The Future Project

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The King’s School is inviting applications from students seeking to join ‘The Future Project’ in 2023.

The King’s School Future Project (TFP) was established in 2014, pioneering one of the first programs of its kind in a school environment. It is a cutting-edge example of the transformational power of industry-school partnerships. The central mission of The Future Project is to motivate and engage the next generation of scientists and engineers. It allows students to collaborate with one another and with industry and university partners in an enriching and globally-focused STEAM program.

The Future Project Senior Interns work on authentic research projects in industry-level laboratories with research companies that are partners of The Future Project. The science and engineering that students are exposed to is outside the normal school curriculum but within reach of their current knowledge and provides an opportunity for challenge, self-directed learning, extension, and endeavour. The Future Project advances the much-needed development of science and research in our nation and is the first of its kind in Australian Schools.

In 2023, The Future Project will offer two project collaborations:

  • The Hydgene Renewables Project, and
  • The Quantal Biology Project.

The projects are outlined below.

Hydgene Renewals Project

In 2023, The Future Project will continue its partnership with HydGene Renewables, who work in the field of synthetic biology and engineering. Their vision is to help facilitate 100% renewable energy, decarbonise industries, and generate a truly sustainable and circular economy by providing clean hydrogen from renewable sugar‐based feedstock sources.

In 2022, students worked alongside HydGene to develop a synthetic biology project which led the students to be the first Australian High School team to be accepted into the International Genetic Engineering Machine (iGEM) Competition and Expo, which was held in Paris in October 2022.

The iGEM competition is a worldwide event for students in the growing field of Synthetic Biology. Every year, more than 300 student teams from across the world compete over the iGEM season and use synthetic biology to build new biological systems and operate them in living cells.

The iGEM competition season commences in April when students choose their own project and spend until September working on designing and engineering their new biological system to address their chosen issue. Another major part of the student’s project is the education and communication of their science to the broader scientific community and public. This “Human Practices” component is linked to their research project goals. It can involve a broad range of activities, including public forum discussions, industrial collaborations, activities that engage school students and the wider community, and collaborative activities where the students engage with other teams from around the world.

At the end of the competition season, all teams gather at the iGEM Jamboree event and present the results from their projects. Students are judged by experts in the field and are eligible for prizes based on their level of achievement. The overall goals are to grow the community of scientists in the skills of systematic engineering of biology, to promote an open and transparent development of tools for engineering biology, and to help construct a society that can productively and safely apply biological technology.

The Quantal Biology Project

The Future Project will also continue its long-term partnership with Quantal Bioscience. Quantal Bioscience has supported The Future Project since its inception in 2014. They have been integral in developing an enrichment program, allowing students collaborative opportunities to work within specialised laboratory environments and deepen their understanding of applied microbiology and microbiomics.

In 2023, Quantal Bioscience will deliver to The Future Project Senior Interns a program of research centred on sourcing new antibiotics from the environment that intersects with the Tiny Earth program administered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison of which Quantal Bioscience. This project extends beyond the biology and chemistry components of the research to encompass Quantal’s expertise in molecular biology and bioinformatics, together with anaerobic microbiology.

Each year, Tiny Earth holds virtual and in-person symposia to showcase students’ Tiny Earth research presentations and engage the Tiny Earth community, sponsors, and leaders across industry, academia, and healthcare in learning more about antibiotic resistance and the science of student-sourcing discovery.

Students from around the world are invited to present their research and participate in the Tiny Earth Winter Symposium, usually held in December of each year at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

In addition to these programs, The Future Project will continue to foster ongoing partnerships where students will be provided opportunities to work alongside universities such as UWS, UNSW and other globally acclaimed industry partners.

Cost of Participation

The King’s School is proud to continue to provide the opportunity for students in various schools across Sydney to be a part of The Future Project in 2023. Participation in the program will cost $3,800. Payment will be required on acceptance into the program and is non-refundable.

The iGEM and Tiny Earth projects will likely provide an opportunity to travel internationally to participate in competitions or symposia. The cost of these components will be in addition to the base costs of the program and is likely to be in the order of $6,000. Participation in the overseas component of the projects is not compulsory and does not affect the outcomes of the student internship with The Future Project.

Specific Program Requirements

Details on the program’s requirements, including time commitments and key performance indicators, can be found here. 

How to Nominate

Applications are invited and must be lodged on the application form by Monday, 5 December 2022.

Applicants are asked to rank their project preferences, noting that they may not be offered their first preference due to restrictions on places.

Enquiries can be directed to Ms Renay Mannah, Head of Science at The King’s School, on telephone (02) 9683 8555 or via email at rmannah@king’s.edu.au

How to Nominate:

Enquiries can be directed to Ms Renay Mannah via email rmannah@kings.edu.au or on the telephone 02 9683 8555.

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