YSA Back At It Again

YSA Back At It Again with the new year and amazing plans! 

At 9pm on a Tuesday night I took a break from Netflix to join a Google Hangout session, specifically the 2016 March Edition of the YSA National Leadership Summit. Despite the mouthful of a name, it was a lovely and comfortable conversation between each state’s YSA executive committee, reporting how each chapter is growing and improving. If you aren’t familiar with YSA, it’s a network of non-profit organisations with participants 14-25 years old around Australia, all determined to educate others about science and foster the interest within themselves. This year, it is safe to say that YSA is on the ball when it comes to proving that being a youth-run organisation won’t stop it from being mature and professional behind-the-scenes.

Some highlights for every chapter since their last report in October 2015 were their respective TCSEs; Melbourne hosting 3, Adelaide with 2, Brisbane with 1 and Sydney with 2. Nationally, YSA is also set for a revamp in it’s wikipage, website and LinkedIn presence, actions that will benefit all members, particularly the latter for job-seeking high school students and leavers with YSA volunteering experience. YSA is well-known for their TCSEs, but here’s some updates on something else for every chapter:
Did you know that YSA Melbourne has a podcast? Every week you can listen to a 15-minute discussion on a scientific topic and keep in the know on what’s going on in the scientific community. It’s well worth tuning into whenever you can.
Brisbane was lucky enough to host a lab show for the World’s Science Festival which included a -wait for it- magic mud slide! I’m hoping they can bring that here to Sydney!
Adelaide is doing great balancing fun, with a Year 6 school fair they were invited to attend, and serious, with their AGM completed.
Sydney had just hosted their first social (Presidential High Tea) with their next (The Amazing Race) coming up soon. If you want to see what a social is like or relive the good times you can catch videos on the YSA Sydney YouTube channel.
As a whole, YSA intends to be efficient and beneficial to it’s members, the public, and it’s committee. A few ways they’ve achieved this as soon as 2016 kicked off is by changing it’s emailing system. It’s likely no one would notice, but YSA no longer uses email forwarders and instead have personal inboxes for each chapter’s committee members. This is thanks to Google offering free organisational accounts to non-for-profit organisations, which benefits all of YSA.
NatCamp is also an all-encompassing event, providing volunteer opportunities to those looking to brighten up their resume, and then giving endless hours of scientific and non-scientific fun  to attendees. Annually, each state hosts a NatCamp activity, but only one state physically holds NatCamp. This year we are hoping to bridge the gap between those who can’t come down to Sydney in July for any reason. There is currently a plan being developed to have an online interstate competition, at one time, throughout the whole country! While being there in person with a team is the number one preference, YSA is excited to figure out an alternative to make everyone happy and having fun with science together.
Speaking of inter-state interactions, exchanges this year are all across Australia and it might be a good idea to look out for them. Melbourne has Swinburne TCSE in September, Adelaide has a December TCSEs and Sydney have 3 Science Schools happening in July. Volunteer applications start a few months before each event so check back to each chapter’s website to make sure you don’t miss out.
Looking into the national leadership summit was like a clear window to what YSA as a whole wants to achieve. YSA aims to benefit its members, entice it’s followers and better educate the youth of Australia on the wonder, fun and challenge of science. None of this would be possible without each year’s dedicated committees and the members who raise their hand for each event to volunteer or participate.
Thank you for a great end to 2015, and an even greater start to 2016.
Members in Attendance 
MELBOURNE: Ricardo Cannizzaro (President), Monique McLennan (Vice President) and Jessica Suares (Treasurer)
ADELAIDE: Emi Shultz (President)
BRISBANE: Jason McGavin (President) and Brooke Jensen (Vice President)
SYDNEY: Mitchell Murphy (President), Ridwan Ansary (Vice President), Sophia Zhang (Treasurer) and Sabrina Stubbs (Marketing Officer).

Volunteering Opportunity: Pint of Science

Are you interested in sharing science with the public?

Do you enjoy relaxing with friends at the pub?

If the answer to both is YES, then Pint of Science Australia is for you!


Pint of Science is an international festival that aims to showcase the amazing research of local scientists to the general public in the relaxed venue of the local pub. In 2015, the Pint of Science Australia festival expanded to include Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Brisbane, hosting fantastic events over 3 nights.

For 2016 – Pint of Science wants to expand even more to include more themes and even more cities across Australia – and they need you!

Events in 2016 will take place from 23-25 May, and will incorporate the following themes: Beautiful Mind (neurosciences), Atoms to Galaxies (physics, chemistry) Our Body (life sciences) Planet Earth (geosciences) and Tech Me Out (engineering, computer science, mathematics).

