August 30th, 2018
Year 11 Saint Francis de Sales student Adam Palkovics has been selected to attend the 2019 National Youth Science Forum in Canberra and Brisbane.

The 12 day residential program runs in January and involves 200 students in science based activities.

A teacher suggested Adam apply for the forum and then let him drive his own application.

“I was in one of my other lessons and my old teacher came up and told me about the forum and said they thought it might be a good opportunity for me,” Adam said.

“Then they helped me to get in touch with the Rotary club because I have to have their support.”

The application process was extremely competitive, according to Adam.

“I was pretty surprised to be selected to go the forum and I'm really excited to go,” Adam said.

“My application got shortlisted for an interview at Pembroke College and there were nine people in my interview group but I don't know how many groups there were.

“A lot of the people in my group didn't get chosen to go to the forum.”

Adam's chemistry teacher Danielle McKinnon said she was also surprised at his success.

“He hasn't asked for any support throughout the process – I didn't even realise that he was going to apply so it was a lovely surprise to hear that Adam was successful!

“I believe that Adam is the first student from our school to attend the NYSF – certainly he is the first student in the six years that I have been here.”

Adam said he selected physics as his field of study.

“I'm really interested in maths and physics but I do all of the sciences.

“I've always been good at science but we only get to pick our subjects for year 11 so that's when I figured out I liked it.”

He hopes the forum will point him in a more specific direction for further study.

“I hope I will get better accustomed to science as a career and get a better idea of what I want to do at Uni.”

Danielle echoed these hopes.

“There are so many interesting areas to study and pathways to follow but students often follow the pathway of what they know because it can be hard to imagine the possibilities,” she said.

“I hope that Adam is inspired by working with other like-minded students and scientists – he often hangs back after a lesson is finished to ask extra questions to broaden his knowledge beyond the curriculum.”

The opportunity is one which passionate students need, according to Danielle.

“Students rarely get the chance to immerse themselves in an experience like this – especially in academic fields,” she said.

“It is so important that young people from all over Australia and all types of backgrounds get a chance to contribute to society in a positive way.

“I think that Adam will be able to be further inspired to work in a field of science and contribute to the body of knowledge that exists.”

The school eagerly awaits to hear Adam's tales of how the forum unfolds at the beginning of next year.

“Adam will be able to share his experiences not just with his classmates, but with our entire school community,” Danielle said.

“His experience will hopefully inspire other students to apply for similar opportunities in the future.

“Adam's class mates will be very keen to hear about what he learns and share his experiences.

“We are all very proud of his success.”

Not only will Adam be able to further his interests and his classmates', but he will also have the opportunity to run interviews for next years' youth science forum applicants.

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