03 Aug Youth ANZAAS Report
Youth ANZAAS — Melbourne
Before applying to the Royal Society for the privilege of attending the Youth ANZAAS science camp, my whole mindset around careers paths after school was very limited. I was focused simply on applying to Universities, getting into a degree I wanted — but I didn’t think much past that point.
Well, my thoughts and plans for my journey in science radically changed after this week, and a big reason for this was the awesome people that I got to spend time with. Each and every one of the forty-seven students who arrived on the first day had never seen or met any of the others before; and while this might sound scary, it was truly a blessing. It allowed us to connect as a group, coming together through our one shared common interest; science. As only one of seven New Zealand students there, I was so proud to be able to represent my country alongside fellow Kiwis. We stayed in the halls of residence at the University of Melbourne, which was a valuable experience in itself; it was great to get a feel for what life might be like for me next year. The food, the common room, and the dining hall were all complete novelties, and made the down-time in the evenings great fun. We were looked after by a group of science students (YSA), who were also passionate about the subject. I truly got some great views and advice from these awesome people, and enjoyed all the conversations I was able to have with them. The whole program was run by Malcolm Jenkins of the Defence Force, so a big thanks to him as well as all the others for making the week a memorable one.
Before this experience, I was purely worried about what my tertiary education might look like, but now I am thinking about the type of place I might want to work in. My focus has broadened to include my whole career — not just my education, and I am excited about all the options out there. Coming out of an awesome week in Melbourne, my passion for science was reignited, and I couldn’t wait to get back out there again, but as a real scientist, not just a student/tourist. Seeing a glimpse of what is out there, makes me want to travel and see more.
Exploring the fascinating behind-the-scenes workings of all sorts of advanced science facilities gave an insight into all the incredible stuff out there. We visited a medical research institute, and I was inspired by the importance of what was being done there, and the impact that it was having on the world; curing diseases, finding ways to combat cancer. We got to see some incredible machinery at RMIT, like 3D printers that are changing the whole custom manufacturing process, and making huge bounds in medical applications. And of course, we got to visit some fun places, like the zoo, the museum, for great behind the scenes tours. Being immersed in the industry let us see what it might be like to study in different fields of science, and being able to talk to those that worked there let us see the type of people we might be working with.
So now and home! And I’m starting to feel like a stuck record: every time someone asks me how the trip was, I found myself saying the same thing again and again; an eye opener. For me the best thing I got from this experience was a glimpse into another world, allowing me to broaden my perspective, and change the way I think about science.
I would like to sincerely thank the Royal Society for the opportunity to attend such a trip, as well as all the staff at Pakuranga College who helped me with the application process. It was such a valuable experience, and I have taken a lot away from it.
by Andrew Hislop, Head Student