They are looking for volunteers for various roles: city coordinators, team coordinators, social media reps and fundraisers.  Each team will source out a venue, speakers and activities for the night.

This is an incredible opportunity to be a part of our ever growing festival so if you are interested in getting involved, please register your interest here or email contact@pintofscience.com.au with what you’re keen to do, tell them a little bit about yourself and how they can best reach you.

Volunteer at the Sydney Science Festival


The inaugural Sydney Science Festival is fast approaching and it’s a fantastic opportunity to be involved in some serious science fun.  The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (including the Powerhouse Museum) is heading up this city wide event.  There will be talks by researchers, workshops, chats with practicing scientists, children’s activities and science panels to get stuck into.

Do not fear if you are a busy bod, all activities are after hours and on weekends.

Volunteers entails keeping events running on schedule and ensuring guests have a great time.

Ideal attributes:

  • interest in science
  • friendly manor
  • able to take directions
  • aged 16 or over
  • a completed working with children check

Training dates:

Saturday 8 August: 2pm – 4pm or Wednesday 12 August: 2pm – 4pm

Volunteer dates:

The festival will run from the 13th to the 23rd of August

To express interest:

Contact VolunteerPrograms@maas.museum by the 24th of July 2015 🙂


GET EXCITED!!! The International Science School (ISS) 2015 is going to be BIG!  BIG Challenges, BIG Ideas, BIG Science.

What’s ISS you ask?!

Let’s imagine 140 science hungry, like-minded, senior high school students from China, India, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, Thailand and all over Australia who comes together in one big venue (University of Sydney) to learn and experience the beauty of Science and what it has to offer. Adding to that, world class scientists from all over the globe talking, collabrating and sharing their ideas and work to expand your knowledge and passion. Did we mention that there will be plenty of allocated fun packed science and social activies such as Sydney Harbour Cruise and Science and Engineering Challenges?!

Still havent’t caught your attention? What if we were to say that all accomodation, food, transport and all the above experiences will be free of charge? A full scholarship valued at approximately $3000. A fully immersive science experience, you definitely would not want to miss!

Getting excited?! Are you a year 11 or 12 student? Are you interested in science? Why not give yourself a challenge in the winter school holidays this year and apply for Professor Harry Messel International Science School 2015! Although selection are based on academic merit and interest in science, all year 11 and 12 students are encouraged to apply!!!

This year the program will run from Sunday 28th June to Saturday 11th July with nightly socials provided by the one, the only, Young Scienitst of Australia (YSA) Sydney.

Make sure you apply as soon as possible!!! You would not want to miss this amazing opportunity! References and other information are needed, so organise it early and avoid missing out!

Would like more information? Visit the link below or ask any of the YSA committee members or any past ISS participants.


National Computer Science School (NCSS) Summer School

Get ready for 10 crazy days of programming, challenges and new friends!  Don’t forget about that infamous “all-nighter” included in the program.  Read on to find out more.

NCSS (National Computer Science School) is an amazing opportunity held at the University of Sydney to hang out with other amazingly talented students.  If you are currently in year 10 or year 11, this is for you.  YSA members have been to this in the past and had an amazing time, so hit up our Facebook group if you need any application tips.

The school is completely residential, so you will have the opportunity to learn and code both day and night.  You will get insight from the academic staff at the School of Information Technologies, completing programming workshops, lectures and working on your own project.  You will be staying on campus in the Women’s College.  It will run from Sunday 4th to Tuesday 13th January, 2015 inclusive.  Applications close Friday 14th November.

National Science Week 2014 Volunteering Opportunities

Here at the Young Scientists of Australia, we are busily preparing for the upcoming National Science Week events on the 16th – 24th of August 2014. This year, we’re involved in more events than ever, and we need YSA volunteers to help make Science happen! Below are a few quick summaries of our involvements this year.

Endeavour Workshops – Australian National Maritime Museum


This year YSA will be debuting and demonstrating our very own nautical workshops crafted for National Science Week. On the thursday 21st August and friday 22nd August we will be conducting experiment workshops on board the replica of Captain Cook’s ship, the Endeavour. We’re very excited to be partnering with the Australian National Maritime Museum and these workshops will be running all day both days. The experiments will be simple physics and other science related to sailing, ships and other maritime topics. We will be requiring at least 7 volunteers each day, so PLEASE let us know if you’re free. If you’re in school, let us know and we can write you a note, with your parents permission of course!

On the following saturday 23rd August, YSA will then run a stall at the National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour. We’ll require at least 5 volunteers during the whole day.

