WHILE most students in the Hunter were enjoying their break from studies, a group of science buffs got a taste for robotics at the University of Newcastle yesterday.
James Nicol, 18, and Sarah Frazer, 17, were given a brief look into future career options as they programmed soccer-playing robots.
They were part of about 25 students participating in a National Youth Science Forum program, which aims to encourage Australia's next leading scientists and researchers.
Mr Nicol, of St Philip's Christian College, said it had helped him decided his future.
"Being involved has affirmed what I want to study and it's given me a few options to choose from," he said.
"It's also nice to meet a bunch of like-minded people."
Declan Clausen, 21, attended the program in 2010 and is now studying a double degree in environmental engineering and science through a Hunter Water scholarship.
"I gained an understanding of the different fields of science and it helped me understand where I wanted to go," he said.
The group also took in the CSIRO's Energy Centre and Orica's Kooragang site. Today they visit Sydney universities.