The diversity of the 2018 In2science volunteer university mentors is immense and they are continually impressing the In2science team. From reading each mentor’s application, to having an interview, to then undergoing a thorough training schedule, the mentors bring many unique qualities to the In2science program.
Here is a snapshot of some of our mentors who are about to head out to schools for the next 10 weeks:
From being told that she wasn’t cut out to study science or maths subjects at high school, to completing a university research project in machine learning and galaxy classification, Lily is living proof that every student has enormous potential to excel. After discovering her passion for science through an honours degree in nursing, a job in a telescope shop, and Brian Cox videos, Lily is now studying Bachelor of Science (Physics) at Swinburne University of Technology and loving it! She is keen to mentor young students to help them achieve their full potential and to let them know that it’s OK to take some turns to work out where you true passions lie.
At a young age Meg was drawn to the sciences. Her interests ranged from rock collecting to launching homemade mentos shuttles – trying to figure out how to adjust the shuttle’s flight projectile path so it wouldn’t destroy the garden was her first introduction to mathematics. Later on, she combined these two loves to study Petroleum Engineering. Meg has since worked in various oil rigs in the desert and jungles of Asia as an engineer for 5 years. She is now studying a Masters of Analytics at RMIT University and is a passionate and committed mentor who is looking forward to inspiring more girls into engineering.
After spending 6 years in the Australian Air Force Cadets and Royal Rangers Australia, Tim’s interests in solving abstract problems and mathematics brought him to studying a Bachelor of Science (nanotechnology) at La Trobe University. He is an enthusiastic and engaging mentor who underwent his secondary education being home-schooled through the Australian Christian Home Schooling system and is passionate to share his unique STEM experiences and interests with the next generation.
Ashleigh is a Melbourne University PhD student in Medical Biology and is based at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Volunteering is not new to Ashleigh. She has volunteered for Embrace Education homework club for years 7-10 students at a high school in Fawkner, and she is passionate about being an In2science mentor because she believes everyone should have access to science and people in science, regardless of their circumstances and background.
These four, along with 100+ other fellow STEM university students, were trained by their In2science coordinator from their respective universities. The specialised In2science training program equips mentors with the necessary skills and confidence required to best help their mentees. Mentors cover a range of key areas including: communication skills, growth mindset, student diversity, gender inclusivity and STEM skills for any job. The training enhances the mentors’ own interpersonal skills, increases their awareness of the importance of being a positive role model and reinforces the required boundaries when mentoring students in the classroom or online.
In addition to the in-person training, eMentors for regional school students were trained online using the same technology they will use with their mentees. This allowed them to utilise the online platform, resources, share strategies and discuss the main stages of developing an effective mentoring relationship within an online environment.
These new mentors will be joining 30+ returning mentors as they all embark on their mentoring journey for the new semester. And although each mentor will have a very unique experience in their allocated group, their passion and enthusiasm for science are sure to inspire the next generation.