A groundwater challenge for Australia's future scientists


A female high school student examining some light coloured rock samples.

A National Youth Science
Forum participant examines
some rock samples as part
of a "hands-on" science
experience at
Geoscience Australia.

Top Year 11 science students are converging on Canberra this week to learn first-hand about a major challenge for Australia - how to secure the nation's future water resource needs.

Some of Australia's best and brightest science students will experience real, "hands-on" groundwater science during several half-day workshops hosted by Geoscience Australia as part of the 2014 National Youth Science Forum.

The students will draw upon collected groundwater data and learn scientific techniques with some of Australia's leading geoscientists who are seeking to discover alternative water sources that may be hidden beneath our feet.

"The students will be exposed to techniques and equipment used in both outdoor and laboratory settings. This includes using geophysical equipment to 'image' the ground beneath their feet, and analysing sediment core and water samples in Geoscience Australia's specialist laboratories," said Shona Blewett, Geoscience Australia's Education Centre Coordinator.

"By having the students apply themselves to an issue of national importance we hope to further engage them in the Earth sciences, and ultimately entice them to pursue a career in the geosciences," said Shona.

"Several of the Geoscience Australia scientists delivering the workshops were former participants in the National Youth Science Forum themselves, and are now really excited to be able to share their experience with a new generation," said Shona.

The National Youth Science Forum is a two week program held each January in Canberra for talented students moving into Year 12 with a potential career interest in science, engineering and technology.

Geoscience Australia is one of the many science experiences offered to the students as part of the program. The Geoscience Australia Education Centre is staffed by trained educators, science communicators and geologists; and offers structured hands-on activities with a science and geography curriculum focus for visiting school groups.