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Kelsie’s a science star

Thursday, 5th September, 2019

From left: Rotary President Bruce James, Rotary Director of Youth Ross Clark, Kelsie Mitchell and BHHS Principal Ross Mackay.PICTURE: Emily Ferguson From left: Rotary President Bruce James, Rotary Director of Youth Ross Clark, Kelsie Mitchell and BHHS Principal Ross Mackay.PICTURE: Emily Ferguson

By Emily Ferguson

Kelsie Mitchell has become the thirtieth Broken Hill High School student to be chosen to attend the National Youth Science Forum, which will take place early next year.

The National Youth Science Forum is a Rotary-sponsored initiative allowing local science-minded students the opportunity to expand their knowledge. 

Kelsie said that due to her involvement in other science programs and activities around town, she was approached by Rotary with the opportunity.

“I thought it would be a great opportunity and something that I would benefit greatly from, so I applied,” she said.

“I had to apply online and then sit two interviews in Adelaide and give a speech and my speech topic was metamaterials.

“Then they did a bit of a ‘Q and A’ on what my speech topic was, and we also had a few group sessions that we were getting marked on.”

Kelsie will be attending the forum in Brisbane next January 8-19.

“Essentially, the program involves 12 days of hands-on science activities involving lab visits, lectures and workshops.” 

Kelsie is looking forward to being able to investigate different parts of science that she doesn’t have the opportunity to learn about here.

“The forum is quite flexible in the fact that you may be in a group for biology but you’re able to go to sessions on environmental science and then astrophysics and molecular biology even, so you can really dip your toes into lots of different areas.”

Kelsie’s sessions will be based at the University of Queensland but there are other sessions in Canberra at the Australian National University. She said past participants have been very helpful in providing lots of insight as to what the forum is all about. 

Her favourite thing about science is being able to get answers to all of her questions.

“I’m super curious and I’m always asking things about what’s around me and trying to figure out why the world works the way it does,” she said.

“And science is the perfect outlet for all of those questions and a chance for me to get those answers.”

After high school, Kelsie hopes to get into the field of astrophysics.

“I’m hoping to go into aerospace engineering so that’s my main goal, but if that doesn’t work out then I guess the National Youth Science Forum is a chance for me to find other things that maybe I can do.

“We’ve already been exposed to quite a few different opportunities within science.On Sunday I attended an orientation day in Adelaide and we attended a lecture from a medical physicist who works in radiation oncology and he talked about different technologies emerging within that field.”

The next event in the lead-up to the forum is in October and Kelsie will get to sit down for afternoon tea with the South Australian Governor as an introduction to the program. 

Rotary’s Ross Clark said the forum is a life-changing experience and everyone who has been has raved about its excellence.

He said in all his years Kelsie is the most deserving person of this opportunity.

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