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We're thrilled to start introducing you to some of the 2023 NYSF Year 12 Program Staffies! The student staff leaders are selected for the role through an application process and represent the youth stewardship of the NYSF as a meaningful development opportunity, by youth for youth. 

Meet the Staffies: Sophie - content image

Meet Staffie Sophie! From left to right: Natural History Museum London Live Cross; Sophie; Rotary - NYSF presentation

Staffie Sophie

What's your advice to students who are about to attend NYSF Selections and Orientations?

From experience I recognise that the lead-up to NYSF selections can be daunting, however, it's paramount to have a positive attitude with confidence in yourself and your capabilities! I can reassure you the volunteers and Staffies at selections are delighted that you’re interested in the program, and they are there to help you. They are just as enthusiastic as you in discovering your STEM journey. Through embodying no one but yourself, your enthusiasm for the program and interest in STEM will radiate through on the day. The selection and orientation days are also a great opportunity to make friendships with other students, so take advantage of it!

What field do you think you'll pursue after school?

I still have a few career ideas in mind, but I’m interested in immunology, physiology and biomedicine! I love learning anything and everything about the human body, and I'm also interested in biopharmaceuticals and the business aspect, such as introducing new products to the market. I also love serving and contributing to the community, so I'm also interested in the health field. 

Tell us about your interactions with new-found NYSF friends and people you met through the NYSF

I connected on similar levels with NYSF friends, regarding areas of passion like microbiology, as well as similar ambitions and hobbies like surfing. It was great having the support and community from NYSF friends, and I valued all the new connections I made.

I connected with STEM-minded friends from around Australia and explored areas of interest like microbiology, genetics, and the human body. I found it very beneficial to hear from speakers who have experience in the research field, like Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty. The program showed me that through our scientific understanding of the world, we could use our knowledge to transform society by addressing and solving challenges with innovative and sustainable solutions.

As someone fascinated by genome editing and biology, it was an opportunity of a lifetime to ask questions to experts in the field, like Lauren Cook, who was from the Natural History Museum London Live Cross. From exploring the neurobiology of clownfish, learning to code music, and observing genetically modified bacteria and live crosses with science teams in Antarctica, the program demonstrated the myriad of possibilities out there in STEM. 

What are you looking forward to in 2023?

I’m super thrilled to be a part of NYSF next year, by taking the role of a Staffie. I’m looking forward to the in-person days of the program, and the fun STEM challenges and activities planned for students. I found this year I discovered so many interesting fields of STEM (like neuroscience and coding) through the guest speakers at the NYSF, so I am excited for next year’s line-up! I am also intrigued to hear about and see the latest scientific research, with new technologies like CRISPR and how this can help our world! Aside from NYSF, I’m super excited to start my first year of university and hope to do some travelling too!

Overall the National Youth Science Forum was an amazing opportunity, and I am extremely grateful to have been selected by the Mitcham Rotary Club for sponsorship to attend.

Do you want to become an NYSFer in January 2023? Apply for the 2023 NYSF Year 12 Program here!