STEM on the agenda

By September 2, 2018News

August was a busy month for STEM education in Victoria, with a series of exciting initiatives taking place during National Science Week and beyond. From policy discussions to regional STEM expos and award ceremonies, In2science was there and brings you some highlights!

Federal Government Women in STEM Roundtable

In2science contributed to the Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Strategy of the federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. The Strategy is to help coordinate the Australian Government’s efforts to increase women’s participation in STEM from primary to tertiary education through to all levels of employment, including in senior academic roles.

In2science submitted a paper in response to consultation questions and Dr Maddy Yewers (In2science Coordinator, University of Melbourne) sat on a consultation roundtable with representatives from a wide variety of organisations: Victorian Government Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources; Victorian Government Department of Education & Training; Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering; Australian Research Council; Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE); Questacon; Office of the Chief Scientist of Australia; Office of the Lead Scientist of Victoria; and Science and Technology Australia.

Growth Goals and Growth Mindsets

In2science attended the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Graduate School of Education 2018 Dean’s Lecture, “Growth Goals and Growth Mindset in Today’s Classroom: Why and How Do They Matter?”, by Professor of Educational Psychology, Andrew J. Martin from The University of New South Wales. Professor Martin outlined how a growth mindset and personal-best goals can lead to students’ increased academic achievement and engagement. His research indicates that simply setting personal best goals lead to significant educational and behavioural gains. Students focus on outperforming themselves instead of comparing themselves to others.

Professor Martin has a number of useful resources on his website, including a template to set student personal best goals. In2science mentors are encouraged to foster growth mindsets amongst their student mentees and these resources will be shared with them during our mid-placement training sessions.

Wangaratta Regional STEM Expo 

On Wednesday 15th August, in the midst of National Science Week, In2science eMentoring hit the road to participate in the Wangaratta STEM Expo. Hosted at Galen Catholic College, the annual expo is a chance for young people in the area to chat to local businesses and organisations about STEM employment opportunities, see the award-winning Galen VEX Robotics team in action, and explore the exciting options that STEM-based studies and jobs can offer.

With the help from previous mentees at Galen Catholic College, and eMentors Alison and Emilly Edsell in Melbourne, eMentoring Support Officer Rachael hosted a stall to share the program with students, teachers and parents in the Wangaratta area. Primary and high schools students alike were excited to ask current mentors Alison and Emily questions about science and university. It was great way to showcase the opportunities that technology can provide students in regional and rural areas.

Special thanks go out to the Digital Technology Advisory Committee in Wangaratta, and Maree Timms and Bernadette Albertson at Galen Catholic College for organising such a successful display of STEM opportunities.

CSIRO CREST Awards 

Congratulations to students from three In2science schools (Laverton P-12 College, Bayside College and Altona P-9 College) who recently received their Bronze awards for the CSIRO Creativity in Research, Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) program. These schools participated in the CREST awards through the coordination of Hobsons Bay City Council Sustainability Team in collaboration with CSIRO.

In2science were thrilled to speak to the students at the awards ceremony held at Hobsons Bay City Council Chambers during National Science Week. In2science mentor Louisa Ellis, a Hobsons Bay resident and Bachelor of Science student at The University of Melbourne, presented to the students on her pathway and interests in science. She was joined by the University of Melbourne’s In2science coordinator, Dr Maddy Yewers, who discussed emerging new areas and hybrid careers in STEM as well as her research in evolutionary biology.

For more information about CREST, please see https://www.csiro.au/en/Education/Programs/CREST