The Graeme Clark Oration - Australia's most prestigious free public science event

The 2019 Graeme Clark Oration

Youth Ambassadors

Harry Bosch - Yarrawonga College

Katya Gvodzenko - Haileybury College

 

Graeme Clark Oration Youth Ambassador Program


The Convergence Science Network is celebrating its 10 years of presenting the Graeme Clark Oration by establishing the Graeme Clark Oration Youth Ambassador Program.  Each year, two senior Victorian secondary science students will be appointed as ambassadors in recognition of their academic excellence and demonstrated leadership skills.

They will attend the Oration and Oration Dinner accompanied by their family, spend private time with the orator, be given the opportunity to spend some time during the summer vacation in a research laboratory and receive $500 in support of their education.

We have been proud to support the active participation of secondary schools at the Oration since 2012.

Harry Bosch

Beyond his Year 10 studies at Yarrawonga College P-12, Harry Bosch is also a passionate video game developer and curiosity-driven learner.

 

Beginning from a love of playing video games, Harry first ventured into game development in Year 7 - starting with visual scripting programs like Scratch and Gamemaker before graduating to working with the Unity game engine. He finished his first game 6 months ago and already have two games which are ready to be published.

 

Harry was able to learn all of his development skills by independently through online videos and tutorials which he attributes to his natural curiosity and love of learning. At school, he is studying VCE Unit 1/2 Chemistry, his favourite subject, alongside his Year 10 curriculum and intends to pursue a STEM-oriented VCE pathway. Despite not having a lot of choice in a country public school, Harry does not feel limited in satisfying his intellectual curiosity.

 

Aside from aspiring to lead his own indie game development team, Harry is also interested in forensics and genetics - the latter of which he was able to explore at Gene Technology Access Centre's (GTAC) work experience program in June. Going in with no expectations, Harry was very positively surprised by the wide-ranging practical activities he was able to experience.

 

Unlike predetermined practicals in science classes at school, Harry thoroughly enjoyed this open-ended exploration of technology and science. He worked on a group project themed around developing a vaccine for leishmaniasis which involved activities like looking at 3D models of proteins and finding binding sites for antigens. Harry really loved the experience of asking questions and thinking rather than following a rigid set of instructions.

 

A highlight during Harry's GTAC placement was building their own spectrophotometer - an opportunity to combine his skills in technology and science. During a lunch break, Harry looked at the code which ran the spectrophotometer and decided to rebuild it using his programming knowledge. He would stay back following each day and used spare time to make his own version of the program. The process of integrating code with building the machine left Harry with a new found appreciation for the relationship between technology and science.

 

Harry's passions are driven by a love of technology and asking questions. Beyond video game development, he loves photography and the process of grading photos using Photoshop. In Year 5, he also started working on learning 3D modelling skills to make his own animations.

 

Looking forward to the Graeme Clark Oration, Harry is very excited about representing students as a Young Ambassador. He is keen to talk with Professor Timothy Denison about how he started working in science and technology and what his day to day work entails. He is very interested in learning more about neuroscience and expanding his knowledge.

 

 

Katya Gvodzenko

A driven, curious and imaginative Year 12 student at Haileybury Girls College, Katya Gvozdenko is the 2019 Graeme Clark Oration Young Woman Ambassador. Katya enjoys pursuing her love for STEMM and has achieved exceptional success academically and through extracurricular activities.

 

Katya was enthralled from her first science class in Year 7, where she realised that science was a tool for problem solving as much as it was a body of knowledge. Since then, she has been involved in many projects and experiences which have set her up to be a future STEMM leader.

 

In year 9, Katya worked with a team of friends in the Young ICT Explorers competition on a project entitled Book Portal. Driven by the goal of making reading more interesting to the new generation through technology, they contacted an author and created 3D prints of her book characters along with an app and even a hologram.

 

In year 10 and 11, Katya achieved the exceptional result of High Distinction in many national STEMM competitions including the Australian Maths Competition, Big Science Competition, Biology Science Olympiad and the Chemistry Science Olympiad.

 

It is characteristic, therefore, for Katya to be bookending her role at the Graeme Clark Oration with two exceptional STEMM experiences.

 

Firstly, as one of 10 Victorian students to be selected to attend the International Science School in Sydney which is held every two years. Katya has enjoyed daily lectures on different science topics such as quantum computing and DNA nanobots as well as practical activities in geoscience, virtual reality and more.

 

In August, Katya will be travelling to Atlanta (USA) to present the findings from the Swinburne Haileybury International Space Station Experiment (SHINE). The 10 month long collaboration revolved around the goal of launching an experiment to the ISS to advance scientific research for human capability on Mars and improve the human condition of living on planets other than Earth.

 

The team decided to tackle the question of tooth decay in space and set up many preliminary experiments to investigate the effect of bacterial sucrose solution on teeth in microgravity. Katya was the Head of Experiments and led efforts to source materials (a tooth from a junior school student and a hydroxy apatite disk to simulate tooth enamel), create a custom circuit board with specially calibrated sensors, design a nutrient broth to feed bacteria and to dehydrate bacteria from the human mouth to send to space!

 

At the National Youth Science Forum earlier this year, Katya also had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Megan Clark, Head of the Australian Space Agency, about SHINE and to provide a student's insight into space exploration. At the ISS Research and Development Conference, Katya is excited to speak to more experts and share the team's research.

 

Having dove headfirst into many different fields of science and research, Katya is excited by our position on the frontier of so many different innovations such as VR, quantum/supercomputers, and nanotechnology to solve important problems. Outside of her love for science, Katya is also Vice Captain at Haileybury Girls College, plays volleyball, enjoys swimming and playing piano at a Grade 8 level.

 

Looking ahead, Katya is excited to pursue the field of regenerative medicine through a pathway that will involve research and medicine. She will continue to be a role model for young girls in STEMM and use science as a tool to solve real-world challenges.

 

As a 2019 Graeme Clark Oration Ambassador, Katya is very excited to hear about Professor Denison's experience in combining traditional technological skills with biology at the intersection of seemingly distance fields. Katya hopes that she and other young people will provide a valuable perspective and contribute to the discussion surrounding the development of future technologies that will have a direct impact on their lives.

 

 

 

 

Betty Zhang

Convergence Science Network

2018 Graeme Clark Oration Youth Ambassador

 

The Graeme Clark Oration

The Graeme Clark Oration is delivered by global leaders in health and medical science in honour of Prof. Graeme Clark’s pioneering work in developing the bionic ear in Melbourne in the 1970’s.  It is recognised as Australia’s most prestigious free public science event and is attended by secondary school students.