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At the top end of Australia, Townsville students experienced their own suite of STEM visits with leading institutions.

Sweating small stuff

CSIRO and James Cook University (JCU) Molecular Ecology and Evolution Laboratory (MEEL) showed participants practical applications of DNA techniques on real-world projects.

Justin Perry from MEEL demonstrated how molecular ecology could be used to develop accessible technology that supports adaptive management of fire, feral animals, and weeds.

Justin also discussed the Internet of Things (IoT) in the context of remote areas. He showcased the software his team created to help make ecological data useful for Indigenous rangers.

He encouraged participants to explore potential career avenues in molecular science through the life experience of MEEL scientists.

A visit to the Australian Institute of Marine Science showcased the cutting-edge research saving our coral reefs.

Participants visited the National Sea Simulator to explore how scientists are working with microfragmentation, or breaking down coral into smaller pieces, is helping coral grow more quickly.

“I never really thought about marine science as an option, but seeing the incredible work they do with coral definitely made me interested!” said one Townsville participant.

A session with BioBarcode Australia saw participants practising their pipetting skills.

Scientists showed students how to separate two samples of Aussie mammal DNA to determine the difference between the two random samples.

The session explored how genomic sequencing of endangered animals can help with conservation efforts.

Health in a pandemic

At the Townsville Public Health Unit, participants got a taste of what it’s like to work in rural Australia during a pandemic.

Participants explored outbreak simulations and disease control in a very relevant visit, considering the changes to the program for 2021!

The health science continued at the JCU College of Medicine and Dentistry

Current students at the college chatted one-on-one with participants to give them some insights into the study options.

Participants also toured the state-of-the-art facilities, gathering ideas about future study options.

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