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In January 2018, three Helena College Year 12 students attended the annual National Youth Science Forum which was held in two different capital cities for the first time this year. James Mercer attended the event in Canberra whilst Jake Kaufmann and Rosie Atkinson went to the new venue at the University of Queensland.
Fewer than 60 students were chosen to represent WA at the Forum so to have three students selected from our College reflects the passion for science here, among both students and teachers. Only one other school in the state had three or more students chosen to attend.
The College wishes to acknowledge and thank the local Rotary Clubs for their support, especially Swan Districts who have sponsored our students over a number of years.
The value to the students themselves is evident in their comments following the Forum.
NYSF (National Youth Science Forum) was hands down the best twelve days of my life. I had the opportunity to meet two hundred like-minded science students and have twelve exhilarating days of constant, mind-blowing science, socialising and sleep deprivation. We were fully immersed into the world of science and got a taste of everything, from robots in healthcare to a video conference with Dr Rolf Landua at the Large Hadron Particle Collider in Switzerland (basically mind-blowing, speed of light particle physics).
After NYSF, I can confidently say that I have two hundred new lifelong friends each with an amazing passion for science and who are probably the most focused and driven people I know. At NYSF, not only did I learn about science but I also learnt a lot about myself and my passions. After many years of having no idea what I want to do after school, I returned with challenging yet achievable goals, a new-found confidence and a plan for a future career path in Sustainable Engineering after hearing about an engineer’s work in Antarctica. NYSF has left me more driven than ever to take on Year 12 and what lies ahead. Rosie Atkinson, Year 12
I attended Session B of the NYSF in Brisbane at the University of Queensland. I can firmly say that the NYSF is an immensely life-changing experience, both socially and scientifically. I went into the NYSF certain that I would go into the Computer Science field, but afterwards, I realised how many doors had opened simply because I attended.
I met 185 other like-minded people as well, all of who were incredible people that simply enjoyed science as much as me. Going into the NYSF, I was not at all extroverted, but whilst I was there, I made connections with other Year 12s that will last indefinitely. Some of the notable things I did without spoiling too much: a video conference with a staff member from the Large Hadron Collider, a visit to the Queensland Brain Institute and a super fun science quiz, where the calibre of intelligence was astronomical. I highly recommend applying to the NYSF if you are in Year 11 and have a passion for science. Jake Kaufmann, Year 12