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STEM in Action PD

22/06/2017
STEM in Action PD
 
"It’s not every day you meet the Australian of the Year. Especially not in Gladstone, nor someone who has been recognised for their outstanding achievements in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). But, on the 20th of June, we had the opportunity to hear from Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, the 2017 Australian of the Year at the STEM in Action Professional Development Day at CQUniversity.
 
Along with year 10 students Ysabelle Glori, Kynan Elliott and Maddison Campbell, and numerous teachers from across the state, I was able to hear about Prof. Mackay-Sim’s work in STEM cell research in his keynote address. This address was an hour of spectacular information from the man who asked, ‘what happens if we put stem cells from people’s noses (olfactory ensheathing cells) into their spinal cord?’ The answer- a plausible, safe treatment to localised spinal cord injuries. The unfixable is now fixable. This understanding also applies to spinal cord injuries, but in the cellular modelling of schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and motor neurone disease, resulting in greater knowledge and thus opportunity for solutions.
 
After this, the four of us were able to sit down with Prof. Mackay-Sim, CQUniversity Provost Prof. Helen Huntly, and Dean of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences Dr Fiona Coulson to discuss STEM pathways and his own journey. It was such a valuable opportunity to talk to someone so accomplished and be able to ask any questions we had. The key piece of information- keep your options open, and keep exploring and expanding your horizons. In the vastness of the STEM field, you never know where you’ll end up.
 
Thank you to everyone who was involved in delivering this fantastic event."
 
Jasmine Elliott—School Captain.