Work experience with an eMentor – an amazing opportunity!

By | News

Ashlee and Georgia in the laboratory.

In2science provides eMentoring sessions to students in regional Victoria to encourage engagement with STEM learning in high school and beyond. Students in these areas often have reduced learning opportunities, however this was not the case for eMentee Ashlee, a year 10 student at Galen Catholic College in Wangaratta. Ashlee was given an amazing opportunity by her eMentor Georgia, a PhD student at The University of Melbourne. Georgia organised for Ashlee to undertake work experience alongside her as she undertook research for her PhD project at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Parkville.

Georgia’s PhD project is titled ‘Utilising stem cells to model Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)’. ALS is a disease of the brain and spinal cord that causes a progressive loss of muscle control and currently has no cure. While undertaking her work experience, Ashlee was able to assist Georgia in conducting experiments as part of this vital research. Ashlee experienced what it is like working in a lab first-hand and learnt various laboratory techniques, an opportunity that she may not have otherwise had without the relationship cultivated and nurtured during In2science eMentoring sessions. “It was an absolute pleasure having her in the lab and she took to the techniques so incredibly well,” said Georgia. “An absolute super star!”

 

 

In2science is proud of the small role we played in connecting Ashlee, a student fascinated by neuroscience, and Georgia though our hugely successful eMentoring program. Mentor and mentee have been meeting once a week to talk all things neuroscience for two semesters and have built a lasting friendship during that time.

Ashlee at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Parkville.

Ashlee being a scientist in a real laboratory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Georgia is more than my mentor, she is my biggest inspiration, my role model, and my idol,” says Ashlee. “This experience was amazing. I learned an unimaginable amount and am now considering a career in medical research more than ever.”

 

If you think eMentoring could benefit students like Ashlee from your school, contact In2science today!

Deakin University joins In2science!

By | News

Students walk outside the CADET Building

Secondary students in Geelong and throughout Victoria’s south-west will now have access to passionate and enthusiastic STEM mentors with Deakin University now part of the highly successful mentoring program In2science.

Deakin University joins current In2science partners, La Trobe University, The University of Melbourne, RMIT University and Swinburne University of Technology which have delivered the In2science program to more than 90 secondary schools across metropolitan Melbourne.

Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin said Deakin’s involvement would enable the program to be delivered to secondary schools in Geelong and south-west Victoria, including Warrnambool and surrounding regional towns.

“Deakin is excited to bring In2science to schools across regional Victoria,” Professor Martin said.

“This program provides secondary school students with a wonderful opportunity to engage in STEM and, hopefully, inspire the next generation of students and graduates in STEM courses and occupations.”

In2science Chair and La Trobe University Chancellor, the Honourable Professor John Brumby AO, is thrilled that more students across Victoria can now access this impactful program.

“We know that In2science gets kids excited about STEM and encourages aspirations for studying STEM at university, opening up the world of opportunities that STEM careers provide,” Mr Brumby said.

In2science is an innovative and proven multi-university schools partnership program that places university students as mentors inside Victorian high school classrooms.

For nearly 20 years, In2science has been promoting the importance of science and maths through its ten-week mentoring program delivered by university students studying degrees in STEM disciplines.

By working with the classroom teacher, mentors act as role models to secondary students, sharing their passion and knowledge for STEM and, importantly, relating schoolwork to real-world examples.

The Deakin-led part of program will be trialled among a small number of schools in 2022 ahead of a full rollout across Geelong and Warrnambool partner schools in 2023.

For enquiries about this exciting new partnership or to request a mentor, please contact Tordy Rowe: [email protected]

 

Volunteering Victoria Awards finalist, Thank you In2science!

By | News, Profiles

by Patrick Taylor

I first applied to become an In2science peer mentor at the start of 2021 at RMIT University, and after attending the training sessions, I was ready to be placed at a school and get started. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, my placement was indefinitely postponed until schools reopened. However, this didn’t stop me! While all the schools were physically closed, many opened their firewalls for online mentoring, and although I wasn’t part of the standard eMentoring program, I participated in a range of “Meet the Scientists” sessions at various schools.

When schools finally opened in late 2021 I was selected to participate in RMIT’s Regional Roadshow because of my work with In2science. This outreach program involved engaging with students and running STEM workshops in remote schools across regional Victoria. While at the different P-12 schools in disadvantaged regions, I was able to apply my In2science mentoring skills to a range of different age groups in very active and engaging ways with fellow mentors.

