Ten of New South Wales’ brightest science students converged on Canberra in May to meet leading Australian scientists.
The new STEM education initiative by the Australian Academy of Science saw the group of Year 12 HSC Science Extension students and their teachers attend the Academy’s annual showcase of science, Science at the Shine Dome, for the first time.
Science Extension is a NSW Higher School Certificate course designed for Year 12 students with an interest in scientific research. It is the only science course of its type in Australia. Students undertake scientific research, in collaboration with a practising scientist to develop research and critical analysis skills and to apply evidence-based decision making.
The Academy’s Secretary for Education and Public Awareness, Professor Hans Bachor, said picking only ten students from 67 applications was no easy task.
“It is clear from meeting with this group of students that they are absolutely passionate about science, and after spending three days with some of Australia’s top scientists they have left with plenty of inspiration,” Professor Bachor said.
“What young people see of STEM professionals shapes their beliefs and career aspirations. The Academy’s Women in STEM 10-year plan published last month highlights the importance of role models.”
The students got the chance to have a Q&A session with Dr Andy Thomas, the first Australian-born citizen to fly as a NASA astronaut in space.
The ten students and their teachers attended Science at the Shine Dome thanks to the generous support of the Academy’s STEM education partner 3M. It’s Australia Managing Director, Makoto Itoh congratulated the Academy on creating a fantastic program to inspire Australia’s future scientists.
“By providing equal opportunity to all NSW Science Extension students and including their science teachers, we’re creating a winning formula for success and the advancement of science in Australia,” Mr Itoh said.
“In future careers, these students could make their own scientific discoveries and apply them to solve some of life’s biggest problems. They could change the world—and that alone is worth its weight in gold.”
The ten students are:
The Academy acknowledges the generous support of 3M.
© 2021 Australian Academy of Science