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On Monday, the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) 2014 begins with two simultaneous sessions in Canberra and Perth.  A third session will be held in Canberra later in January.

By the end of the month, over 430 young Australians entering year 12 will have experienced what it is like to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics at university.

NYSF January Sessions are a 12 day intensive course comprising laboratory visits, industrial site tours, debates, presentations and fun activities designed specifically for the students, who come from all over Australia.

In Canberra, visits will be made to GeoScience Australia, various laboratories at the Australian National University, Department of Pathology at Canberra Hospital, and the Tidbinbilla Deep Space Centre.  In Perth, visits include HMAS Stirling, a range of laboratories at The University of Western Australia, and at Curtin University, and Water Corporation.

“We are confident that our program, developed over the past thirty years, provides the students with an excellent understanding of what their options are for studying science areas once they have finished year 12,” says Damien Pearce, Director of NYSF.  “The lab visits and site tours are designed specifically for our students, and illustrate a range of pathways in the science, technology and engineering, and maths fields. The interactions with the scientists they meet are key to the experience, and the generosity of many of the exchanges is often above what might be expected.”

“Given the Chief Scientist of Australia’s recent call to increase the focus on STEM in education in Australia, the students who attend the NYSF are in a good position to ensure they will follow further education and a career working in STEM-related professions.”

Over its thirty year history, more than 9000 students have taken part in the NYSF, with a majority moving to careers in STEM, either as researchers or research managers, as well as educators, and other professions where their scientific training supports their career.

George Kettle, from Murwillumbah in northern New South Wales, attended the NYSF in January 2013, and is returning to Perth this year as a volunteer staff member.  George says, “The NYSF opens up a new perspective on science and the people in science.  To be a great scientist – or any other professional – you also have to be a well-rounded person.  (NYSF) HAS influenced my study choices by opening up new areas in science – fields I didn’t know existed.  Because I love this diversity, I decided to study science further.  The hard part is choosing where to go next.  I love it all! I cannot believe the opportunities that the NYSF has opened up for me.”

Further information:  Amanda Caldwell 0410 148 173