Science discovery in Sydney

Yass High School students travelled to Sydney recently to take part in an unforgettable two-day experience of science, university insights and sight-seeing.

Funded by the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), the Science Hands-on Day is all about inspiring students to study science at university.

Science students Sian Minary-Bland, Thomas Brooker-Williams, Caitlin Farmer, Rachel McLucas and Stephen Targett were invited to take part in this year's program.

Students flew to Sydney, accompanied by teacher Tracy Randall, on Tuesday November 13.

First stop was the CSIRO's campus in North Ryde. There students and teachers participated in a session on nanotechnology presented by Mitchell Serena. Attila Tottszer from Advanced Analytical Australia took the students on an informative tour to the laboratories where they perform chemical, microbiological and bio-analytical testing.

Year 11 student Caitlin Farmer was delighted to be selected to participate in the program.

“It was a really good opportunity to learn so much about a future career in science," Caitlin said.

“What I enjoyed most about the trip was learning about all the different science courses that you can do at university and seeing how much fun science can be."

Attending UTS the following day, the future scientists took part in a series of workshops relating to microbiology, chemistry and forensics, and mathematics. The students dissected a fish, dusted for fingerprints and deciphered encoded information from a card trick.

They were also treated to a talk from a UTS honours student, Matt Altaie, who is studying applied physics.

They learnt about the myriad of science courses available.

Rachel McLucas thought the trip was very worthwhile.

“I really enjoyed the experience of being in a university,” she said. “The forensics workshop was my favourite because it was so hands-on and interesting."

This opportunity for Yass High School students was made possible through the Yass District Education Foundation's membership with the Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEFA).

UTS is an education partner of CEFA, with both organisations working to provide opportunities and funding for rural youth to help them achieve their post high school aspirations.

“Being a member of CEFA allows us to provide even greater opportunities for our local youth, such as the Science Hands-on Day," said Nic Carmody, Yass District Education Foundation chairman.

“A big thank-you must go to UTS for making this all possible," Mr Carmody said. “We were really happy to be able to send our students to Sydney to take part in an event, usually limited to metropolitan students."

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