Are you afraid of flying? Liam Morey is most definitely not. He’s the daring 16-year-old setting off around Australia to spread the word about STEM to students around the country. Did we mention he’s doing all this by flying himself in a teeny tiny jet plane?
Before he jets off on his national tour, we spoke to Liam to get the lowdown on how he came up with such a crazy idea, why he loves to fly, and how more teens can get in on the action.
What sparked your interest in flying?
Ever since I was a little kid I have always loved watching the jets go by my house while I was jumping on the trampoline. There has always just been something about the sky that I find fascinating and enticing. My favourite thing to do of all time is take first-time flyer friends up for a joyride around the stunning scenery here on the Sunshine Coast at sunrise. There is nothing better…
After high school I am hoping to get my flight instructor rating which will let me teach other people how to fly, as well as go to Uni and study either a mathematics or computer science degree, eventually ending up with a career in data science. I am a number cruncher at heart, so getting to work with data all day just might be a dream come true.
How did you come up with the idea for TeenAroundOz?
Funnily enough, and as millennial as it sounds, it was a Facebook friend that suggested it to me. As cool as it sounded, I felt it was a bit too much of a task to take on at such a young age. Eventually though, after some thought, discussions with a few people, and a lot of effort, we managed to get it off the ground.
So, what’s TeenAroundOz all about?
TeenAroundOz is really all about spreading two main ideas to young people. Number 1: STEM IS SO COOL! and Number 2: We can do anything we want if we just put our minds to it.
Increasing the profile of the STEM Australia-wide is really the main focus, and it goes well with the youth empowerment message of TeenAroundOz. It’s showing young people that age is simply no longer a barrier to let their awesome ideas take off into something special. And that right there is the message I’m hoping to spread.
What sparked your interest in STEM?
I’ve always loved playing with electronics in my free time, taking stuff apart, seeing how it works, etc. In high school I started to get a taste of what real-world science and maths looked like, and I have never looked back since.
I currently undertake IPT (Computer Science), Chemistry and both Maths B and C in school and it’s a great way of learning about our world, its problems and how we can fix them, and has some fantastic career opportunities to back it up too.
STEM is truly what I love learning about, and I believe that by increasing the awareness to more people, they can start to love STEM too.
And secondary to all that, I’m just a sucker for a cool piece of tech. Enough said.
What’s your advice for someone that wants to follow in your TeenAroundOz footsteps?
Start early. Be prepared. Work HARD.
There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes for an adventure like this, it really isn’t funny. I would suggest getting help from some trustworthy people around you, and get stuck in straight away. Be sure to have a great support network. Ensure that this is what you want to do because you will be spending every free hour of time on this until the day it actually happens.
Remember that a major problem is just a series of smaller problems that need to be solved, and that NOTHING is unsolvable.
So prove the haters wrong, and go smash that awesome idea of yours.
For anyone interested in keeping up to date with the trip, visit facebook.com/teenaroundoz. I take off on September 8th, so keep an eye out for me in the sky near you!
– Eliza Brockwell
“[TeenAroundOz is] showing young people that age is simply no longer a barrier to let their awesome ideas take off into something special.”
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Author: Eliza Brockwell
Eliza is passionate about creating content that encourages diversity of representation in STEM.