Skip to content
Log In
Record numbers to attend Australia’s flagship STEM Youth experience in January 2022 - feature image, used as a supportive image and isn't important to understand article

This week, hundreds of students from all over Australia will be tuning in to events hosted by some of the country’s leading STEM experts at the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) Year 12 Program. This is the largest NYSF program on record, having flourished during the pandemic by pivoting to a COVID-safe mode where no participant is left out.

This week, more than 620 students from all over Australia will be connecting with leading science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) experts at the 2022 National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) Year 12 Program.

The NYSF has delivered life-changing STEM experiences for 38 years, and 2022 is no different!

Despite the challenges brought to in-person events around the world, the NYSF has flourished during the pandemic by pivoting to a COVID-safe mode where no participant is left out. With more attendees than ever before, it is clear that our COVID safe mode has been a success in providing young people with a high-quality program in which to explore their STEM future. STEM workforce projections and the challenges of the past two years have highlighted how important STEM careers are for society, the NYSF plays a crucial role in exposing youth to a wide range of STEM jobs plus the study and training options to get there.

Thanks to a long-term partnership with Rotary, the NYSF attracts a diverse range of students from all over Australia. In 2022, 42.5% of participants are from remote and regional areas of Australia, and 65% are young women*. As an equitable program for all, over 88 students in need have received scholarships, made possible by the Department of Industry, Science Energy and Resources, The Western Australian Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science & Innovation and the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer.

A once in a lifetime opportunity, 2022 NYSF Year 12 Program participants will connect with not one, but two Nobel Prize winners (Professor Peter Doherty AC FRS FMedSci and Professor Brian Schmidt AC, FAA, FRS) alongside a range of experts across all STEM fields, including the Chief/Lead Scientists of Australia. We’re excited to welcome back Professor Tanya Monro FAA FTSE FOSA FAIP GAICD, who in addition to being the Chief Defence Scientist of Australia, is an NYSF alum (1990) and former Chair of the NYSF Board. NYSF participants have extraordinary access to Australia’s most eminent leaders in STEM.

The program gives participants exclusive access via live cross to some of the world’s best science and technology facilities, including to research stations in Antarctica, the RV investigator in the Southern Ocean, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland, and the Natural History Museum in the UK.

With their minds already buzzing, participants will be tasked with solving Australia’s greatest current and future problems, with challenges including bringing innovation to agricultural policy; communicating STEM to different audiences; and proposing solutions to how Australia will achieve its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

In pre-event chat rooms, the excitement is building about the NYSF ‘house party’ with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki AM! Participants will also get to explore a range of Science@Home digital experiments and attend workshops with experts in STEM communication, critical thinking and start-ups.

CEO of the National Youth Science Forum, Dr Melanie Bagg, said the new-look program has allowed the program to respond to rapid changes in the external landscape, and that participants have adapted and thrived through the hybrid digital and in-person STEM experience.

“The NYSF has been a staple in the Australian STEM landscape for 38 years and we are incredibly proud of how we’ve been able to consistently deliver unique and engaging STEM experiences for our participants.”

‘‘We know just how tough it has been for students and their families over the last few years, and we’re here to make sure that Australia’s future STEM workforce have the opportunity to explore the myriad of pathways that are open to them. The youth-led program also offers strong social connection and leadership opportunities, with participants going on to join the 14,000 strong NYSF alumni community and the connections that offers,’ said Dr Bagg.

Support from the Australian Government through the National Innovation Science Agenda (NISA), our Major Partner, Lockheed Martin Australia, our host universities and a range of other partners has ensured the NYSF continues to deliver unique and high quality, immersive STEM programs in Australia.

There will be a range of media opportunities available throughout the digital program and during in-person visits in Perth. Our CEO is happy to join any programs to discuss the range of activities on offer and our speakers may be available to speak to the media. We can also find students from your local area for stories and photo opportunities.

Media Contacts 0491 044 104 | 0439 037 773

*includes any student who identifies as a woman, including cis, trans, non-binary and intersex persons.

A teaser of the weeks to come...

NYSF Opening Event supported by Lockheed Martin Australia | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm Monday 10 January 2022

The first week of the program is fully online with participants joining an Opening Event featuring discussions with leaders in STEM including the Chief Defence Scientist of Australia (and NYSF 1990 alum), Professor Tanya Mary Monro FAA FTSE FOSA FAIP GAICD, and Air Marshal (Retd) Warren McDonald AO CSC, Chief Executive of NYSF’s Major Partner, Lockheed Martin Australia. Councilor Declan Clausen, the current Deputy Lord Mayor of Newcastle and NYSF 2010 alum will chair the sessions and bring in perspective from NYSF CEO Dr Melanie Bagg GAICD and NYSF Chair of the Board, Kerri Hartland.

