QIMR Berghofer team takes science to remote QLD communities

6 March 2024

School students in remote far north Queensland communities have been given access to some of the brightest scientific minds, with a visit from QIMR Berghofer researchers.

The QIMR Berghofer Regional Education Program is aimed at delivering science to children across Queensland, while demonstrating and encouraging pathways to careers in medical research.

Dr Nigel Waterhouse, Dr Ellie Paige and Andrew Laskary joined the education team on the northern outreach, the first leg of the ongoing program which takes QIMR Berghofer across the state.

Travelling by plane, bus and boat to reach Thursday Island, Bamaga in Cape York and Cairns, Dr Waterhouse said it was an incredible experience.

“The students were just amazing and they inspired us as much as we hoped to inspire them. They were really engaged and jumped straight on the microscopes and asked in-depth questions about what we were presenting.”

Dr Nigel Waterhouse and students from Tagai State College looking at healthy and diseased liver tissue

QIMR Berghofer Education Co-ordinator Dr Manuel Serrano Santos said the program was designed specifically for children in regional Queensland in consultation with the Department of Education, and the support has been far reaching.

“We were received with open arms. It was great to show students that science is possible for them, no matter how remote they are. We wanted to make sure that we not only have a footprint in the schools but also in the local area and QIMR has had a massive presence with this visit.”

Jude Di Giacomo from the Northern Peninsula Area State College said the visit opened the eyes of many students, particularly those with a natural flair for science.

“It’s not often a team of renowned scientists in their field working at an amazing institute in Brisbane travel all this way. How the research was presented to the students was just outstanding.”

The visit exposed the students to new opportunities in science and Jemima-Lee de Bree from Bentley Park College said this was invaluable.

“I don’t think they thought about medical research, becoming scientists or going down that pathway at all. So I do think that you guys (QIMR Berghofer researchers) coming has opened up that opportunity for the students.”

The QIMR Berghofer team of six presented to students from Tagai State College, Bamaga’s Northern Peninsula Area State College, Trinity Bay State High School and Bentley Park College as part of the Institute’s commitment to take science to the regions through its Regional Education Program.



Ann Rainbow
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