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months sit for a total of six intermittent sessions. In order to In January 2011 Matthew, with the support of the accommodate the boys’ busy schedule, the larger group Rotary Club of Neutral Bay, spent a fortnight in Canberra was divided into two smaller groups which would meet on attending the National Youth Science Forum. The following different nights of the week. Our meetings quickly fell into report is from his attendance at that Forum. a pattern whereby the Director would provide some insight The College is extremely proud of this wonderful award into the historical context of the targeted philosopher, and recognition of his ability and potential. after which one student would be delegated to lead an “My National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) experience extensive discussion on issues surrounding the central was an amazing introduction to real world science. It ideas. We were on more than one occasion joined by provided an unparalleled opportunity for me to see science guest speakers; Mr David Braithwaite SJ (SAC 1990), Ms out of the classroom and to experience the cutting edge Melinda Meyer and Mrs Joanne Cleary. Our often heated of Australian research science. The programme offered discussions were complimented by the highly informative invaluable insights into the environment of modern science mandatory readings and fuelled by nothing more than labs, the nature of research and the lifestyle of modern the burning desire to unlock the secrets of the universe. scientists, creating an amazing life experience. Of course, the intensity of our discussion was such that we required intermissions in the form of dinner-breaks. I was informed about the NYSF by one of the school An opportunity for rest and rejuvenation, meal-times visits conducted by previous NYSF students. The speaker, provided a welcomed contrast to the emotionally loaded a boy from my school in the year above me, encouraged questions of morality and existence with the marginally less me to sign up. It took some time to find a supporting Rotary significant question; Thai or pizza? Having satiated our Club for my application, during which my Rotary District hunger, we would then proceed to further our discussion Chair was a great help to me, helping me to get in contact well into the evening, sometimes concluding as late as with Neutral Bay Rotary Club, who generously supported half-past eight. me through the application process. The district interview process required us to participate in two interviews and To provide a very brief outline of our study of answer questions about our interests in science and our philosophy, our sessions were centred upon the following ability to work as part of a team, a vital skill for the NYSF philosophers and their works; Plato and the Allegory experience. I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of of the Cave; Immanual Kant and Michael Foucault eight students from my Rotary District to attend Session C. on the Enlightenment; Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the The group of 150 students chosen from around Australia ‘Social Contract’, Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill to be part of Session C of the NYSF travelled to Canberra on Utilitarianism and Consequentialism; and Martin on 17 January 2011. I was lucky enough to have had the Heidegger on ‘Being and Time’. To conclude our brief opportunity to billet three of the students who had travelled journey of philosophy through time, the final session of the from Perth, arriving in Sydney the previous day. This was Academy for 2011 was deliberately and appropriately certainly a worthwhile experience, as it meant that even focussed upon the ideas of 20th century philosopher before the forum started we had already established some Bertrand Russell and on his . friendships. We travelled by coach from Sydney’s Central It is with fond memories that I recount what has been Station, and we were hosted by Burgmann College on a truly remarkable year in The Bellarmine Academy. On campus at the Australian National University for the 13 behalf of the entire group I would like to thank all those days of the forum. involved, especially Mr Etmekdjian, for the time and The programme was extremely well organised and dedication he has devoted to the philosophical education packed full of activities. The activities were supervised of the students. I can say with great pleasure that we have and run by Ex-NYSF attendees as well as volunteers from been instilled with an appreciation of philosophy, as well local Rotary Clubs. The first aspect of the programme was as being imbued with the desire to form and articulate the seminars and lectures, and there was a great deal questi ons of great moral significance which may otherwise of flexibility so that our particular scientific interests were escape our minds – a skill which I believe is fundamental to catered for. I was in a group with a focus on theoretical a Jesuit education. physics called Einstein, while other groups catered for a James Crouch (Year 11) wide variety of other scientific interests. The second part of the programme included a wide range of social and A Report on The National Youth networking activities. The planning, communication and Science Forum – January 2011 supervision of the various activities was excellent. Min Sweden at the Stockholm International Youth of Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy and Astrophysics, andThe most valuable part of the programme for me wasthe lab visits. Each one consisted of a small group offourteen travelling to such places as the Research Schoolsatthew McEwen (SAC 2011) was selected as oneof only two young students to represent Australia Science Seminar in December 2011. Matthew was also Institutes such as the NCI National Supercomputing Facility. appointed a NSW Young Science Ambassador. While there we were often given guided tours of the labs St Aloysius’ College A Jesuit School for Boys _ Founded 1879 a l oy s i a d / page 41


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