Young minds experiment with a future career in science
5 January 2012

Australia’s brightest young scientific minds have lit the Bunsen burner and flamed their passion for science at the 2012 National Youth Science Forum (NYSF), which kicked off at ANU this week.

During the month of January more than 300 Year 11 students from around Australia are participating in a series of twelve-day workshops which give them hands-on experience of a career in science. Students from Germany, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand are also attending the forum.

As part of NYSF 2012 students will attend specialist sessions, visit labs and hear from leading scientists and researchers at ANU. Highlights of the forum include a fossil dig, a science relay quiz and a laser light show. Students will also sit in on mock job interviews and take part in a senate-style enquiry about Australia’s future engineering, science and technology needs.

Next week students will join the search for the ‘god particle’, the Holy Grail of physics, through a live video cross to the Large Hadron Collider at Switzerland’s CERN facility.

NYSF Director Geoff Burchfield said that the program engages and promotes the scientific potential of young Australians and encourage students moving into Year 12 to follow careers in science, engineering and technology.

“The forum’s aim is to inspire tomorrow’s leaders in science to ask the big questions and follow a career they’re passionate about,” he said.

“While many of the students study physics, chemistry or biology at school, they often aren’t aware of what they can achieve in science and the full range of career pathways they can choose to study.

“The NYSF gives students the chance to get up close with working scientists, introduces them to research and researchers and helps to develop their communication and interpersonal skills. The program has been running since 1984 and many previous participants have gone on to very rewarding and high-profile science positions.”

The first twelve-day program runs at ANU until Saturday 14 January 2012. It will be followed by a second forum running from Monday 16 to Saturday 28 January.