Gifted & Talented Discovery Program

The Science Gifted and Talented Discovery Program was established in 1996 and has had over 1,650 students participate since its inception. The aim of the program is to provide talented high school science students (in Years 9 and 10) with additional challenges and stimulation in the areas of biology, chemistry and physics.

The workshop also gives students an on-campus experience. It provides them with the opportunity to engage with University teaching staff and current researchers, access first-class facilities and make friends with people who have a mutual interest in science. The program runs twice a year for three days in the July and October school holiday period.

Registration

Registration for the Gifted and Talented Discovery Program Qualifying Exam is now closed. Late applications may be accepted. Please contact .

2014 - 2015 Gifted & Talented Discovery Program Dates

Date Event
October 2014 Gifted & Talented Discovery Program Qualifying Exam registration opens
24 October 2014 On-time registration closes. For further information please contact Jessica on 02 9114 0825 or jessica.morris@sydney.edu.au
3-14 November 2014 Gifted & Talented Discovery Program Qualifying Exam dates
5 December 2014 Return completed exams to the Faculty
February 2015 Confirm students who completed the exam
March 2015 Receive results, certificates and invitations for high achievers to participate in the Gifted & Talented Discovery Program
End April 2015 Gifted & Talented Discovery Program workshop registration closes
7-9 July 2015 July Gifted & Talented Discovery Program

2013 - 2014 Gifted & Talented Discovery Program Dates

Date Event
October 2013 Gifted & Talented Discovery Program Qualifying Exam registration opens
25 October 2013 On-time registration closes. For further information please contact Jessica on 02 9114 0825 or
4-15 November 2013 Gifted & Talented Discovery Program Qualifying Exam dates
6 December 2013 Return completed exams to the Faculty
February 2014 Confirm students who completed the exam
March 2014 Receive results, certificates and invitations for high achievers to participate in the Gifted & Talented Discovery Program
end April 2014 Gifted & Talented Discovery Program workshop registration closes
9-11 July 2014 July Gifted & Talented Discovery Program
1-3 October 2014 October Gifted & Talented Discovery Program

How do I get involved in the program?

To qualify for the program students must sit a 40-minute exam (The Gifted & Talented Discovery Program Qualifying Exam). The multiple-choice exam consists of questions that are designed to test the student's ability to solve scientific problems in the areas of biology, chemistry and physics. For a student to be eligible to attend the workshops they must sit the same exam. Once all exams are returned to the University they are marked and ranked. The top 10-15% of students (depending on the number of students who sit the qualifying exam each year) will be invited to attend this competitive program. Schools receive an information pack containing the percentile band result for each student that sat the exam, a list of the student(s) if any who have been invited to attend the program and letters to be sent home to each student that has been invited to attend the program. There is a cost involved in sitting the exam of $6.60 (inc GST) for each completed exam returned to the University.

When does the program run?

Each year, two workshops are normally conducted. They usually run in the July and October school holiday period for most states/territories:

July 2014 Workshop 
Wednesday 9 July 8:20 am - 3:30 pm
Thursday 10 July 8:50 am - 3:30 pm
Friday 11 July 8:50 am - 4:30 pm
 
October 2014 Workshop 
Wednesday 1 October 8:20 am - 3:30 pm
Thursday 2 October 8:50 am - 3:30 pm
Friday 3 October 8:50 am - 4:30 pm
 
July 2015 Workshop
Tuesday 7 July 8.20 am - 3.30 pm
Wednesday 8 July 8.50 am - 3.30 pm
Friday 9 July 8.50 am - 4.30 pm

What have the students got up to at the workshops in the past?

Biology

Biology is full of fun with a number of interesting laboratory sessions. Examples of past programs include:

Animals - their bodies and behaviour - How exactly does an animal do something basic, like move around or find food? How does an animal use its own body to perform the necessary actions for survival? These questions were answered in a workshop that gets up close to the inner workings of animal bodies then explores the fascinating world of animal behaviour. The workshop featured specimens for dissections as well as live animals so students could study animal biology from the inside out.

Biology and DNA - Biology is a big subject and biologists do many different things – from following a pack of African dogs in a helicopter to manipulating an organism’s DNA. In this workshop, students took a whirlwind tour of biology by doing a wide range of experiments and activities – like making a fish’s pee pink, discovering the colour in fly eyes – in this wonderful and enormous field.

Put your body to the test - students spent a day with the School of Biological Sciences exploring the capabilities and limits of the human body. They saw how good their taste buds were at detecting flavours, found out what part of their body was best at feeling the heat and learnt how to take their own blood pressure. The day with Biology guaranteed to get them up close and personal with their own body.

Celebrating Darwin - we celebrated the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin with an exploration of evolution. Students took part in a quiz on the life of England’s most famous naturalist and got up-close to Australia’s #1 enemy and learnt how scientific research is helping to fight the cane toad invasion. Finally, students took a good look at the human eye and decided if it is intelligent, or incompetent.

