Sharing our science today with the scientists of tomorrow - National Youth Science Forum.
Nothing compares to the experience of learning about science hands-on. I still remember visiting Questacon and National Science Week events as a child, where scientists would interactively share their passion for science with young people. These experiences had a profound influence on my interest in science growing up. That's why I am always excited to share my enthusiasm and experiences with young people whenever I get the chance.
On January 19th, the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) brought around 30 aspiring scientists to the Eccles Institute of Neuroscience in the John Curtin School of Medical Research to experience laboratory life. The NYSF is an annual program in Australia that inspires and motivates young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students have the unique opportunity to engage in lectures, laboratory visits, and hands-on workshops, as well as meet with leading scientists and researchers, and other like-minded students to help them make decisions about their future study and careers.
Clear Vision's Dr. Ulrike Schumann, and other departmental volunteers led students through the neuroscience laboratories, where they experienced some of the cutting edge experimental techniques used in current medical research. PhD student Nicholas Bariesheff and I had the pleasure of educating students about Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), and the techniques we use within the lab to study and potentially find treatments for this condition. We kept things interactive by taking the students through an H&E staining, where they stained retinal sections, and learnt the importance of histology in visualizing cells in retinal tissue. We also gave students the opportunity to explore the back of their own eye with fundoscopy and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), while informing them of the importance of getting regular eye checks and maintaining their eye health.
All in all, it was an amazing experience to share our work and passion with these students, and we hope that we have inspired at least a few of them to pursue a career in science.
If you would like to learn more about the NYSF, visit their website: https://www.nysf.edu.au/