We congratulate Year 12 students Baxter Lill, Teagan McConachy and Weston Tabone, who participated in the 2022 Year 12 National Youth Science Forum in January. The program is an Australia-wide STEM immersion program for students about to enter their final year of their secondary schooling.

The program was forced to move online this year, however students had the opportunity to engage with and learn about cutting-edge research from top scientists, they also undertook workshops and interacted with other like-minded students.

This annual program is endorsed by Rotary Clubs around Australia. The two clubs involved with MLMC this year were Healesville and Wandin, with teacher Mr Terry Hill a member of the Healesville club. Weston, Baxter and Teagan are pictured above (from left), with myself and Mr Hill.

Each of the students share below a reflection of the experience:

The NYSF was an experience that was extremely beneficial and eye-opening for me. While it was very disappointing that the program was entirely virtual this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, I was still able to interact with some of the largest scientific minds in the country. From learning about the applications of artificial intelligence in everyday life to hearing how Nobel Laureates Peter Doherty and Brian Schmidt made it to the top, the NYSF truly exposed me to where I can take science in my future. I now have a goal after Year 12 (to attend Monash University to study Pharmaceutical Science), which is entirely due to the NYSF and its many university lectures and connections with others with the same passion for STEM. It’s been an opportunity that I would recommend to all lovers of science at MLMC.
— Baxter Lill (Year 12 Blue)

The program was very different to anything I had done before and provided many fun and interesting opportunities. There were lectures from professors and doctors, along with careers sessions and at home practical work. I’m sure many people would find sitting at a screen watching 4-5 hours of lectures a day boring but when you are listening to minds as great as these presenters, the time flies. Some of my favourites were from Professor Peter Doherty and Professor Brian Schmidt, both Nobel Laureates, as well as Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Dr Bianca Warnock, who also ran a practical task at the end of her lecture. It gave me the drive to want to achieve the same one day and I was able to get a clear outline of what I need to do in university to achieve my goals. Having the in-person visits postponed was a let-down, but I highly recommend that anyone interested in STEM applies for the program.
— Weston Tabone (Year 12 Purple)

The NYSF program was an incredible experience that allowed me to discover things from a range of STEM areas. While it was disappointing that the in-person events were postponed, the online program was just as engaging. It allowed me to learn more about STEM organisations in Australia and the STEM projects that these organisations are involved in. It also allowed me to connect and interact with mathematicians, scientists and engineers from around Australia and other places including Britain, Switzerland and Antarctica. Through my interactions with these people, I was able to broaden my interests in STEM and learn more about STEM including things I had never heard of before. There were also various social activities that I could participate in, which enabled me to connect with like-minded people. I was also able to further develop my STEM skills by getting the opportunity to participate in the STEM Communication Challenge. The NYSF program is definitely something that I would love to participate in again and would recommend to anyone interested in STEM.
— Teagan McConachy (Year 12 Blue)