In2science is thrilled to announce that Monash University will be joining the program as a partner university from 2019. Through Access Monash, In2science will be working to encourage high school students from under-represented communities pursue degrees in STEM.
By Rachael McCullough
In2science hosted a dynamic Industry-Schools Partnerships Forum at The University of Melbourne on Thursday 13th of September. With attendees from Government, STEM industry, universities, and schools across the Melbourne area, the forum was testament to the growing interest in collaborative STEM partnerships between schools and industry.
In2science is extremely proud of the outstanding young university students who volunteer to mentor high school science and maths students. Their enthusiasm is infectious and the talent and abilities they bring to the program are the reason In2science has such a positive impact on all who participate. In this issue we profile three of our wonderful mentors. Please allow us to introduce you to Chloe, Dalton and Lachlan.
Strengthening Industry partnerships is a priority for both Schools and Universities. Students of all ages benefit significantly from making connections between their learning and the workplace.
On a cold and windy morning in late August, In2science mentors gained valuable advice on planning a career in STEM, resumé preparation and interview tips at a workshop hosted by Ericsson.
More Victorian secondary school students from regional and rural backgrounds are reaping the benefits of connecting with university student eMentors as In2science expands its reach and forges new partnerships with regional schools. Through weekly online interactions, students who would otherwise be disadvantaged by geographical isolation or limited access to resources, discover their love of science and maths.
The Victorian Department of Education and Training recently featured the transformative experience of In2science eMentees from regional partner school Maffra Secondary College in its Stories from the Education State series. “Student mentoring takes education to the next level” emphasised how programs like In2science utilise funding from the Department to ensure that Victoria remains the Education State. Maffra SC student, Charlotte was effusive in her praise for the program, “The In2science program has been an amazing help for me in and outside of school, and I would encourage anyone who loves STEM to try it and see what it can offer.”
Robyn Gamble, In2science eMentoring Coordinator, recently had the pleasure of meeting with staff and students at some of our new regional partner schools. In a jam-packed itinerary, Robyn presented a Partner School certificate to an eMentoring student from Catholic College Wodonga, as well a Partner School Certificate to the students and staff at Sacred Heart College in Yarrawonga, where Principal Lew Nagle sang the praises of In2science, delineating the opportunities the program provides their students to ignite their passion for STEM, thereby inspiring them to pursue a STEM-based career. A short drive down the highway and Robyn was warmly welcomed by Tiffany Chandler, from one of In2science’s newest partner schools, Notre Dame College in Shepparton. With its combination of passionate teachers, outstanding new science facilities, and the new In2science partnership, it is evident that Notre Dame College students are afforded every opportunity to explore science and the rewarding STEM-based careers that can follow.
Interested in hosting a mentor? Click here!
Semester 1, 2018 saw 129 In2science mentors from La Trobe University, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology and The University of Melbourne continue the proud In2science tradition of inspiring secondary school students to continue studying STEM subjects and aspire to STEM-based careers.
In doing so, In2science mentors volunteered a total of 1169 hours to help 1780 high school students across 39 partner schools.
Consistent with past appraisals, feedback from students, teachers and mentors reflected the overwhelmingly positive impact the program has on all who participate.
“He showed us different parts of what part science plays in everyday life. It helped me to understand where science hides even if you don’t know it’s there.” – Yr 8 student, Rowville SC
“Lachlan was amazing with the students. He had an ability to quickly build rapport with students, share life experience, share tertiary knowledge and engage all at the same time. Lachlan helped all students in the class, and helped build curiosity in science.” – Teacher, Templestowe College
The majority of teachers (88%) noticed that certain students engaged more in the lesson when a mentor was present, while the same percentage also agreed that the mentor was a good role model for the students, sharing their passion, experience and knowledge of STEM career pathways. Furthermore, by hosting a mentor, 75% of teachers gained the capacity to undertake additional activities in the classroom, while 78% noted that the mentor contributed specialised subject knowledge and real-life examples. This positive teacher feedback is a testament to the high calibre of the mentors recruited to participate in the program.
