Often In2science mentors give their students unique opportunities to participate in real life STEM applications. Mentor David from The University of Melbourne is one of them. This year, David presented several workshops to high school students in the Hobson’s Bay City Council through the Creativity in Research, Engineering, Science and Techology (CREST) program run by the CSIRO.
In these workshops, David focused on applying scientific method to real challenges currently facing their community. David said the most enriching part was giving “them a chance to think about and question how they could use STEM to manipulate the world around them”.
David Gavaghan joined In2science in 2018 while completing his Bachelor of Science, majoring in Infection and Immunity at The University of Melbourne. He became a mentor because he wanted an opportunity to give back, “I believe that the education I received and the influences I had during my high school experience played a large role in where I am today…I wanted the opportunity to pay that forward and help to improve the outcomes of those students from less represented areas”.
According to David, “getting to experience the growth of the relationships you build with the students over a 10-week period” is the best part of In2science. This is David’s favourite part because over time “their curiosity and desire to engage with you and ask questions increases and you start to witness the true importance of your presence in their class”. When asked about challenges David says that coming in as a stranger is always the most daunting, but “it also provides a really great opportunity to apply your creativity and problem-solving skills to think of ways to get students excited about science as someone they relate to”.
This experience with In2science has also prompted David to pursue a postgraduate degree in Secondary Education. “In2science has helped me cement my passion for education and my desire to address the educational disparities that are currently being experienced within Australia. I want to continue to be the mentor and science communicator that In2science has allowed me to be”.