Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Local students take big ideas to Sydney

TWO girls from New Norfolk High School are among four Tasmanian students chosen to take part in an unforgettable experience at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) this week. They were selected from more than 180 applicants to attend the inaugural Big Ideas Forum in Sydney from November 14-18.

The ANSTO Big Ideas Forum is gathering budding 22 STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) students from across the country for a week of learning, alongside some of Australia’s best scientific minds. Students were asked to tell ANSTO in a 40-second video, what they hope to see science solve in the future, for a chance to discover if their idea is possible at a facility could be part of the solution.

Chloe Wilson and Kimberley Cantwell from New Norfolk High School wanted to know whether methane gas from cows could be eliminated, to ensure the thriving dairy industry can continue without contributing to climate change. Their teacher Rose Anderson has also been invited to Sydney to take part in professional development workshops and practical activities. Their video can be seen below.

“All of the students asked really perceptive questions about the challenges of the future, which has been great to see,” Big Ideas Forum co-ordinator Rod Dowler said. “ANSTO Big Ideas Forum is about empowering students to push boundaries, and not confine themselves to being ‘just students’ – their ability to contribute is vast and we want to give them every opportunity.

“This is the first year of the program, and it will be exciting to see how kids from across the country, with very different interests and backgrounds, can collaborate and enhance each other’s learning," Mr Dowler said.

“Chloe and Kimberley have drawn their ideas from the real world, and their own worlds – they’ve identified unique challenges, and put their minds to whether a solution could be found. These students are getting ready to choose senior subjects, and hopefully the ANSTO Big Ideas Forum will provide them with a great opportunity to see what a career in science or engineering could look like," he said.

“Curiosity is the key to succeeding in innovative research and these students have already proven they have that. It will be wonderful to see it grow and flourish over the week,” Mr Dowler said.

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