The John Mainstone Youth Lecture Tour has wrapped up for another year after a successful tour!
Our 2019 John Mainstone Youth Lecturer was Dr. Pegah Maasoumi, a postdoctoral research fellow in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science at the University of Melbourne. The John Mainstone Youth Lecture Tour took Pegah and her presentation: ‘My organic Research’, to 12 Queensland schools from the Sunshine Coast, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Brisbane to Toowoomba where she inspired and engaged the students with her exciting research and her journey as a scientist.
Pegah talked to more than 600 students in years 10-12, revealing the secrets behind foldable mobile phones, Ironman’s suit and next generation of solar windows. She told the story of her journey as a scientist and enlightened the students about the excitement and opportunities with a career as a Physicist.
Pegah says: “no doubt, one of the highlights of my tour was the way students engaged with my research and story. The questions and ideas they shared during the talk, and all the promising feedback I got from their teachers, strongly suggest that they are considering science and Physics as career path. I am also very happy to be an organic example for them that a physicist is not just an old man with a fuzzy hair who works with forces. I like to think, they are now not picturing us as clumsy Big Bang Theory Physicists but more of capable Tony Stark version.”
“Their questions totally blew my mind” Pegah said, “one of the very common questions was, ‘why are we not using solar more?’ and ‘still our politicians insist on burning coal?’ That question for me was pure joy to see. Not only are we promoting and fostering future scientists, but perhaps smarter politicians and better future for Australia.”
Pegah believes the tour was very successful and nothing can be more effective than exposing our kids to living examples and questions out there. “I am absolutely grateful for this experience and I would love to see one of those bright girls as future John Mainstone Youth Lecturer and custodian of our worldwide famous pitch drop experiment.”