Gifted and Talented Discovery Program


Years 9 and 10 Science Students get a taste of university 

The opportunity to attend university for three days, listening to lectures, working in labs and meeting other students equally as passionate about Science was so much fun and so motivating.


The Gifted and Talented Discovery Program is an annual event organised by the University of Sydney and facilitated by the Young Scientists of Australia (YSA). It ran for three days over the recent holiday break. Selection was gained through a qualifying test with only the top 10% of applicants being invited. PLC Sydney had 27 students from Years 9 and 10 invited, with 11 students managing to secure a place.


Each day focussed on a separate type of Science, either Biology, Physics or Chemistry. We attended lectures, demonstrations and lab sessions. Every morning, we participated in a fun science-themed activity run by the YSA staff.  We made friends our own age from around Sydney, as well as places like Armidale and the Gold Coast and lots of YSA members who were mostly university students. The fact that we were able to attend with other people who are as excited about Science as we are made the experience so much more enjoyable.


The lecturers were PhD students at The University of Sydney, who talked about their research projects, as well as their own experiences at university. One student, Patrick Neumann, had designed a new type of rocket engine and started his own company. Adam Spencer, one of the Sleek Geeks and the university’s Science and Mathematics Ambassador, spoke at the closing ceremony.


We really enjoyed the opportunity to get a taste of what it’s like to be a university student, attending lectures and doing experiments in the labs. The PhD lecturers provided an insight into both the level and the type of thinking required in university. They shared a lot of advice about how to extend our scientific interests and also provided us with information about their own existing experiments and projects.


One common feature between all the people that we met was the passion and love they have for Science, especially the YSA Staff. Throughout the three days, we bathed in their enthusiasm and encouragement to study Science. We learned to communicate and cooperate with the other young scientists in our groups, and we took home not only knowledge and concepts but also fond memories which made the experience all the more enjoyable.

Salina Ai, Angeni Bai, Phoebe Denham, Sophie Heasman, Laura Hooper, Maeve Kelaher, Rhiannon Kumar, Eleanor Lawton-Wade, Tay Leung, Wendy Lin, Laurel Lu, Claire Shi

Image: Students at the Gifted and Talented Discovery Program at Sydney University.

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