Posted on 07 February, 2024

Darwin High School at the National Youth Science Forum

Darwin High School at the National Youth Science Forum

By Year 12 student Vincent Mondol

In January earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to participate in the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF), a state-of-the-art science program being held annually since 1984. I spent one and a half weeks exploring the beautiful Australian National University campus in Canberra, and meeting and befriending like-minded individuals from all over the nation. The NYSF is a rotary sponsored program available to year 11 students (going into year 12) with the intention of going into the STEM field.

The NYSF attracts and retains Australian science and technology talent by immersing students in what a career in STEM looks like in real life. Hearing about non-typical jobs and connecting with other like-minded young people has life-long impact in someone’s life. Over 40 years, the NYSF has connected over 15,000 young Australians with science and technological futures.

In addition to amazing facilities in Australia, the 2024 NYSF Year 12 Program featured live crosses to some of the world’s very best science and technology facilities, including to the research vessel JOIDES Resolution in the Mediterranean and to CERN in Switzerland. The program also offered critical skill building workshops in communicating science and technology and a Great Debate with the future STEM workforce of Australia! Some of my personal highlights included discovering chemistry at ANU with titrations and chemical reactions (boom!), learning about pharmaceutics and nursing at University of Canberra’s hospital ward, and career’s day.

However, some of my most life-altering experiences happened away from the lab. I still remember the times I played pool, “danced the night away” at the annual NYSF disco, and just spending hours talking to my new friends about their lives across Australia. Events and opportunities like these are ones that should be capitalised on, and I urge current year 11 students to do the exact same.

My interest group “Hydra”. This was the group you did all your STEM excursions with and was the group of students who had very similar interests to you (my group was focussed on chemistry!)

The annual NYSF scavenger hunt on the second day!

Our interest group visiting the University of Canberra hospital ward!

Applications for the 2025 session open in March this year, and I urge all year 11 students interested in STEM to apply. This is a life-altering experience to learn more about science and the world, meet new friends, and overall have a blast! Go to to keep up to date with application dates!

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