The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) is a 12 day residential program for students entering year 12 who are passionate about all things Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
Throughout January the NYSF program aims to show the 400 participants from schoosl across Australia the wide variety of study and career options that are available in the field but that they may not have considered previously.
One workshop hosted by the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science saw groups of students receive an advanced seminar on the programming of robots in context, where they were given the opportunity to put their programming skills to the test. The workshop was run in conjunction with the Canberra chapter of Robogals. Jessica Wu a Robogals volunteer loves teaching year 12 students what could be a brand new concept, "its really amazing to see them embrace a new way at looking at robotics and technology more broadly."
The National Youth Science Forum is hosted by ANU and coordinates a variety of lectures, labs and experiments across Canberra to ensure students are immersed in a real-life academic setting and are aware of the cast opportunities in the industry.
Aleesha Caldwell a participant from Woy Woy in NSW said she loved seeing the results of her programming. Aleesha has an interest in studying biomedical engineering and loved the Robogals workshop as coding with be part of her university experience. "It's nice to see both men and women here!" Aleesha notes, her experience in Woy Woy was that she was the only girl in her computing programming class.
Another student Emily Cheung from Sydney was interested in the fact that despite groups had the same activity they each worked differently as a team. "We were given one task. But each team has come up with a different solution. The algorithm is different but each team just solved the problem differently."
The forum includes students from across Australia, but also students from New Zealand like Margot Willis. Margot was appreciative that she could explore new areas of study that are not available to her at home. "I loved the opportunity to work with programs not offered at my school. Meeting so many like-minded students is rad."
The NYSF runs two consecutive programs for 400 students from 4 January through to 30 January 2016 at the Australian National University.