Julia Williams off to the London International Youth Science Forum

IN HER ELEMENT: Chemistry buff Julia Williams is off to the London International Youth Science Forum later this month. Photo: Barbara Reeves.
IN HER ELEMENT: Chemistry buff Julia Williams is off to the London International Youth Science Forum later this month. Photo: Barbara Reeves.

Alectown teenager and science buff Julia Williams is thrilled to be attending the London International Youth Science Forum at the end of the month.

Parkes Rotary Club sponsored Julia to attend the National Youth Science Forum in Canberra in January which opened the door to London.

"Once you are at the National Youth Science Forum you can put in an application for the international programs," Julia said.

"And I was lucky enough to get offered a spot to go to London."

The former Parkes High School student is in Year 12 at Kinross Wolaroi School in Orange and despite it being her HSC year, feels she could not pass up the opportunity.

"I just decided that even if it does knock my marks down a little because I don't have as much time, in the end it will be worth it, it sort of balances out," she said.

Julia flies out on July 22 to the two week residential student event held at Imperial College London & The Royal Geographical Society.

Her first overseas trip, she will be one of 500 students aged 16-21 from 70 countries attending the event.

Julia has always had an interest in science and is considering a career in engineering.

"I like chemistry the most out of my subjects so I was sort of thinking chemical engineering," she said.

"But I think I'll do a flexible first year just in case, because I know a lot of people who have thought they were going to be one kind of engineer and they tried the others and they ended up deciding on a different one."

While in London Julia will experience lecture demonstrations from leading scientists and visits to world class laboratories and universities.

"We were able to put in preferences for visits and things that we go to so it can align with what you are interested in," she said.

"Things like a chemical engineering lab in London, hopefully I'll get to go to that one.

"We will visit a lot of different universities around England, not just in London.

"And there are a few excursions as well that are optional. I put in to see the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace and to visit the Tower of London.

"We get to go to Oxford University as well and have a look around Oxford which will be pretty cool."

This week Julia is in Canberra training as a student staff member for next year's National Youth Science Forum.

"Kids are selected from each session to come back and be a "staffie" for the next group," she said.

"I'll be one of 23 staffies who will be there to support the 200 kids who come to the forum.

"We sort of run it I guess on the ground level.

"Part of it is encouraging kids to come out of their shells and try new things and making them feel comfortable because they are away from home in an unknown place surrounded by 200 kids they don't know."

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