Three Narrabri High School Year 12 students who attended the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) were invited to take a tour of The University of Sydney, Narrabri campus.

The tour was arranged by agriculture and sustainability specialist Ingrid Roth, as a representative for the NSW Farmers Association (Narrabri branch).

The Farmers Association was one of four sponsors alongside NHS P&C, Whitehaven Coal, and the Rotary Club of Narrabri who were able to help send the students to the Brisbane forum at the University of Queensland in January.

“NSW Farmers Association Narrabri branch was happy to be able to sponsor these students to attend the science forum,” said Mrs Roth.

“And it’s great to be able to allow them to see some of the agricultural science right here in Narrabri.”

NHS students Will Faris, Daniel Smith, and George Bennett attended Sydney University, Narrabri’s plant breeding institute to tour the labs and facilities, check out the new site drones, and venture out to the Industrial Hemp Variety Trial site, a few days before the team was set to harvest.

This is the second time that Narrabri students have attended the NYSF in recent years and were inspired by previous NHS student Eliza Dampney’s keen interest in science.

NYSF attendee Daniel Smith was keen to take in all the options while considering what path he wanted to take with his academic future.

“I plan to take everything I learn from the NYSF and the tours out here at Sydney University and take it away with me to university,” said Daniel.

“Then do my degree and then bring it back out here, close to parents and family.”

The NSW Farmers Association was passionate about allowing more students to see what is available on their front doorstep, and what is possible for regional Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

“As a NSW Farmers rep, we support local youth in terms of sciences, and we wanted to bring it back to say – hey, it’s very exciting here too, which is why we want to take more opportunity to immerse the students in what we have to offer,” said Mrs Roth.

“Let’s look at some of what’s in Narrabri for science – and this is only one site, and Narrabri has the highest rate of PhDs per capita,

“It’s interesting because when I first moved to Narrabri and started working in science, I was warned that working in a region would stifle my career.

“It’s exciting to see what’s happening here, at the Australian Cotton Research Institute, the telescope, and Cotton Seed Distributors.

“There are not many places you could work in a small town and get to this level of science, it’s pretty rare, especially in the ag science stuff.”

After attending the NYSF, George Bennett feels that his options are wide open, as he decides to pursue either science or engineering at university.

“I don’t know anything about what’s going to happen after Year 12, but I like knowing that if I wanted to branch out, I could,” said George.

“Because I’ve been accepted into NYSF and I have been invited out here to Sydney University, it shows me that I have a lot of support, and that’s very good to know.

The Narrabri Campus site has been trying to get more involved in local schools and welcomes any students to come out and experience the facilities for themselves.

A team from head office will be coming up in May to facilitate their “Kickstart” programs in the new labs.

Year 11 and 12 students will spend a day doing biology, physics, and chemistry, conducting experiments using equipment that they may not have access to in school labs.

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