For 12 days this January, I had the time of my life attending the 35th annual National Youth Science Forum (NYSF).
Two hundred students from across Australia all stayed on campus at the Australian National University in Canberra, every one of us about to start our 12th and final year of schooling.
We all have a knack for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects, but this was not the "nerd camp" we were expecting.
After applying through the Rotary Club of Moss Vale I was absolutely delighted to be accepted into the third and final session of the program. We didn't know too much about the program, only that it was told to be an amazing experience to learn, make friends and have fun.
This, however, was a massive understatement. On the 16th of January I was saying goodbye to my family, and jumping on a coach to Canberra, where by the first round-about I'd already made so many new friends and was buzzing with energy. The next two weeks were filled with amazing lectures, lessons and lab visits, as well as a few surprises that involved a lot of singing, dancing and chanting.
There was a constant energy in everyone, conveyed by the student staff, or "staffies", who are alumni of the program who come back and run all the activities for us.
These staffies are some of the most amazing people I've ever met. I learnt so much over this time and can honestly say this experience was life-changing.
Words can't describe how much fun I had, or how much everyone cried when it was time to say goodbye.
I can't recommend strongly enough to any students starting year 11 this year, who are into STEM, to look into this program.
Google "NYSF", talk to your school, and make sure to contact your local Rotary club because you will honestly never regret or forget a moment of this amazing time. I know I certainly never will!
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