The National Youth Science Forum Experience

Shannen Lobo at NYSF
Shannen Lobo at NYSF

The National Youth Science Forum is a two week forum, catering for students entering Year 12 with a keen interest in science. In January this year, I was fortunate to attend the forum myself in Canberra, along with 150 other enthusiastic students from across Australia and from as far as Canada, Germany and New Zealand. My experience, held at the Australian National University, was a very informative, engaging, motivating and a highly enjoyable journey. During this time, I was placed in a Chemistry interest group. We attended various sites including NASA’s tracking station, the ANU Chemistry and Physics centre, Geoscience Australia, CSIRO, Questacon and even a therapeutics testing centre.

Despite being in a chemistry group, we were exposed to other areas as well, enabling an insight to the numerous possibilities of science. We also took part in debates and attended lectures from university professionals, scientists and various staff members, who made the experience both valuable and entertaining. Apart from the remarkable science experience, we had evenings for socialising including a bush dance, a science relay quiz and a science disco. The friendships, networking and enthusiasm experienced throughout the trip was definitely one to remember and continue through life.

 There are many programs this forum has enabled me to now apply for and attend, including the Next Step programs, held in major cities of Australia as well as International Science Forums, held in a variety of countries. These programs offer the opportunity to further develop my interests (in health science) and without the NYSF, I would not have been able to consider them. I have taken away invaluable knowledge and memories and look forward to more opportunities which both challenge and encourage me to lead in the future of science and our wider community. There is so much to learn in science, visible all around you. If you are passionate about it, get involved, make the most out of opportunities and aspire to be one of Australia’s scientists. For me, this truly was an experience of a lifetime.

Written By Shannen Lobo - Year 12 Chemistry student