"It was the National Science Summer School then and it was the first year the program ran. I felt so very lucky to be able to attend and remain extremely grateful to the local Rotary club that gave me that opportunity" - Janine
The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF), previously the National Science Summer School (NSSS), has been running programs for students interested in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for the last 37 years. It is credit to the experience our participants have that we often see multiple people from one family attend our programs, including siblings, spouses and even children of alumni parents. In the coming weeks we will hear from three families where a parent and their child have both gone through the NYSF program.
Janine McClements attended the first NSSS program in 1984 in Canberra, 36 years later her daughter Indi attended our most recent NYSF Year 12 Program in Brisbane this January. They answered some questions to compare their time on session, the science they witnessed and how NYSF has impacted their lives.
What was a piece of science you witnessed at the program?
I remember specifically being fascinated by a site visit that included an explanation of Landsat satellite imaging and its applications. I’d never heard of anything like it before that. -J
I witnessed a lecture by Dr Elanor Bell from the Australian Antarctic Division who discussed science in the Antarctic, including the areas of conservation, climate science, and frontier science (for example, testing a NASA robot!) -I
What was your dream or passion in year 12, what is it now?
Science fascinated me, particularly the earth sciences, but chemistry was a close second thanks to an amazing teacher I had. So, after Year 12, I actually studied an applied science degree in chemistry while working as a cadet analytical chemist. During a rotation in the cadetship, I worked with some inspiring occupational hygienists. That work was a wonderful mix of science with lab time, plus site visits to varied workplaces to reduce risk to worker health. So, after further studies I became an Occupational Hygienist and haven’t looked back. It’s great to work in a field you are passionate about. -J
My passion was and is medical research in the field of preventative healthcare, focusing on diet, health and lifestyle as ways to prevent major disease later in life. I would love to be involved in collating data, drawing conclusions and communicating it to the wider community. I believe that an important aspect of healthcare is in our lifestyle, and the healthcare system should focus more strongly on preventing major disease earlier through encouraging healthy habits. -I
What is your favourite memory from the program?
Our group climbed Mt Kosciuszko – that was amazing. But I also remember being awestruck by the Australian Academy of Science building and everything in it. -J
My favourite memory was the Science of Taste lecture a group of us attended, which I found really fascinating. We also got to test which bitter receptors we did or didn’t have, which was really fun. -I
What would you say to prospective NYSF 2021 Year 12 applicants?
This is a great opportunity to broaden your STEM horizons and meet people from all over that are working in those areas, or others like you that aspire to join them. Just do it!! -J
The NYSF is an amazing way to find a passion in STEM and have support to turn it into a career plan. It is also a great place to meet other students interested in STEM and make connections to STEM institutes. -I
Thank you to Janine and Indi for sharing their experience and stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for more stories from Alumni Families.
Year 11 students can apply now for the NYSF 2021 Year 12 Program here before June 14.