Inspiring the next generation of scientists at Biomedical Sciences Day

Year 10 and 11 students from across the state have enjoyed a day-in-the-life of a Biomedical Science student, and the career pathways available from the Bachelor of Biomedicine.

Over 120 students from rural and metro disadvantaged schools across Victoria were encouraged to pursue science, at a crucial time when they’ll be choosing their units of study and exploring university options. Biomedical Sciences Day, held annually with the support of Gene Technology Access Centre (GTAC) was a fun and interactive day that highlighted the exciting possibilities of studying biomedical science with the University of Melbourne.

Professor Jennifer Wilkinson-Berka, Head of School of Biomedical Sciences, welcomed students and introduced them to the discipline of biomedicine and the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct.

She shared her own journey being inquisitive and fascinated by Retinal Vascular Biology, and encouraged students to think about the science behind what creates, sustains and threatens people’s lives in Australia and beyond.

Professor Wilkinson-Berka told the students, “your scientific journey can start from anywhere”.

Students worked alongside researchers in the GTAC Laboratories to photograph specimens using light, fluorescence and scanning electron microscopes and entered their images into their own Under the Microscope Coverslip Competition.

“The microscope activities were really cool,” said Jay, a student from Kurnai College.

They also took a behind the scenes look at the University’s Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology and uncovered real tissue specimens and historical anatomical models.

Yea High School student Abby said the museum was "super interesting" and that it is "amazing to think our bodies look like that on the inside", commenting on the anatomy artefacts.

The tour of the Digital Learning Hub allowed students to experience how innovative digital technology is used to study the human body.

Upper Yarra Secondary School teacher Julianna said that it is a "wonderful opportunity" for the students to "access the amazing technology and equipment the university has available to its students".

A Student Recruitment representative also spoke to the students about Access Melbourne, an equity scheme that assists students from under-represented areas with entry to undergraduate study at the University of Melbourne. The students were also given information about the numerous scholarships and support services available to them when applying to study at Melbourne.

Kimberly, mum to Hannah from Kaniva College, said that "the program is such a great initiative" and that the information about Access Melbourne would be beneficial to so many aspiring medicine students like her daughter.

Biomedical students Isabella Gilchrist (1st Year Bachelor of Biomedicine), Karam Matloob (2nd Year Bachelor of Biomedicine), Ryan Shen (3rd Year Bachelor of Biomedicine), and Sandra Lin (3rd Year Bachelor of Biomedicine) spoke about their courses, the diverse research topics they are pursuing, life on campus and answered questions from the inquisitive audience.

Isabella, currently a first-year Biomedicine student, shared the differences to living in a big city, but making connections with other people of similar backgrounds in her college residence made it much more enjoyable.

Ryan also spoke about the benefits of studying Biomedicine due to the smaller cohort, which has allowed Biomedicine students to build a stronger bond.

Professor Wilkinson-Berka encouraged students to apply to the Bachelor of Biomedicine after completing their VCE studies. “When you come to Melbourne, you don’t just come to the School of Biomedical Sciences,” she said, “You have access to the whole of the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct, a collaboration of hospitals and research institutes that are right on our doorstep, not to mention the diverse range of career opportunities upon completion of your studies.”

This year, the program was over-subscribed with 65 schools and 865 students showing interest in the sessions. As we do not yet have the resources or capacity to accommodate for that number, we hope to expand the program next year with the help of GTAC.

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to a successful day!

Learn more about the Bachelor of Biomedicine.

Media Coverage:

Melbourne University Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences,  24 October 2023, Instagram Post

Australian Rural and Regional News, Thursday 19 October 2023, 'Kaniva college students steps inside the southern hemisphere's largest biomedical precinct'.

Brimbank Star Weekly, Tuesday 17 October 2023, p.14  'Budding scientists embrace university event'.

South Gippsland and Bass Coast Sentinel-Times, Tuesday 17 October 2023, p.56  'Students discover Melbourne University'.

Bass Coast Post,  12 October 2023, Facebook Post

Yea High School,  19 October 2023, Facebook Post

Murtoa College, 5 October 2023, Facebook Post

Bayswater Secondary College, 21 October 2023, Facebook Post