Posted on Feb 19, 2018



Good Evening Rotarians of the Pine Rivers Rotary Club,


As you may know, my name is Joshua D’Souza and I am now a Year 12 student at St Benedict’s College. I would like to share with you my exciting experience in the annual National Youth Science Forum for 2018. NYSF Session A was a highly extensive 12-day program in our nation’s capital, attended by over 200 high-achieving and well-rounded Year 12 students. This program made a platform designed to provide a broader understanding of career pathways and interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics or STEM, for interested students. NYSF has empowered students to explore the vast horizons of the scientific world through interactive workshops, meet and learn from renowned research academics and professionals, and become inspired by the current and future developments in internationally recognised research facilities.


And now I would like to share with you a couple of incredible opportunities I had participated in at NYSF.

Firstly; I travelled to the National Headquarters of CSIRO, Black Mountain, to investigate plant immunity and genetically modifying crops, the Mulloon Farm Institute learning about Environmental and Animal Conservation, Erosion and Organic Farming, learnt about DNA Sequencing and worked on Biomedical Engineering at the Australian National University Laboratories. I had also undertaken numerous activities such as travelling to the Parliament House of Australia to debate topical issues of renewable energy in a legislative conference with another 194 students, visited the Australian Academy of Science’s Shine Dome, was a participant in a videoconference with a nuclear physicist, Michael Doser, from the European Council of Nuclear Physics, went to Questacon, had a lecture from Dr David Caldicott, an emergency surgeon discussing health issues in Australia, undertook entrepreneurship studies at the Canberra Innovation Network, and also visited the Australian War Memorial as well. I have even met the Dean of Engineering and Applied Sciences from the University of Buffalo, and the Former Chief Scientists of Queensland and Western Australia. But most importantly, NYSF facilitated a widespread network of like-minded students, who are part of the movement to develop and continue STEM research, undertake challenges, and provide solutions for our ever-changing society.

But whilst we had the educational side of the program, we also indulged in numerous social events and activities. We have had an amazing disco, learnt about university admissions and careers through Speed Dating with a Scientist and Expo, made over 200 friends, and even gained hundreds of new Facebook friends. So, in undertaking NYSF, as a student who has a keen interest in the science field, I have become motivated to continually strive for change in all aspects of STEM, and aspire to encourage other young Australians to become involved in STEM research.

So, I would like to say thank you to the Pine Rivers Rotary Club, for endorsing and sponsoring me through this incredible program, and I am truly grateful for the continuous support and love shared by this group of inspiring and talented Rotarians. You have provided me with the chance to make a difference in the world and help shape the future generation. Thank you and I wish all of you the greatest of luck with your future endeavours in influencing the younger generation to become part of STEM. Thanks!