Year 11 Chemistry
UNSW Sci-Fi Series Inaugural Showcases
On the evening of Wednesday 19 June, students from Year 11 Chemistry discovered the fascinating future of health science by attending the UNSW Sci-Fi Series Inaugural Showcase held at the Australian Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour. The event is usually reserved for UNSW alumni but eleven lucky Bethany girls were offered this exciting opportunity. The speakers engaged us with captivating insight focusing on how things once considered only possible in the world of science fiction are becoming a reality in modern science. The event was hosted by the Dean of Science at UNSW, Professor Emma Johnston and included three eye-opening presentations on cutting edge health science.
- Scientia professor J Justin Gooding (Founding co-director, Australian center of nanomedicine) showed the mutually inspirational relationship between science fiction and science. He explored how the notion of a submarine traveling through the bloodstream stream from the sci-fi film Fantastic Voyager inspired future health solutions such as rapid blood screening and bioprinting cancers.
- Jill Newby (Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, UNSW) conveyed how virtual reality could be the new cure for anxiety.
- Professor Merlin Crossley (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Education Academic, UNSW) discussed the ethics, limitations, and possibilities surrounding CRISPR gene editing in humans.
Following the presentation, we had refreshments and got the chance to have conversations with the speakers and other Alumni. Our discussion with Professor Johnston was one of the highlights of the evening. She provided personal insight and advice on breaking down barriers to women in the STEM industry and encouraged us to be confident in ourselves. The experience ignited excitement for the future of health and our role in it, enhancing our passion for science by exposing us to the bigger picture beyond the simplicity of high school science. By presenting complex ideas in simplistic ways our eyes were opened to the fast-changing, diverse, creative world of science where the impossible is becoming possible.
We were then invited to attend the 10th Nanomedicine Conference on Tuesday 25 June at Quay One Hotel, Circular Quay, where several scientists presented their investigations all related to the use of nanomedicine or nanotechnology. It was very interesting to learn about the evolving scientific industry, and how creative and complex ideas are to solve real-world problems. Nanorockets, which would be sent into the body, nitric oxide used as an enzyme mimic, use of gold nanoparticles for antibiotic treatments and the creation of Protein Corona, are just a few of the most intriguing scientific creations these past few years. We got to judge some of the PhD students on presentations of their applications of nanomedicine and nanotechnology in their individual projects, and also got to play with VR technology, transporting ourselves into the world of a cancer cell, learning about the different parts that make it up.
Each of the participating girls would like to thank Mr Peck for taking us on both of these experiences and for exposing us to the ever-changing world of the science industry. It has definitely made us want to delve into this field in the future even more!