Luke’s Story

I’m Luke Stagno Navarra (17), I’m Maltese living in Belgium and represented Nepal at the 60th LIYSF.

I applied to be part of LIYSF because I had heard that it was a great experience. What an understatement that was. I was already excited for the Forum as we had been given the option to choose specialist lectures and visits which included lectures on aerodynamics and visits to facilities at Airbus and Rolls Royce which for a high school student with an interest in aerospace is certainly something.

Through the plenary lectures, LIYSF gave me the opportunity to appreciate the branches of science that I no longer study at school and how different disciplines interact to innovate. The specialist lectures gave me more insight into aerospace engineering and confirmed what I wanted to study at university. All the lectures were engaging as they were always followed by interesting questions other participants had thought of that left me wanting to ask my own questions which meant I nearly always followed up afterwards. The lecturers were always happy to discuss in further detail what they covered and even gave their email address if we had any other questions.

One of the highlights was the Science Bazaar poster board evening, seeing the depth and variety of science available was incredible. While I did not create a project myself I was amazed at the standard of research the other participants had conducted and it was a great opportunity to discuss the projects they had been working on.

Thanks to LIYSF I was lucky enough to visit the Royal Institution, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy and Airbus. Each visit was extremely informative, and we really got a sense of the work done in industry. We were sometimes given workshops to complete and it was great to work together with other participants and to investigate and find solutions to the problems we had been given.

Science is just one side of LIYSF, the participants really make the forum special. At first, I felt a little nervous not knowing anyone but quickly realised I shouldn’t as everyone was in the same situation and we all had a common passion for science. As a student of an international school I felt right at home in such a multicultural atmosphere and I gained a more global perspective. During the forum we had the freedom to make our own program, as well as the ability to choose our lectures we could also choose optional visits or create our own ourselves. The centre of London was no better place to be as we were surrounded by things to see and discover. With my new-found friends we visited the British Museum, Covent Garden, Hyde Park, Sherlock Holmes Museum and explored Oxford after the visit to the fusion centre.

During the opening ceremony one of the staff members had said; “The more you put in to LIYSF the more you get out of it”. Inspired by this I decided to try and participate in everything I could, this ended up in me creating and performing a stand-up routine for the first time. Admittedly I did not get through the rigorous auditions for the international cabaret, but undeterred I decided to perform for my friends and we got some good laughs out of it.

As the forum drew to a close we felt a bit sad because we had such a good time and we would miss our new friends. After exchanging funky socks and scribbling in each other’s program books, we cried and said goodbye. Only to continue our friendships digitally.

Thank you to all the staff and lecturers who made these 2 weeks such a memorable and perfect experience. If you are attending LIYSF put as much as you can into it because what you can get out is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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