Curtin was honoured to host members of the 2009 National Youth Science Forum for a campus visit recently, with participating students attending presentations, activities and workshops.
The University’s radio astronomy department, highly involved in the effort to bring the Square Kilometre Array telescope to Western Australia, proved to be especially popular with students.
‘We’ve got a lot of interest,’ Professor of Radio Astronomy Engineering Peter Hall said.
‘I think the SKA has really crystallised a lot of people’s interest. If they’re thinking science and technology they’ve immediately seen that their opportunities around the SKA might allow them to pursue their interest.’
The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) is a program for students moving into Year 12 with an interest in science and technology. 16-year-old Iona Presentation College student Merredith Cully said it was a great experience to come to Curtin and see the campus.
‘And also, getting to speak to current students and past students about things like gap years and travelling overseas, and choosing courses has been really helpful,’ she said.
‘Coming here you get to discover courses that you didn’t know about and more about the uni that I didn’t know about.’
Aquinas College Year 12 James O’Donnell said the visit had been extremely useful, with all of Curtin’s science and technology impressing the 17-year-old.
‘It’s been great, the physics department was cool,’ he said.
‘Being shown around the uni, it’s really big and the student ambassadors have given lots of tips on how they found going from high school to university and what they think are the best courses at Curtin.’
Professor of Radio Astronomy Steven Tingay said he saw the same inspiration and hunger for knowledge in the 2009 NYSF students that he had as a Forum student in 1987, when it was named the National Science Summer School.
‘I know the program has grown massively since then judging by the number of kids coming through the National Youth Science Forum,’ he said.
‘But I see the same kids, who are passionate about the same things, who are really interested in science and exploring all the different options.’