NYSF Introductory Lecture | 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Monday 10 January 2022

Professor Jon Whittle, Director of Data61 is on hand to deliver the NYSF Introductory Lecture, challenging the students to think about the role digital technologies can play in society and how we can adapt software development methods to fully take into account human values and ethics, so software is built for the societies we want rather than one we get by accident.

STEM Communication supported by the Telethon Kids Institute and the WA Department of  Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation | 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Wednesday 12 January 2022

A particular favourite session of the program is the STEM Communications Panel - which takes on special significance in a year where scientific principles are at the public face, and the communication of STEM takes centre stage. Tegan Taylor (ABC, Coronacast), Dr Joe Milton (Australian Science Media Centre) and Kirsten Banks (Wiradjuri Astrophysicist, @AstroKirsten) deliver a masterclass discussion on the strategy behind science communication and how are participants can incorporate communication into their career pathways in STEM.

Dr Karl’s House Party | 5:00 pm – 6:00pm Wednesday 12 January 2022

There are few STEM identities as recognisable as Dr Karl Kruszelnicki AM. Dr Karl is hosting an exclusive digital NYSF House Party where participants will have the opportunity to challenge his impressive knowledge with their favourite STEM questions.

Nobel Prize Sessions supported by the Australian National University and CSL | 2:00 pm 14 January & 11:00 am 25 January 2022

We have two Australian Nobel Prize winners delivering talks and a Q & A session with students in the 2022 NYSF Year 12 Program! Nobel Laureates Professor Peter Doherty AC FRS FMedSci and Professor Brian Schmidt AC, FAA, FRS will inspire students with their ground-breaking research stories, offering participants a glimpse into what it takes to win a Nobel Prize.

Meet the Chief Scientists! | 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm Tuesday 25 January 2022

In an incredible meeting of the minds, we have a panel discussion with the Chief/Lead Scientists from around Australia! Students will learn about the STEM priorities and opportunities in different parts of our nation and inspire them as they go forward into Year 12. Featuring Dr Cathy Foley AO, PSM, FAA, FTSE , Chief Scientist of Australia; Dr Amanda Caples GAICD, Victoria’s Lead Scientist; Professor Caroline McMillen AO, FAHMS, Chief Scientist for South Australia; Professor Hugh Possingham FAA, Queensland Chief Scientist; Professor Peter Klinken AC, FAHMS, FTSE, Chief Scientist of Western Australia; and Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte FRS FAA, NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer.

Travel to far off places with the NYSF Live Crosses! | Various dates and times

Our digital program will allow students to connect with STEM professionals from around Australia and the world. This year participants will enjoy live crosses to CERN in Geneva and research stations in Antarctica with the Australian Antarctic Division. They will also spend a night at the Natural History Museum in London, and will leap aboard CSIRO’s RV investigator in the Southern Ocean.

STEM Challenges

Participants will be tasked with solving Australia’s greatest current and future problems – and we know they are up to the task! Challenges will include creating an innovation policy that uses science at the interface of agriculture, environment and technology to consistently and sustainably meet the Ag2030 target of $100 billion in production by 2030; using their communication skills to capture stories of the NYSF and the community; and pitching new ideas on how Australia will achieve its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Prizes are top secret right now – but participants might be surprised just how high their ideas might fly!

...and more!

The program will include specialist virtual lectures from some of the country’s leading STEM experts include Professor Vanessa Hayes who tell the story of the human genome, and Professor Chris Matthews who will describe the connection between mathematics and Indigenous cultures. Students will also experience fascinating digital workshops describing the connection between art and STEM, how conservation science is used to save the Great Barrier Reef, and a virtual geology field trip with UNSW!

While this year features a predominantly digital program, it will also include in-person events in Perth with visits including:

• CSIRO Australian Resources Research Centre
• Telethon Kids Institute
• Defence Force Recruiting HMAS Stirling
• Roy Hill ROC-Ed Learning Centre
• BioBarcode Conservation Genomics
• UWA Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
• Curtin University
• Harry Perkins BioDiscovery Centre
• Pawsey Supercomputing Centre
• Perth Zoo
• Murdoch University
• International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research
• ...and more!

About the National Youth Science Forum

The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) is a not-for-profit charity that has been operating since 1984 to provide STEM outreach experiences for young people. The NYSF Year 12 Program is one of Australia’s foremost and best-known STEM experiences for high school students. It is run by youth, for youth, each January for over 38 years, with over 14,000 alumni participating in the program to date. The primary aim of the program is to give students a broader understanding of the diverse study and career options available to them in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and to encourage continued pursuits in these fields. The Student Staff Leadership Program gives alumni the chance to return to the program as leaders following their Year 12 Program experience and to contribute their ideas, experience, and enthusiasm to the next cohort. The NYSF maintains deep connections to the community across Australia through our partnership with Rotary Australia; 20 local Rotary Districts and over 1,100 Rotary Clubs across the country work closely with us to promote the program locally, run student selections, and then to run the NYSF Year 12 Program itself.