By many measures, the 2012 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) was a dramatic success. The conference was held in Vancouver in February 2012 and broke multiple world records for participation in the event.
Perhaps less obvious was the pivotal role of students and the next-generation of global scientific leaders.
Advanced Applied Physics Solutions, Inc. (AAPS) worked with TRIUMF to secure the participation of more than a dozen Canadian students in the overlapping and joint meeting of the American Junior Academy of Sciences (AJAS) — this U.S.-based organization brings together the top high-school science students from each of the 50 states for a special conference the includes participation in select sessions of the AAAS meeting. This year, AAPS directly supported the participation of several Canadian students to join the AJAS in getting full benefit of the AAAS conference. AAPS is focused not only on short-term commercialization success but also attracting and retaining the next generation of talent in Canada. By supporting the participation of Canadian students in this landmark event, AAPS contributed to young people seeing science and technology as a globally attractive career path. Said one student, “I learned so much and was inspired by all the people I met and all the talks I listened to. I really appreciated it. After that weekend, I came back to school and wouldn’t stop talking about it with my teacher and other classmates that went as well. It was amazing!”
As part of their experience of the world’s most prestigious scientific conference, students took tours of local science facilities, had breakfast with Canada’s leading scientists (including TRIUMF’s Makoto Fujiwara and Jens Dilling), and attended special sessions. The group of more than 120 students visited AAPS and TRIUMF on February 16. In this photo, they learned about isotopes and accelerator-based separation technologies from Professor John D’Auria on their visit to the Isotope Separator Test Facility (ISTF), an AAPS-led innovation project.
One of the chaperones of the students noted, “The students had a great time and learned a lot. Two of the students have decided that they want to do research in their future, ‘not just medicine’ to use their words.”
A strong salute to AAPS and AAAS for the excellent experience!
— by T.I. Meyer, Head of TRIUMF’s Strategic Planning and Communication Office