Aquinas College students have recently returned from an overseas trip of a lifetime, dissecting human brains and discovering how the universe was made.
Year 13 students Jessica Thomas, Issie Dekker, Georgia Jones and Amy Bewsher were lucky enough to travel to London, Paris and Switzerland earlier this month for the London International Youth Science Forum.
LIYSF is a two-week-long prestigious science forum, hosting 500 young scientists from 75 different countries. The forum consists of visits to different off-site laboratories and academic research centres and demonstrations from leading scientists.
After their time in London, the students went on a sightseeing excursion to Paris and spent three days at The European Organisation for Nuclear Research – commonly known as CERN – in Geneva.
Georgia reflects on her London experience, saying that dissection of a human brain was a definite highlight.
“We went to the Neurology Department at Birmingham University and I go to dissect an obviously dead human brain.
“We cut a piece out, put it under a microscope and you could see the different cells. This person had Alzheimer’s, and you could see which neurons were damaged and which weren’t. The damaged neurons indicated the disease – it was incredible.”
Issie says that the anti-matter factor at CERN was mind-blowing but difficult to comprehend.
In this factory, they carry out experiments understanding where the universe comes from with the Large Hadron Collider and the Higgs Boson.
“I still don’t really understand it but just seeing all the equipment that they had was really cool. It’s a lot to take in,” says Issie.
All three students agree that LIYSF solidified their love for science and helped them figure out what they want to study next year at university.
“It’s just opened up so many more options for us and helped us decide we really do want to get into science,” says Georgia.
“I would like to do something in science that would help make a difference in the world, like some of the lecturers were doing at LIYSF.”
“It’s about giving your work back to everyone,” Jess adds.
Issie recommends the trip to students in the Bay who have a love for science and meeting people from across the world.
“We made friends with people from Brazil, India, America, Cyprus, Turkey, Switzerland, England and Spain.
“I think we can all agree – the highlight of our lives so far.”