During the July school holidays, six students and two teachers represented both QAHS and Australia at the 2019 Asia-Pacific Forum for Science Talented. The forum was held from 6-11 July and organized by National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Taiwan. The Australian Delegation was led by distinguished teachers, Mr Lal and Ms Cheng, and included Year 12 students George Tian and Meyrick Fisher, as well as Year 11 students Angie Zhou, Maggie Chi, Sara Alaei and Callum Janetzki.
The Australian Delegation were joined by six student and two teacher representatives from each of the other 15 countries that were invited to participate in this year’s forum including Canada, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey.
This was the first year that Australian had been invited to participate in this forum and it has been a great honour and privilege for QAHS to have been selected to represent Australia at this international event for the Science gifted and talented. As such, QAHS extends its most sincere gratitude towards Gifted Education Research, Resource and Information Centre (GERRIC) of the University of New South Wales for selecting our prestigious Academy to represent Australia at an international level. QAHS also offers its most heartfelt thanks to Mr Lal and Ms Cheng for their constant support and for being exceptional mentors, to Ms Jemma Day for helping the Australian team with their cultural performance, and to our Principal Mrs Vanessa Rebgetz, as well as the entire staff faculty for their encouragement and for nurturing our students into leaders.
During the forum, the students performed in the multicultural show during the opening ceremony where they showcased Australia’s rich culture to delegates of other nations. Meanwhile in the teacher’s forum, Mr Lal presented on “Infusing leadership into science teaching” to the teacher delegates and participated in cultural visits of Taipei, learning about the state of technology in Taiwan schools. With the forum’s focus aligned with the theme of “Nurturing leadership in future scientists,” the students were involved in hands-on projects where they worked in multinational teams and applied their knowledge of robotics to construct blue-tooth module robots in an intense competitive environment. The students also participated in a range of cultural visits of Taipei over the five days, sightseeing well-known tourist attractions such as the Taipei 101, Ximending night market, the Sun Yat-Sen memorial hall and other iconic locations.
Despite this being the first year that Australia had been invited to this forum, Australia was amongst the top-performing countries in this forum. The students won numerous leadership, participation, teamwork, performance and progressive awards in their multinational teams and out of 16 countries, Australia was voted as one of the top 3 countries for the Best Cultural Performance Award. Four of the students (Sara, Angie, Meyrick & Maggie) were judged as exceptional leaders of multinational teams (out of 16 possible leaders) and one student (Maggie) was judged as one of the six most outstanding leaders of the forum.
Overall, the Asia-Pacific forum was a great learning experience that has provided an opportunity for students to observe how essential leadership skills are found in situations of collaborative scientific work. Furthermore, students were able to utilize their critical thinking skills that have been deeply integrated within the teachings at QAHS to engage in intense hands-on-projects with other leading students in Science from across the globe.
“The 2019 Asia-Pacific Forum for the Science Talented in Taiwan was an extremely enjoyable, challenging and overall a beneficial experience. We learned about leadership in Science on a global scale, and in the process made valuable connections with other like-minded people from all over the world. The forum helped develop my skills in certain scientific areas with challenging activities, as well as improving my leadership skills within a group environment. The things I learned, the people I met and the memories I made at APFst I will never forget and will cherish forever.” – Callum Janetzki, Year 11
“The 2019 Asia-Pacific Forum for Science Talented was an extremely valuable and enriching learning experience that I will never forget. From this experience I have learnt about the importance of being an effective scientific leader in order to catalyze the integration of Science into the wider world, and to help drive Science/STEM into a more influential role to make the world a better place. The opportunity to connect with gifted students in Science from 15 different countries has placed me in a better position to both develop my leadership dynamics, as well as my understanding of essential leadership skills in the pursuit of scientific progress. All in all, this APFst has been extremely rewarding and I extend my most heartfelt thanks to our exceptional teachers, Mr Lal and Ms Cheng, for guiding and nurturing us into leaders at QAHS through this experience.” – Maggie Chi, Year 11
Maggie Chi and Sara Alaei
Year 11 Students