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CLUB DINNER MEETING – Laura Driessen
August 11, 2015 @ 6:15 pm - 8:00 pm$20.00
SPEAKER: Laura Driessen
SUBJECT: ‘To Infinity and Beyond”…..The National Youth Science Forum.
In 2010 Laura was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lilydale to attend the National Youth Science Forum in Canberra.
This as the letter below shows opened her mind to a career in science.
From: Laura Driessen
Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 7:03 PM
Subject: Thank you, from an NYSF Alumni
Dear Rotary Lilydale,
In 2009, your rotary branch kindly supported my attendance at the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) that ran in the summer of 2010. Thank you very much.
After I finished VCE in 2010, I went on to study a Bachelor of Science (Science Scholars) program at Monash University. I graduated in the middle of last year (2014) with a high distinction average and majors in Astrophysics and Applied Mathematics.
While I was studying at Monash University, I was awarded a scholarship to complete a three month exchange at the University of Warwick in the UK (near Birmingham). While I was on exchange, I was invited to visit Meknes, Morocco, to attend and present at a student forum.
Over the 2013-2014 summer holidays, I completed a studentship at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research. While there I imaged and studied the centre of our Milky Way galaxy using a brand new radio telescope, the Murchison Widefield Array.
The weekend after I finished my final semester (I finished in June 2014) I attended another summer studentship at the The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) in Dwingeloo, The Netherlands. There I studied the pulsar in the Crab Nebula and found some interesting results.
After the studentship at ASTRON, I started applying for overseas universities to study a master’s degree in astronomy, specifically radio astronomy. Just two weeks ago, I found at that I had received the Amsterdam Merit Scholarship to attend the University of Amsterdam. I will be leaving for the Netherlands on the 16th of August to complete this two-year master’s degree.
Thank you so much for helping me to attend NYSF. Before attending the International Science School for two weeks in 2009 and NYSF in 2010, I didn’t realise that being a scientist was a real job. I loved science so much but everyone was telling me to be a doctor or a physiotherapist. And while those are great careers, they weren’t for me. Now I can’t think of any other career than one in radio astronomy.