Possible or Not? Workshop – Powerhouse Discovery Centre


Last year’s stall at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre Weekend was a huge hit. We frequently had crowds of 20 or more kids surrounding our tables, and this year it’s going to be bigger and better. We’ll be running our famous Possible or Not? Workshop that includes snapping spaghetti, stabbing potatoes, mobius strips, manacles, match box tipping, elbow licking, sherbet making, science wallet making and a Photo Booth. Phew! We’re going to have a slew of youngsters, so we need even more YSA volunteers. At any one time we will need at least 5 volunteers. The Open weekend will occur at the beginning of National Science Week, Saturday 16th August, and Sunday 17th August.

Space Oddity – with Chris Hadfield

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This is event is surely the highlight of national science week. Tickets for last year’s event sold out in less than a day. Tickets to this year’s show are already sold out! Luckily, you can still get involved by volunteering. YSA has been invited to provide volunteers to this amazing event with astronaut Chris Hadfield.

Partnerships with other Organisations

If you’re interested in volunteering with other organisations during National Science Week check out these opportunities.

  • The Australian Museum – The AusMus will be running Primary & Secondary school national Science week events during national science week, as well as their open day on the 16th of August. They would love if you would like to help out.
  • Space Oddity – Powerhouse Museum is hosting Chris Hadfield, a retired NASA astronaut.  See here to volunteer.
  • Ultimo Science Festival – A little later after National Science week comes the Ultimo Science Festival. Running from the 3rd to the 12th of September, the Ultimo Science Festival sees a whole host of Scientific talks and events. There is plenty of opportunities for volunteers to get involved.

The Australian International Space School

The Australian International Space School (AISS) is a 5-day residential space camp designed to enthuse and fascinate the minds of high school students across Australia. In 2013 the AISS will be celebrating its 20th Space School and we would like to encourage year 9, 10 and 11 high school students and teachers to apply and partake in the program which will be held in the summer of 2013 across both Sydney and Canberra.

AISS 2013 is a feeder program into Space Center Houston 2013, where students compete across a range of space related activities at the NASA facilities at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. During the AISS awards will be presented including a grant for one teacher and one student valued at $5500 to attend the 2013 NASA Johnson Space Centre Houston engineering school and also a 4 day visit to Orlando Florida, Kennedy Space Centre, and Disneyworld.

Throughout the duration of AISS2013 high school students will have the opportunity to liaise with likeminded students and science professionals whilst attending lectures from university professors and space science professionals. Students will also participate in space related activities such as rocket building and participate in excursions to the Observatory and the Powerhouse museum in Sydney, and visit the NASA JPL Deep Space facilities and Mt Stromlo at Tidbinbilla and Questacon in Canberra.

In the past the AISS has hosted a range of students across Australia and presenters including but not limited to;

  • –  NASA astronauts including Dr. Paul Scully-Power, Dr. Pamela Melroy, Dr. Andy Thomas, Dr Scott Parazynski and Dr. Jim Reilly.
  • –  Astronomer Dr. Fred Watson
  • –  Renowned university lecturers and high school teachersAISS2013 will cover a number of space related areas including;
  • –  Astronomy
  • –  Physics (applied and theoretical)
  • –  Engineering
  • –  Astrophotography
  • –  Astrobiology
  • –  Chemistry
  • –  Team work


AISS2013 Details:

Date: 1:30pm January 16th to 8pm January 20th 2013.

Location: Sydney (16th – 19th) – New College, University of New South Wales, 330 Anzac Pde, Kensington NSW 2033, Australia.

Canberra (19th – 20th) – Canberra Carotel, Corner of Aspinall & Zelling Streets, Watson, A.C.T. 2602, Australia.


Cost: $550 per -student. This includes all costs covering:

Accommodation in both Sydney and Canberra.
Travel costs to and from excursions throughout the duration of the space school. Note: Travel cost to and from the AISS 2013 is the responsibility of students and teachers
Admission costs to all off site places visited
All meals (breakfast, morning tea, lunch and dinner)
A student pack including; AISS2013 t-shirt, stationary, and other space related material regarding further Space Educational Camps.

Website: To find application form go to www.yassa.com.au/AISS.html

[message type=”info” show_close=”false”]Trying to apply? Get in contact with YSA Sydney, and let us know. We can help you if you encounter problems during the application process.[/message]

How to apply:

  1. Complete a one page student statement covering:
    1. Who you are (age, grade, high school etc)
    2. Your interest in space science
    3. Why you have applied to AISS 2013 and wish to attend
  2. Complete a school statement of upto on page from a science teacher supporting your interest in space science.
  3. Post these forms along with a photo & cheque for $550 to AISS PO Box 572 Winston Hills NSW 2153 by Monday November 26, 5:00pm. If you require further information, email Anthony Webb at anthony.webb@unswalumni.com

We look forward to your application and seeing you at AISS2013!

Anthony Webb
AISS2013 Program Coordinator