FIVE Bendigo students have been selected to take part in the prestigious National Youth Science Forum next year.
Bendigo Senior Secondary College Year 11 students Corey Lionis, Philippa Bywaters, Haden Kneller, Lauren White, and Cameron Lee will head to Canberra and Brisbane in January to meet other young scientists and industry professionals.
"It's fantastic because it's a great opportunity for them to be exposed to these kinds of programs," BSSC chemistry teacher Jane Fong said.
"It's a national program and they get to meet a lot of different students from a lot of different states and share ideas and network.
"It has been successful in the last few years so no doubt this group will be the same."
The national forum has been running since 1984, with more than 12,000 young Australians given the opportunity to explore a career in science as they begin their final year of high school.
Each student was chosen after a rigorous application and interview process.
Ms Bywaters said the forum was going to be the "experience of a lifetime".
"I'm mainly looking forward to being around so many like-minded people and so many industry professionals who are versed in their specific fields," she said.
For some of the students, the conference will help confirm their chosen career paths.
"I really want to do electrical engineering," Mr Lee said. "That's where I'm at and that's what I'm pushing towards at the moment but I'm open to anything else as well.
"But it will be great to see what they do and find out what it's really like as a job rather than just information on that topic."
For some other students, the conference will be a way to experience all that science has to offer.
"I have absolutely no idea what I want to do after school," Ms White said. "I know I want to go to university but that's as far as I've gotten.
"So I hope that NYSF will show me different careers and what is available."
The BSSC students have been sponsored by the six Rotary Clubs of Bendigo. The Rotary Clubs have been sponsoring students from the district to go to the forum for years.
"This offers our rural Year 11 STEM students a life changing opportunity in regards to both careers and personal growth," spokesperson for the combined Rotary Clubs of Bendigo Lynne Cooper said.
"We work in collaboration with the teachers to encourage students to apply and go through the interview process.
"This year we are excited to have five BSSC students and one Girton student achieve a place in the January 2020 programs in Canberra and Brisbane.
"These students have a great contribution to make to their communities and are our future leaders. Congratulations to them and their supportive parents."
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