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Premier Barry O'Farrell opens International Science School at the University of Sydney



1 July 2013

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell officially opened the International Science School at the University of Sydney on Monday 1 July, welcoming 140 high school students from around the world to the two-week science school.

The International Science School was established by Emeritus Professor Harry Messel in 1962, when he was Head of the School of Physics at the University of Sydney, with this year being the 37th time the program has been run. The School gives academically gifted high school students the opportunity to become fully immersed in science for two weeks at the University of Sydney, with talks by international science leaders, hands-on science activities and real insights into current scientific research.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell (right) and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki (left) welcome high school students from around the world to the International Science School at the University of Sydney.
NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell (right) and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki (left) welcome high school students from around the world to the International Science School at the University of Sydney.

Running from Sunday 30 June until Saturday 13 July, this year's International Science School has the theme Nanoscience: Small Wonders, Big Future.

Students will attend lectures and get to meet top international and Australian nanoscience experts, along with leaders from the breadth of science, including keynote speaker and Nobel prize-winning cosmologist Professor Brian Schmidt.

"I'm pleased to be here to welcome students to the International Science School. This is an extraordinary opportunity to participate in an extraordinary program set up by an extraordinary person, Emeritus Professor Harry Messel, at an extraordinary university," said NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell.

"What's important is trying to get students passionate about science. If you're able to find something in life that you're passionate about, you will experience real achievement and you can make a real difference to the world."

The NSW government supports the International Science School through the Department of Education and Communities' Grant in Aid program, which has supported the last seventeen International Science Schools. This funding supports approximately sixty places for NSW students.

Officially opening the International Science School (left to right): Professor Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Belinda Hutchinson, Chancellor of the University of Sydney, and The Hon Barry O'Farrell, NSW Premier.
Officially opening the International Science School (left to right): Professor Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Belinda Hutchinson, Chancellor of the University of Sydney, and The Hon Barry O'Farrell, NSW Premier.

Eighty places are reserved for students from other jurisdictions in Australia and from overseas. In 2013, students will be attending the School from China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand.

International Science School founder, Emeritus Professor Harry Messel said, "We're really pleased that the NSW Premier is officially opening our International Science School this year. The School is an excellent science education experience that thousands of high school students have participated in over the years and which offers them unparalleled science experiences.

"In the two-week program, students take part in a variety of science activities to help them discover and realise their scientific potential," explained Emeritus Professor Harry Messel.

"The International Science School was set up to honour excellence. These students become the future movers and shakers in our society."

With this year's theme being nanoscience, students will explore the vast applications of nanoscience from exquisitely sensitive biotechnologies to probe the workings of the brain, to bespoke medicines fighting disease at the molecular level, to the next generation of optics-based IT technologies that will blow away today's fastest communication systems.

Dr Chris Stewart, Manager of the International Science School, said, "We chose the theme of nanoscience this year as it's an exciting frontier in science with a huge array of novel uses, and to celebrate breaking ground on the University's new Australian Institute for Nanoscience building.

The Hon Barry O'Farrell, NSW Premier, welcomes students to the International Science School at the University of Sydney.
The Hon Barry O'Farrell, NSW Premier, welcomes students to the International Science School at the University of Sydney.

"The International Science School this year has a really exciting line-up of talks, hands-on activities and laboratory experiences - and we're sure it's going to inspire these talented young minds to pursue their passion for science," said Dr Stewart.

"In addition to the keynote speech by Nobel prize-winner Professor Brian Schmidt, students will meet and hear lectures from a host of esteemed scientists, including Professor Philip Russell, Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, in Germany, and Professor Michael Roukes, Co-Director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute, in California, USA."

Five talented and enthusiastic indigenous Australian students have received Indigenous Scholarships to attend the International Science School this year - through these scholarships, the ISS aims to support indigenous Australians by bringing them together with like-minded scholars from around the globe.

To complement the science program, the International Science School also provides a dynamic social program to give students the opportunity to develop new friendships with students from around the world, and to get to know the University and the wonderful city of Sydney.

Read more about the International Science School at: http://sydney.edu.au/science/physics/foundation/iss/index.shtml


Contact: Katynna Gill

Phone: 02 9351 6997

Email: 22193a29162f084f572e5821131411365f3701781d5324565516