The Young Tassie Scientists program (YTS) is celebrating twenty years of talks, activities, and road trips. The program was created in 2002 with the aim of providing insights to school students and the general public about life working as a scientist or engineer. The program involves young Tasmanians, typically early career researchers, engineers, and scientists, who are passionate about their work. These volunteers present talks and activities based on their work to schools and communities around Tasmania, and become widely profiled ambassadors for science, engineering, and technology during National Science Week.
Since 2002, more than 300 young scientists have participated, sharing their science all over Tasmania. Last year in 2021, over 100 schools were visited across the state, with presentations being given on a variety of topics, including marine food webs, bird calls, immune systems, volcanos, and brain science. The impact of these interactions is clear for the school students, parents, and teachers. Of the classrooms visited, 100% reported that the YTS volunteers raised their student’s interest in science, and 95% of teachers reported that their own interest in science increased too.
These scientists aren’t just found in the classrooms. The YTS volunteers also take part in university open days, National Science Week events, career expos, act as judges at science competitions, and attend other science and art programs. It is estimated that, since 2017, YTS volunteers have talked with over 27,000 Tasmanians every August during national science week. That is 5% of the Tasmanian population!
Young Tassie Scientists is aiming to visit over 100 schools this year, and are always looking for new members. If you are interested in joining YTS or know someone who might be, more information can be found at the YTS website, or you can connect with the event coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org.