My advice to new students, or to anyone engaging with new experiences and decisions, is to lean in to change, and to follow the opportunities that bring fulfilment.
If you're not happy with your degree, then change! NYSF 2015 Alumna Hannah Worsley went on to study medicine after the Year 12 Program, but since decided her passion was science teaching. In this article, Hannah shares her story since attending the program, and advice to future students.
"In 2015, I set out to our capital city on what I thought was another ‘nerd camp’ – I made a habit of going on many in an attempt to experience more of the world outside my rural home. Growing up on a property near Nullamanna (population 40), and attending school 45km away in Inverell, my previous experience of science was either agriculturally based or in a traditional high school classroom. The NYSF took my budding interest in biology and medicine to a new level, through experiences that didn’t exist back home.
My time in Canberra was spent in Blackburn, the medical/biology interest group, and I have made friends who I continue to visit and speak with today, although we are scattered across Australia and the world. The NYSF also gave me the opportunity to come back as a Student Staff member for 2016, and to attend the London International Youth Science Forum in the same year. It opened my eyes to what a strong and passionately delivered science education can do.
Although I began in a medical degree at UNSW, a goal which was developed through my time at NYSF, I quickly realised this wasn’t for me. After some time at home in the shearing shed and working as an au pair, I began a Bachelor of Primary Education (STEM) at the University of Canberra. In a roundabout way, my time as part of the NYSF had built up my passion for science teaching, and pursuing this goal is so exciting, as I learn as much as my students in any given lesson. I want make STEM not only fun, but a viable option for kids to pursue. It’s rewarding, with tangible benefits and progress, and my goal is to work in disadvantaged communities to bring science education to the forefront of Australia’s education system. To this end, I currently work at Questacon (the dream job for a budding STEM teacher) and I volunteer with not-for-profit Country to Canberra, which aims to deliver opportunities and skills to rural, regional, and remote girls to develop their leadership potential.
All of these things have been shaped or influenced by my time at the NYSF. When I was there, my focus was on a medical career. But as often happens, things change, and reality gets in the way of plans. My advice to new students, or to anyone engaging with new experiences and decisions, is to lean in to change, and to follow the opportunities that bring fulfilment. For me, my love for science, people, and rural Australia has come together in ways I couldn’t have imagined, and I have so much to look forward to."