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ST Columban's College, Caboolture, Year 12 student Charlotte Scott experienced the trip of a lifetime when she attended the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF).
Held at the prestigious Imperial College London, the forum (formerly the London International Youth Science Fortnight) was one of the oldest residential science conferences in the world, hosting about 500 students from 70 counties.
Students attending interacted with experts in a world-class program of lectures and have access to premier research centres, scientific laboratories and leading educational institutions, including Cambridge and Oxford universities.
Participants at the forum are often winners of national or international scientific competitions, but the conference also emphasised inter-cultural communication through various social events.
In 2016, LIYSF was granted UNESCO patronage.
As part of the forum the Charlotte experienced lectures and demonstrations around genetics, anatomical physics, gasses, space travel, lifesaving nanobots and much more.
During a college assembly, the college captain described the intensity of her trip to London and the impact it had on her.
She said it was an amazing trip and she was very proud to represent the college at the prestigious forum.
“The core LIYSF program was held over two weeks at Imperial College in London, one of the most prestigious STEM-focused universities in the UK," she told the assembly.
“This year, LIYSF welcomed over 500 participants to the program, as well as 50 international mentors, with 30 of us being from Australia, all the way from Tanswell to Tassie," she said.
She said more than 70 different countries were represented, with the majority of participants coming from the continents of North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australasia.
“We went on visits to leading scientific institutions, such as the Welcome Trust Genomics campus, which were the first people in the world to sequence the genome.
“We also got to watch heaps of scientific demonstrations, where ginormous balloons were imploding, gases were exploding, and everything under the sun was being set on fire.
Charlotte said a particularly interesting lecture that she attended was delivered by an anatomic physicist, who was telling participants about how they could make themselves virtually indestructible with only a few minor tweaks to their physical composition.
“By slightly altering the genetic coding of our skin cells, we can make them rock solid and impenetrable, meaning that we could get stabbed and it wouldn't even leave a scratch," she said.
She said St Columban's College offered many amazing opportunities in all facets of the college life and she strongly recommended younger students who were interested in STEM subjects to apply once they reached Year 12.
“I had such an amazing time at LIYSF," she said.
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