Aayushi’s Story

I never imagined that two weeks could have such a profound impact on my life, but my experience at the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) proved me wrong. LIYSF was undeniably the most incredible and transformative experience I’ve ever had. It was a true honor to have been selected to attend this forum. I distinctly remember the mixture of excitement and anxiety I felt on the very first day when I arrived, knowing absolutely nobody. However, my apprehension quickly melted away as everyone was so incredibly kind and welcoming. In fact, by the time dinner concluded, I had already made plans to meet up with a group of kids from over six different countries!

One of the most remarkable aspects of LIYSF was the opportunity to connect with people from all corners of the globe — eighty-four countries, to be precise. It was truly awe-inspiring to witness the power of science bringing us together, transcending geographical boundaries and cultural differences. We shared a mutual passion for science, which became the common thread that bound us in an unforgettable journey of discovery and friendship.

Another amazing opportunity we had at LIYSF was the privilege to attend lectures conducted by world-renowned scientists, which was an unforgettable experience. We even had the privilege of hearing from Professor Ben Feringa. He didn’t just talk about his groundbreaking research; he shared his personal journey to winning a Nobel Prize. What made his lecture so special was that it wasn’t just about science; it was about the human side of it. He showed us that even the brightest minds face challenges and setbacks along the way. Hearing about his struggles and triumphs made science feel more relatable and exciting. It was a reminder that behind every scientific breakthrough, there’s a story of hard work, determination, and a passion for discovery. Professor Feringa’s talk left a lasting impression, reminding us that the world of science is not only fascinating but also filled with inspiring stories of perseverance and success.

Another amazing lecture was the one delivered by Professor Dame Sue Black. Her presentation was nothing short of captivating, as she delved deep into her pioneering work. What made her research so fascinating was its innovative nature – she was at the forefront of developing cutting-edge techniques and databases used to confirm or challenge a person’s identity based solely on photographs of their hands or arms. This unique approach is steadily gaining importance within the realm of prosecution cases, and it was enlightening to see how this technology is revolutionizing modern forensic science. Professor Dame Sue Black’s lecture not only broadened our understanding of the field but also underscored the real-world impact of scientific advancements. It was a vivid reminder that science isn’t confined to the laboratory; it plays a vital role in shaping the world we live in, and her talk truly brought that message home.

The Science Bazaar was undeniably one of the trip’s highlights. Here, every student researcher had the opportunity to showcase their work, and it was a celebration of both our diversity and the profound impact of our research. What made this experience truly special was the kaleidoscope of perspectives on display. We all came from different corners of the globe, bringing with us unique backgrounds, cultures, and thought processes. However, as we gathered together, exchanging our research findings, it became clear that science possessed the remarkable ability to bring us together. We formed a rich tapestry of diverse ideas and innovations, with each contribution adding to the broader mosaic of knowledge.

As I presented my project, I could see the genuine interest and curiosity in the faces of my peers. Likewise, as I moved from booth to booth, I was equally enthralled by the diverse array of topics and the profound impact that each project had.

Following the Science Bazaar, a total of twelve projects were selected for presentation to all the attendees at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS). I was fortunate to be one of the researchers chosen to step onto the stage and deliver a brief three-minute overview of my project. This opportunity was truly amazing, offering valuable lessons in communicating science in a more informal manner and helping me become more comfortable with public speaking in front of sizable audiences.

Honestly, I experienced a mix of excitement and nervousness while getting ready to present my science project to an audience of over 500 people, which included distinguished scientists and fellow student researchers. However, once I stepped onto the stage and started sharing the details of my work and research, it turned into an incredibly rewarding experience. It was truly amazing to witness how engaged and interested they were in what I had to say. What made it even more special was receiving positive feedback from other students who enjoyed my presentation.

LIYSF offered us the incredible opportunity to explore various colleges and universities, immersing ourselves in the cutting-edge research being conducted and gaining insights into the diverse realms of science. One visit that left an indelible mark on me was our trip to the School of Anatomy at the University of Bristol. It wasn’t just about hearing from surgeons who work on animals and delve into animal anatomy; it was about understanding the profound differences when it comes to working on humans. What made it truly unforgettable was the hands-on experience we received. We were fortunate enough to use their state-of-the-art machinery to conduct ultrasounds on our own arms and necks. Witnessing the intricate interplay of veins, arteries, blood, and muscles in our own bodies was a profound and unforgettable experience.
Another visit that stood out was our excursion to Cambridge. Stepping into their laboratories and witnessing the cutting-edge machinery in action was nothing short of incredible. I had the privilege of using their microscopes to observe mutated Drosophila melanogaster, a type of fly. It was an exciting firsthand encounter with genetic research, providing a thrilling glimpse into the limitless potential of the scientific world.

I was even fortunate enough to interview Sir Peter Rubin, delving into his remarkable journey in the field of science. Sir Peter Rubin, a distinguished scientist and researcher, shared his insights, experiences, and the evolution of his scientific pursuits. We discussed the pivotal moments in his career, the challenges he encountered, and the breakthroughs he achieved. It was a rare opportunity to gain a deep understanding of the passion and dedication that drive individuals like Sir Peter Rubin to make significant contributions to the scientific community. His story provided valuable insights into the multifaceted world of science, inspiring me to pursue my own scientific aspirations with even greater enthusiasm and determination.

Without LIYSF, I would have never had the opportunity to do these amazing things. LIYSF undeniably contributed significantly to my scientific knowledge. The lectures and visits I had the privilege of attending during the forum played a pivotal role in broadening my horizons and providing me with invaluable insights into the diverse aspects of research. The lectures delivered by world-renowned scientists introduced me to cutting-edge developments in various scientific fields, showcasing the real-world applications of science and its potential to address complex global issues. Moreover, the visits to different colleges and universities exposed me to the latest research projects and methodologies, offering a tangible connection between theory and practice. Overall, LIYSF provided a dynamic platform for me to interact with experts in various scientific disciplines, engage in discussions, and envision the possibilities of a future in research. It was an enriching experience that not only expanded my scientific knowledge but also fueled my passion for exploring the limitless frontiers of science. Also, LIYSF had a huge impact on both my confidence and personal development. Engaging with peers from diverse backgrounds and renowned scientists in a collaborative and intellectually stimulating environment boosted my confidence in my ability to communicate, collaborate, and share my ideas effectively.

Furthermore, LIYSF significantly expanded my network. Interacting with fellow student researchers from around the world and building connections with established scientists opened doors to a global network of like-minded individuals. The bonds I formed were not just professional and academic; they led to lasting friendships with people from diverse backgrounds. During our free time, we often set out to explore the city together. Walking around London with my friends was an enjoyable experience. We casually strolled through various neighborhoods, taking in the sights and the unique atmosphere of each area. Our adventures led us to iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, where we marveled at its grandeur. We also took leisurely strolls along the banks of the Thames River, allowing us to appreciate the city’s waterfront beauty. Saying goodbye to these newfound friends from around the world at the end of the experience was genuinely bittersweet.

Reflecting on my time at LIYSF, I’m immensely grateful and proud to have had the opportunity to represent the United States and build enduring friendships with people from all over the world.In every sense, LIYSF was a truly life-changing experience that left me with a network of connections and friendships that continue to enrich my personal and professional life. Thank you to everyone who played a part in making the 64th London International Youth Science Forum an unforgettable experience.


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