Chemistry

In Chemistry you can almost be assured that something will go off with a bang. Previous examples include:

April - Chemistry once again came alive with 21 different experiments to really get their hands dirty. There was a bit of everything from slime to resorcinol polymers to luminol...

July - There are exciting experiments to be done making bouncing balls, fireworks and soap plus the chemical detective game where the best experimental report won a prize.

April - In one workshop you will not only got a great presentation from Associate Professor Tony Masters on Great Chemical Disasters, but made over 15 chemistry experiments.

July - And if that workshop and 15 experiments aren't enough how about 21 different experiments to really get your hands dirty. There was a bit of everything from liquid nitrogen to fireworks in a test tube to photo luminescent pigment…

Physics

Physics covers many areas and our workshops are themed. Below are some examples of past programs:

Tsunamis and wavelengths - What do Tsunamis have in common with guitars? Can you measure wavelength with chocolate? Can sopranos really break a wineglass with sound? Find out all the ins and outs, ups and downs of wave motion, complete with a lecture from Professor Tim Bedding on Asteroseismology - the physics of starquakes.

Radioactivity and starquakes - Explore the physics of radioactivity and particle physics, and take a sneak peek into how this links to cancer treatment.

Telescopes and astronomy - Discover how telescopes really work, explore the lifecycle of a star, and understand through hands-on experiments the many challenges astronauts face when travelling in outer space. Also, there was the chance to chat to professional astronomers from the School of Physics.

Rockets and space travel - In the July Physics workshop we continued our investigations in honour of the International Year of Astronomy. Students from the Space Society helped us out with rocket launches, both solid fuel and liquid nitrogen powered, and astrophysics students will help us to reconstruct a multi-spectrum colour image of a supernova.

What costs are involved?

  • Registration for one workshop = $220.00 inc GST
  • Registration for two workshops = $396.00 inc GST (10% discount for enrolling in both workshops)

Please note these prices are subject to change.

If students do not live in the Sydney area there will be additional travel and accommodation costs involved that will need to be met by the student.

How do I pay for the workshop(s)?

PLEASE DO NOT SEND CASH

Students can pay either by cheque or Money Order (made payable to The University of Sydney) or via MasterCard or Visa.

Students should ask their parent or guardian to complete the payment section during registration.

Payment should be sent to:

Jessica Morris
School Programs
Science Marketing & Communication Unit
Carslaw Building (F07)
The University of Sydney NSW 2006

A receipt will be forwarded to you after payment has been processed. For online credit card payment you will receive an electronic receipt confirming the payment.

Are refunds available?

As places are extremely limited, no refunds will be granted. Please check all dates carefully. Some extenuating circumstances may be considered and should be outlined in a letter addressed to:

Jessica Morris
School Programs
Science Marketing & Communication Unit
Carslaw Building (F07)
The University of Sydney NSW 2006

Travel scholarships

There are 10 travel scholarships awarded for each workshop (10 scholarships for the July workshop and 10 scholarships for the October workshop. Travel scholarships are awarded based on the following criteria:

  1. Distance from your home to the University of Sydney, and
  2. Your exam results.

You will need to calculate the distance in kilometres (one way) from your house to the University of Sydney’s main campus in Camperdown. If there are a number of students from the same location who apply for the travel scholarship, the student who achieved the highest exam result will be awarded the travel scholarship. Students will be advised in writing if they have been awarded a scholarship. Please note that it is unlikely that students within the Sydney metropolitan area will receive a travel scholarship.

Academic Scholarship

One academic scholarship is awarded to the student who achieves the highest result in the Gifted & Talented Discovery Program Qualifying Exam. The scholarship will cover the cost of attending both workshops ($396.00). Any travel and accommodation costs need to be met by the student.

Additionally, a limited number of academic scholarships will be awarded to students from a NSW government identified low socioeconomic (LSES) high school, who achieves the highest result in the Gifted & Talented Discovery Program Qualifying Exam. Any travel and accommodation costs need to be met by the student.

In 2012, 9 students from NSW LSES schools qualified for the program. All 9 offers were accepted. 3 of the travel scholarship recipients also received academic scholarships because they attended a NSW LSES school.

Accommodation

The University of Sydney is unable to offer assistance or make recommendations regarding accommodation. Students should organise accommodation as soon as possible as many places are fully booked over the school holiday periods. There are residential colleges on campus that may offer accommodation, however please be aware that many of these colleges remain fully booked even during school holiday periods, as current university students are permitted to retain their rooms during this time.

Accommodation Telephone
St John's College (02) 9394 5200
Sancta Sophia College (02) 9577 2100
Saint Andrew's College (02) 9565 7300
St Michael's College (02) 9550 3992
St Paul's College (02) 9550 7444
Wesley College (02) 9351 3708
Women's College (02) 9351 4548
Sydney Uni Village (02) 9036 4000

* We recommend that a parent or guardian accompany rural students during their stay in Sydney.