We hope to see NYSF students do just that - be bold and indulge their curiosity as they discover what the world of STEM has to offer
Picture this: The halls of Burgmann College are peaceful, the Australian National University (ANU) is fairly quiet in the semester break, but in one night, everything changes – it won’t be quiet around here for two weeks. 200 students who are about to begin their final year of school rolled out of buses after travelling from anywhere between two to twenty-four hours, coming from all over Australia, plus Germany, Singapore, and New Zealand, congregated on Burgmann “Burgy Bay” Lawn, and were met by student-staff (staffies) to begin NYSF 2018 Session C.
After a night’s rest, everyone donned their best frocks or dress pants and headed to Australian Parliament House for the official opening ceremony. As everyone filed in to the auditorium four words greeted them that would foreshadow the next two weeks: “Empowering tomorrow’s science leaders”. We heard from three inspirational speakers who encouraged everyone to “question, question, question” and use our inquisitive minds to make discoveries.
The session was opened by Mr Andrew Metcalfe AO, chair of the National Science Summer School Council, who spoke about the “life-changing experience” (Riley Metcalfe, NYSF Alumnus 2011) that is NYSF. However, NYSF wouldn’t be the program it is without the support of Rotary. Mr Steve Hill, Rotary District Governor (District 9710) enlightened the group as to the support that Rotary provides to youth – tomorrow’s leaders – and encouraged students to “grab hold of every opportunity [they] can”. Finally, Professor Jane Dahlstrom, Professor of Anatomical Pathology and Interim Dean of the College of Health and Medicine at ANU, delivered the keynote address. Professor Dalhstrom is a perfect example of a woman who can be ever striving to achieve success in her career while taking care of a family, raising six children while completing her medical training and PhD candidature. She is a wonderful role model for all of the NYSF students, and inspired them to “ask lots of questions and be courageous enough to answer lots of questions.”
Over the next 12 days, we hope to see NYSF students do just that - be bold and indulge their curiosity as they discover what the world of STEM has to offer and hear about the latest scientific research. The students in this cohort will one day be the leaders in these fields, and it all begins here.
Catriona Nguyen-Robertson, Communications Intern and NYSF Alumna 2011.