australian schools and their students
Information: Amanda Caldwell, 0410 148 173