After excelling in the SAASTA National Science Olympiad last year, young leader Jialing Yu, was chosen to represent South Africa at the annual Australian National Youth Science Forum this year in Canberra, Australia. The incredible opportunity allowed him to gain further knowledge on the subject while engaging with professionals in the field. The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) took place from the 18-31 January 2016. The 12 day residential program is for students entering their final year in high school, who are passionate about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The program aims to show participants the wide variety of study and career options in STEM fields. It is hosted by the Australian National University. Jialing was most enthused by the meeting young people, like him, who are passionate about STEM. He was able to see examples of the STEM professions in action, understand the role of science in society and use this as an opportunity to prepare himself as one of the next generation of STEM professionals. Jialing hopes to someday become an electrical engineer and this opportunity made him all the more committed to that dream. He along with the other participants, were took part in a number of new labs, site visits and workshops. Among the highlights was meeting Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Professor Brian Schmidt, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University (ANU).
Jialing was pleased there were similarities to his classes at the Academy such as, discussing issues relating to being an entrep reneur with an expert panel of business men and women – a facilitated workshop then gave the participants an opportunity to develop and “sell” a product.
Of the great “works of science”, Jialing recalls his excitement when he learnt of the largest super-computer and of quantum computers. What he is most looking forward to in a career in STEM is the infinite opportunity to explore and innovate.