“Bastien showed great initiative and was very proactive in assisting students and extending them beyond what I had planned, which was fantastic.” – Teacher, Glenroy SC
Indeed, the benefits of the program extend beyond the positive impacts experienced by students and teachers, as mentors also enjoy opportunities to accrue the ‘soft skills’ that will ensure they stand out in an ever more competitive employment market. Amongst mentors, 98% agreed that their participation in In2science enabled development of skills they will use in the future.
“This was one of the best experiences of my uni degree thus far! Can’t wait to do it again next semester.” – Lily Martin, Swinburne University of Technology student and mentor at Auburn High School
Most importantly, this semester saw the In2science program continue to achieve its aims of increasing student engagement in STEM and building students’ aspirations for STEM-based careers. These outcomes were especially strong for those students who mentors were able to work closely with over the course of the semester.
By Annabel Khamly
The mentors at In2science share the common traits of studying in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and having a passion for the scientific world. Other than this, mentors differ from one another immensely.
Each student has a different motivation for applying for In2science. Often, mentors hope to inspire youth by sharing their love for STEM, or some want to voice their diverse journeys to tertiary education. Many have had volunteering experience before and want to continue, and others are seeking opportunities to give back to the community.
In2science also aims to help the mentors in their professional development, giving them a platform to improve their communication, time-management and interpersonal skills. This reciprocation of benefits is what makes In2science such a great experience for both mentor and mentee.
Take a look at some of the 2018 mentors’ thoughts in the video above!
Annabel made this video during her internship with In2science, as part of her Bachelor of Science degree at The University of Melbourne. Congratulations Annabel and all the best for your future endeavours!
Want to become an In2science mentor? Click here!
What are you studying, and why do you like it? I am in my second year of uni studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at La Trobe University. I like the course because of its flexibility in terms of the subjects I want to learn. My core subjects are a maximum of two biochemistry subjects per semester and then I have free reign. I am doing a human anatomy and physiology major and love every minute of it. The way that all the subjects come together shows how deeply involved every structure of the body is. It really allows me to open up to a broader range of thinking when it comes down to something that can normally be so basic.
Tell us about your In2science placement! At first it was really daunting. I was placed in a biology class but had not done biology since first year. I walked into the first class and they were finishing their topic on plant biology – which was really lucky for me. Then I found out that the next topic was human biology, especially looking at the cardiovascular system. It was almost a real coincidence that this happened because I felt that I could now make a serious impact on the students when it comes to their learning. Every week they touch on a new topic and I am able to guide their thinking about a particular topic.
During the middle and end parts of the program I almost stepped into the teacher’s role in a way that I was able to lead a class discussion, teach them a new topic, or help them with their work if they ever needed it.
Why did you become an In2science mentor? A close friend actually recommended that I give the program a go. He knew I had a busy schedule but said that I would fit directly into the program because he saw how well I can interact with students. At first I was unsure about whether the it would be the right program for me, but I signed up knowing that this would be a great experience and would allow me to help influence the next generation of young thinkers.
What’s the best thing about In2science? Definitely the students. Every week the relationships that I build become stronger and stronger with the students. They look forward to me coming in, and I look forward to seeing them every week. Sometimes we don’t even talk about school – they talk to me about their everyday lives which is the best thing about it. I become less like a teacher, and more like a mentor in that regard.
What message do you hope to pass onto the students in your In2science class? Don’t disregard science, even in the most basic form. The logical thinking and processes of inquiry that are applied in class apply everywhere in life. If there’s only one thing to take out of your classes, it should be the ability to think, to learn and, in some cases, to relearn.
What do you want to do after you finish university and why? I would like to work in the sporting area, particularly with regards to concussion. I would like to go to medical school and learn how to treat and manage patients that suffer from concussions. Another option is working in research as a neurophysiologist with a specialisation in concussion – this way I may even be able to continue teaching but at a tertiary level.
If you could have an hour to chat with any scientist/mathematician, who would it be and why? James Watson and Francis Crick. They were the ones to discover that our DNA is in a double helix and encodes everything that makes us unique. How they did that during their time is incredible.
What advice would you give other students looking to get involved in In2science? Even if you’re not sure about it – do it! You’re not just a mentor for the kids in this role, you challenge yourself to think further. You force yourself to think in many different ways to explain things to students, and importantly, you learn a lot about yourself.