This morning we heard from Tyana Orlando.  About 18 months ago we sponsored her to attend her first National Youth Science Forum event in Brisbane January 2020.  She came back to talk to us today about her second event.
Tyana enjoyed her initial foray into the National Youth Science Forum so much that they invited her to train as one of the student leaders for this year's event.  She spoke about how nearly everything needed to be done differently because of the restrictions that Covid-19 placed on the programme.  Despite those restrictions they were able to create a programme that worked and expanded the horizons of those involved.
 
Initially they thought the whole programme would need to be online, but they were then able to create a hybrid programme where some days were online and some were 'in-person'.  Having the online programme meant that they could actually have access to a greater variety of speakers because they were not constrained by who could attend the forum.  They also could use zoom to their advantage and be able to access information and programmes from around the world.  One example Tyana mentioned was being taken on a virtual tour of the Hadron Collider, based in Switzerland.  They also re-created some of the investigations so that forum participants could do experiments from home - such as making bio plastics out of starch, and finding the DNA of strawberries.  Social events were mostly online and she was connected with another student leader from Queensland where they looked after a smaller group of students via zoom.
 
Tyana's role was more of a facilitator and chair of the online sessions; and despite the limited contact she had with the group she was looking after she was impressed to see the passion and enthusiasm that shone through even though they did not have as much personal contact as they'd had in previous forums.  They did managed to run a 3 day programme where the students in Perth were able to head to Curtin University, Murdoch University and Sci Tech to explore aspects of science available to them at those locations. 
 
Tyana indicated that they had a number of challenges that they needed to face and deal with on a day to day basis; but despite those challenges she learned that what you do can be inspiring and you can still achieve amazing things.
 
Obviously Tyana did a fantastic job because she has been accepted into the programme again for next year to take on a different leadership role.  She indicated that they hope that next year's programme will be a mix of 5 days online and 5 days in person. 
 
We will be looking forward to hearing more from Tyana after this next programme.  Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us this morning.  All the very best for your studies in medicine.