NYSF - inspiring the next generation of scientists
With much of the world’s future innovation to come from science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), it is very important that the innovators of tomorrow are supported and mentored.
The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) has been operating for more than 30 years, aiming to nurture and encourage young Australians to be the next generation of leading scientists and engineers supporting a sustainable future for Australia.
The NYSF’s flagship January Sessions offers year 12 students from across the country with an opportunity to learn about future study and employment opportunities in STEM fields. Follow-on programs during the student’s year of NYSF participation allow for visits to facilities of NYSF funding partners, to see first-hand how industries operate and use STEM-related expertise.
GSK Australia has provided funding support for the NYSF over several years. Since 2012, $52,000 has been provided by GSK Australia to the NYSF to help with the costs of running its programs.
“Our programs are designed to expose the students to the range of study options available to them in STEM at a tertiary level and then to provide examples of the kinds of careers and workplaces that would use and more importantly, value, those skills,” Dr Damien Pearce, CEO of the National Youth Science Forum said.
“We introduce students to a wide range of research fields and to world-leading researchers undertaking that work. The students are encouraged to aim for excellence in all of their undertakings, and we provide opportunities for them to develop their communication and interpersonal skills as part of the program.. We are grateful for GSK Australia’s ongoing and generous support in supporting our activities.”
In 2015, GSK’s David Herd, Director of Healthcare Environment, presented to the NYSF participants as part of the Partners’ Day activities. His presentation made an impact on one of the students, Nikita Bungay from Victoria. Now studying at Monash University’s Science Advanced Global Challenges program, and as part of her studies, Nikita needed to interview someone who inspired her; she decided to reach out to David.
“One of the greatest experiences I had was at the NYSF Partners’ Day, where I heard David talk about what had inspired him, and how his company reaches out to the broader world through their work. His talk motivated me to do something which would also make a difference, and that is why I chose my course, which I am confident will help me to achieve this goal,” Nikita said.
Dr Pearce highlights this as an example of the ways that the NYSF’s funding partners go that extra mile in supporting the organisation and its programs. “Organisations such as GSK really understand the kind of support that our young people need, and are willing to provide.”
GSK Australia is proud to regularly host tours for NYSF students of the Boronia manufacturing facility. On this tour students are able to see how life-saving medications are made and GSK Australia’s new and innovative blow-fill-seal vaccine technology.
Since 2012, over 150 school students have toured GSK Australia’s facilities.
“These site tours contribute to what makes the NYSF unique for Australian STEM students,” said Dr Pearce, “and our corporate partners are key to our and the program’s success. Having access to view the kinds of innovations made in industry all of the time contribute to inspiring our young people.”