2023 International Student Science Conference: Charli Mack

INSPIRED: Year 11 student Charli Mack (far right) says the experience sparked her ambition to work in medicine.

PLC Armidale students held their own at the recent International Student Science Conference(ISSC) held for the first time in New South Wales, hosted by our sister school, PLC Sydney. 

Founded in 2005 with an initial six member schools, the ISSC seeks “to bring together students from around the world in a shared science and cultural experience”. 

Over the course of five days, eight of our high-performing Year 10 and 11 Science students were selected to join with students from Germany, India, Italy, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the oldest all-boys school in Tasmania, The Hutchins School, to explore the theme Bright Minds Shine a Light. 

Together the group attended some amazing workshops with leaders working at the forefront of modern science and presentations from fellow students on a vast array of topics.

We asked each of our representatives to tell us about one day of the tour and their highlights.

Year 11 student Charli Mack said the experience inspired her ambition to work in medicine. 

Monday 15 May

“We departed from the YHA at 7:20am to get on a train to PLC Sydney. 

“When at PLC Sydney we heard from our first keynote speaker, Professor Veena Sahajwalla who is an internationally recognised materials scientist, engineer and inventor revolutionising recycling science, renowned for pioneering the high-temperature transformation of waste in the production of a new generation of ‘green materials.’ 

“After Professor Sahajwalla spoke, the student science presentations commenced. The three schools to present on this day were Stella Matutina College, The Hutchins School and The Doon School. 

“The presentations were thoroughly investigated and consisted of presentations of the impact of blue light on the retina in zebrafish, determining what type of sunscreen absorbs the most UV light and testing a new biodegradable type of packaging. 

“After the presentation concluded we headed to the University of Sydney (USYD)where we split into two groups to participate in a workshop, ‘Using spectroscopy to study Egyptian Mummies’, at the Chau Chak Wing Museum and to visit the Ainsworth Interactive Collection of Medical Pathology, before visiting the Biomedical Engineering Faculty. 

“At the end of the day, we walked to Spice Alley which was our dinner stop for this evening before returning to YHA.

“The whole trip was such an amazing experience and was both so much fun and very educational. My favourite part probably would have had to be on Monday when we visited the Ainsworth Interactive Collection of Medical Pathology.

“When I leave PLCA, I would love to pursue something in the medical field, whether it is sports physiotherapy or becoming a doctor.

“This trip has definitely inspired this ambition and taught me that this is the right field for me.”