NYSF students discover the wonders of medical research

Photo credit: NYSF/Tess Devine-Hercus
23 January 2019

At ANU, there are a few things that mark the beginning of the year: lavender in full bloom, busy bees… and National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) students from all around Australia taking over the campus.

NYSF is an annual Rotary-sponsored event that brings together students with a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for a 12-day residential program. The students take part in a wide range of activities including site tours, lectures, workshops and social events.

Once again this year, we welcomed NYSF students to our School to give them a taste of what it means to work in medical research. On Friday, our 28 Year 12 guests had a fantastic time extracting white blood cells, walking on chromosomes using virtual reality, exploring the impact of ageing on movement and learning how live neurons behave. For most of the students, this visit marked their very first time in a “real-life” lab and they made sure not to miss a thing.

On top of all the experiments and activities planned for them, our visiting students were in for a lovely surprise… Noorya, a NYSF alumna and first year PhD student in the Dehorter Lab, shared stories of her journey and gave our guests tips to make the most of Year 12, university and beyond. She also gave an overview of her current work and findings.

“I was so happy to share my experiences with younger students looking towards a future in this field” said Noorya.

Judging by all the questions the students asked Noorya, they too were thrilled. Meeting a young researcher who was in their shoes not so long ago was such an inspiration and an invitation to dream big.

This visit was a full afternoon of hands-on activities, discoveries and fun for all involved. And who knows, it could be the beginning of yet another medical research career!