Even though I’m a PhD student and I have been at Uni for more years than I care to calculate I can still be made to feel insignificant by a particularly applied child or teenager. It’s completely unreasonable but I’ve always disliked overachieving children, particularly if they are aware of their overachieving-ness. Junior Masterchef is a great example, I can not and will not watch that show. Stupid kids.
Having said that today will be different because as much as I hate smarmy little kids with gelled-up hair who can temper their own chocolate I’ve always been amazed by kids who ‘get’ science early on. I kind of drifted into science by following what I liked but there are those kids who from the outset seem to know they are scientists. Today I get to meet a bunch of them.
The Australian Science and Mathematics School is hosting the International Students Science Fair this year where more than 200 students from 15 countries will gather under the banner of ‘Science and Social Responsibility’ and present their own research. This is the 6th annual ISSF to be held with previous Fairs being held throughout Asia and next year they are off to Thailand and then Canada the year after that!
It’s by no means a picnic or a holiday. 7 am starts with days running till, in some cases, after 9pm and all the days are chock full of activities from lectures to hiking to what I am attending today, a poster presentation series.
So if you’ve got some spare time today do what I’m going to do and wander up the The Royal Institution of Australia and check out what promises to be very high quality science from some very clever school kids.