In2science is an innovative and proven multi-university schools partnership program that places university students as peer mentors in Victorian low socio-economic schools.
Enthusiastic In2science peer mentors are currently studying university degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) disciplines. They are placed as volunteers in secondary school science or maths classes, joining the class once per week for a 10 week period. Working with the classroom teacher, the mentors help students, share their own experiences and motivations for studying at university, and relate school work to real-world examples. In2science mentors also act as role models, sharing their passion for STEM and encouraging secondary students from educationally-disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue tertiary studies.
Through weekly interactions, mentors help to:
- increase student engagement in science and mathematics
- enhance understanding of content and dispel common misconceptions
- break down stereotypes and provide a human face for science and maths; and
- build students’ own aspirations for STEM studies and careers
In2science has two delivery methods:
- In-class Mentoring: mentors attend the class in person and help the students with their learning in a small group or whole class setting
- eMentoring: an innovative online mentoring program that connects secondary school students in regional Victoria with eMentors over an interactive platform
The In2science program outcomes supports the National STEM School Education Strategy goals and areas for national action. Equally, they directly meet the Victorian Department of Education and Training VicSTEM priorities for future action, including:
- Supporting effective STEM learning, engagement, and collaboration
- Connecting educators, learners and families with STEM resources, programs, and specialist support
- Identifying ways to attract more STEM graduates to teaching, to ensure a supply of qualified teachers into the future
- Building expertise in current teachers to deliver exciting and effective STEM teaching and learning programs
- Supporting more students, including girls and other underrepresented groups, to excel in STEM, become confident in their STEM-related abilities, understand the relevance of STEM learning to a diverse range of jobs, and pursue STEM careers