2008-02-28 Aaron Vogel NYSF
Aaron Vogel, a Corowa young man, who is a Year 12 student at Xavier High School, Albury, attended our Dinner meeting on Thursday 28th February, to tell us about his experiences at National Youth Science Forum, January 2008, held in Canberra.
The National Youth Science Forum is an opportunity for science students from schools to have two weeks exposure to the scientific industry and community within Australia, while allowing them to look down their pathways for a career in science with a clearer view than before the forum. While the young people are experiencing this exposure, scientists are encouraging and helping Australia’s next generation of scientists understand the complexities of their chosen career.
During April 2007, Xavier School science students listened to a young student from Scots College who recently shared in the forum in Jan 2007. Aaron’s interest encouraged him to apply and during application he found that to attend, sponsorship was equired of a Rotary Club in their own area. Aaron contacted Mark Francis, and the wheels
started to move.
Aaron was interviewed by Mark Francis and David Potts of Corowa RC, then went to the District 9790 interviews. At this stage Aaron was very fortunate to be chosen from a group of over 160 students in the District. District 9790 sent 20 science students to this forum. Aaron had to raise $1875, and the Corowa RC helped with some money towards this cost.
Traveling to Canberra with students unknown to Aaron, was a challenge in itself. However once at the forum, social activities were held so the students were able to try!!! to learn others names. Students were allocated to groups which best suited their interests. Groups were: Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Movement, Biomedicine,
Engineering and Environmental sciences.
Aaron’s group visited the Australian National Gallery, ANU Chemistry Labs, ADFA and Doonkuna Wineries Canberra. All these places were amazingly different and for Aaron it was fantastic to see how the theory of chemistry he uses in class is applied so commonly throughout modern organisations. They looked at different processes that were in use, such as fermentation of grapes for wine, restoration of artworks and the creation of compounds for blueprinting. Aaron was very surprised when he realised that Science was involved in the restoration of Antique Art works - something that we do not realise happens. The Laboratories that were visited were both interesting and fun, Aaron even went as far as getting frostbite from liquid nitrogen.
Throughout the two week period, Rotary members were there in many capacities: from BBQ cooks to support personnel at evening and day leisure activities, to “Mum” & “Dad”- who took on the role of First Aiders, homesickness carers, and saw to the general wellbeing of all students.
Another highlight of the fortnight was the Science Dinner, where Australian leading scientists were Guest Speakers. Speakers, laboratory sessions and the scientist themselves continually encouraged students to continue to pursue their chosen line in science fields. Students also undertook “Mock Interview’s”, were part of seminars and had a session on “impromptu speeches”. Aaron’s topic was “A Day in the life of a Chair”.
Aaron was very grateful to have been involved in this wonderful program, and now, along with the other Australian students (287), will promote this forum to 4 schools within their home area. Aaron has chosen to visit: Corowa and Rutherglen High Schools, Albury High School and James Fallon School. Aaron hopes that through the new-found enthusiasm and motivation he gained from NYSF, he can spread the word and encourage other students to realise their potential and achieve their dreams.
In closing, Aaron again thanked the Corowa RC for their generous sponsorship and support and thanked all for taking the time to listen to his experiences. Vice President Ken Filcock thanked Aaron for his attendance on the evening and asked him to return to our club at a later date when his studies take him further into his chosen career.
Corowa Rotary Club were honoured indeed to share Aaron’s journey at National Youth Science Forum Canberra January 2008.