These school holidays, I, along with 15 other grade 11 and 12 students, participated in a five day InspireU Science Camp run by the University of Queensland and the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit. The camp ran from Sunday 28th of September and ended on Friday 3rd of October taking place at Brookfield, North Stradbroke Island and the QIMR Research Facility. We participated in traditional indigenous games with an AIYA group leader, a tour of the St Lucia UQ campus, and stayed at the Moreton Bay Research Station (MBRS) at Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island.
At MBRS, two PhD students took us through different ecological and biological activities related to the Island. We studied the how the tides correlate to the diversity of species, using microscopes to identify plankton, studying sand dunes and fresh water systems on the island as well as educational lectures from the tutors about the island and poisonous and venomous creatures. Alongside the educational purposes of this camp, there was an element of fun in kayaking and fishing in our free time. On the very last day, all 16 of us participated in a “Day in the life of a scientist” at QIMR Research facility. This activity mostly focused on microbiology and studying what natural plant and leaf samples from North Stradbroke Island contain any bacteria killing properties. Overall, I found to the camp to be very educational and important in terms of promoting indigenous youth to attend tertiary education. Most importantly we were encouraged to fulfil our potential and have fun.
Ploy Ngampromwongse, year 11 Student.