I remember meeting one of the NYSF leaders, Zoe, who was studying Psychology, and she opened me up to a new world of science
Social connections are an important part of the NYSF Year 12 Program, not only for making friends, but for introducing participants to new STEM fields and helping them find their passion, just like it did for Anna Dawson- NYSF 2001 Alumna.
"I am Anna Dawson, but most 2001 Session B NYSFers would know me as Anna Hi. As I approach my 20 year anniversary from graduating high school, I have been reflecting back on my education and life since then. The NYSF made a huge impact on my personal development and helped me develop my self-confidence. The job interview prep and the public speaking activity at NYSF took me out of my comfort zone. It was a crash course to building these key life skills.
I was lucky enough to be referred to the NYSF program by my science teacher in year 11. At the time, I wasn't sure if I wanted to apply but with the encouragement of my teacher, I thought I'll give it a go. I remember feeling intimated by the interview experience (my first ever formal interview!) and I remember I spoke about Dr Karl Kruszelnicki as a scientist who has inspired me. As a student, Dr Karl taught me to be curious and that everything around us is based on science. It is this curiosity that I took with me to NYSF and my further studies.
I studied Psychology at the University of Sydney and worked as a Psychologist providing counselling and psychological assessments for a few years before I decided I wanted to specialise in organisational psychology. Today, I work in workplace mental health and wellbeing. I love my job and knowing I am making a positive contribution to the overall workplace community. My career path is not the usual STEM pathway that most NYSFers have been through. I learnt a lot at NYSF and the experience really was influential in guiding me to where I am today. Through the tours at NYSF I realised I didn't want to work in the lab or go into engineering. What I realised was that I loved the application of science in the real world, especially on human behaviour. The social aspect of NYSF made me realise I loved connecting with people who shared the same interest and sense of curiosity as me. I remember meeting one of the NYSF leaders, Zoe, who was studying Psychology, and she opened me up to a new world of science. It is not the traditional science subjects but it blended all my favourite science subjects - chemistry, biology and even physics with the study of human behaviour!
The friendships I made at NYSF helped me transition into university easily. I started first year with a group of friends in my science degree whom I already knew from NYSF. With the help of technology and social media I still stay in contact with this group of friends.
My advice to new students and science teachers: Every student will benefit from participating in NYSF. I would encourage all students to consider NYSF, whether you have decided to pursue a science career or not, as it might open up a whole new world for you. Just like it did for me."
Year 11 students can apply for the NYSF 2021 Year 12 Program here before June 14.