The 2023 National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) is an Australian science program which offers select Year 12 students the opportunity to participate in tours of science and technology facilities, learn about cutting edge research, engage with industry partners and research providers, learn about university and STEM career pathways and mix with other like-minded students from all over Australia.
After participating in a rigorous application process which involved connecting with our local rotary clubs to gain sponsorships, an immersive interview with a panel who challenged our scientific and technological-related knowledge, we (Nitika Bethi, Ananya Garg and Samuel Brown – Year 12 Students) were successful in being a part of a community of 400 passionate STEM students around Australia who were selected to attend this 2-week-long event.
The program this year was split into a week online consisting of various passionate STEM speakers and professionals, followed by the opportunity to attend an in-person hub for a week in Brisbane, where we were grateful to experience on-campus university life at University of Queensland during this time.
Over the course of the subsequent few days, we attended specialized sessions across Brisbane (University of Queensland, Griffith Nathan campus, Queensland University of Technology and the Royal Brisbane Women's hospital) to discover a range of unique STEM-related experiences. A highlight of this session was the Integrated Pathology session, where we were invited to visit the Women's hospital to observe thousands of preserved organ specimens used to train junior doctors and medical students. We were also invited to visit the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology where we explored the three floors of research laboratories and engaged in conversations and demonstrations from scientists who are currently developing some of Australia's most progressive and technologically revolutionising experiments and trials.
Furthermore, we developed lasting friendships with many other students and 'staffies' (NYSF Alumni including QAHS 2022 graduate Celeste Nutley) who volunteer their time to spend the five days on campus with us organising fun events such as the UQ scavenger hunt. We were constantly challenged by the staffies on STEM related riddles and puzzles, some of which we have still not cracked completely.
NYSF was truly a fulfilling experience which we were eternally grateful to have been selected to attend. This wouldn't have been possible without the help of Parkwood and Broadwater Southport Rotary clubs, who endorsed our application and place in the program. Thank you to NYSF Australia and the Rotary Club for creating this truly amazing and unique experience for students across the nation to enjoy!
Nitika Bethi and Ananya Garg
Year 12 Students and NYSF 2023 participants