My participation in the In2science program and willingness to help train other mentors resulted in me receiving the Boeing-sponsored 2021 In2science STEM Champion award. I also co-facilitated computer science workshops and trained other mentors to do the same, while also sharing my education journey in computational chemistry with multiple schools online.

This year, I could finally begin my In2science placement at South Oakleigh Secondary College. Here I run a unique style of sessions, where myself and four mentees are undertaking a research project titled, “Carbon Nanomaterials”. This supports students on how to conduct basic research, create a presentation, and model nanomaterials.

In early 2022, I received an ominous message from Dr. William Sullivan, RMIT University’s In2science coordinator that read, “I’m going to send you a document to sign…. please sign it and think nothing of it”. A few weeks later another email appeared in my inbox that read, “We are emailing you to confirm that you have been shortlisted for the 2021 Volunteering Awards in the category of Inclusive Volunteering”!  Because I participated in RMIT University’s Regional Roadshow and volunteered with In2science, I was named a finalist at the 2021 Volunteering Victoria Awards at Government House for the Inclusive Volunteering Award.

In my spare time, I’m also completing my PhD at RMIT University on the discovery of novel nanomaterials for the miniaturisation of electronic components. I love to explain my research as, “playing with really small pieces of Lego” whenever I’m talking to students. I also love attending live music concerts, playing basketball, and collecting rubber ducks.

If you are a university student interested in mentoring for In2science, click here.

 

 If you are a teacher, click here to host a mentor in your classroom.

Mentor Leaders Program 2022: Round Two

By | News, Profiles

by Rachel Ella

I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the In2science Leaders to take part in Mentor Leaders Program in 2021, an In2science initiative generously supported by Toyota Community Trust. This program was designed to give In2science mentors who have had demonstrated exceptional leadership and mentoring skills, the opportunity to be matched with STEM Professional Mentors and become In2science Leaders. The STEM Professional Mentors provide mentorship to the In2science Leaders enabling them to gain insight into STEM career pathways and life after university. The matched pairs met at least four times over a three-month period to discuss pathways from university into industry, career values, leadership, motivation, success and failure, planning and time management amongst many other topics.

I was, and still am, on the pathway to becoming a secondary school science and maths teacher. The team at In2science did a great job of matching me with an amazing STEM Professional Mentor who had already walked the path I am on. As well has being able to share her experience in the world of education, my mentor is also a mother, so many of our conversations revolved around time management, boundaries, self-care, setting goals for the day, week, month, or year and celebrating your wins, no matter how small. We have continued our relationship since the completion of the program which has included assistance with job applications and modernising my CV. I truly value the connection we made and the support she provided and continues to provide me.

Due to the state of the world last year and all of us having to negotiate lockdowns, home learning and isolation, most mentoring sessions occurred online. Fortunately, we all adapted to the situation and made it work. A few of us were able to meet with our mentor face-to-face at least once towards the end of the program but many had their first in-person interactions at our wrap up event at Toyota headquarters in Port Melbourne. Even with these challenges, the program was a great success.

Sixteen mentor/mentee pairs completed the program. The feedback provided was outstanding, with In2science mentors reporting improvements in the leadership and professional skills because of their participation. Importantly, STEM Professional mentors also experienced significant benefit from their participation with 100% of survey respondents reporting that they felt better equipped to mentor their junior colleagues. This is reflected in the net promoter score of 83 and the 14 STEM Professional mentors returning for 2022.

This year, I have transitioned from being a participant in the MLP to coordinating the Mentor Leaders Program. This has been an enjoyable progression and I have been able to provide a unique perspective on the MLP from a participant’s viewpoint.

A review of the 2021 MLP was undertaken, and a few improvements were made.  The biggest was extending the MLP to run over 8 months instead of 3, with at least 8 meetings to take place during that time. This change was crucial to allow a deeper relationship to develop between the In2science Leader and their STEM Professional Mentor. The 2022 program was launched in late April and several initial meetings have already taken place, in-person and online, with the feedback being that everyone is looking forward to developing their personal and professional skills and their relationships with their mentors/mentees.

In second semester we will be running the second part of the MLP – Small Group STEM Careers Sessions. In collaboration with their host classroom teacher, our In2science Leaders will work with a small group of students in their class and engage them in meaningful career discussions. They will ask the students to discuss their own interests, hobbies, and skills and who inspires them before using those answers to reflect on how science and maths relates to these. Overall, we are looking forward to the launching this part of the program and inspiring the next generation of STEM Professionals.

Speed-Networking with recent STEM graduates kick-starts In2science mentor careers

By | Events, News

 

The highly anticipated In2science Career Speed-Networking event on Tuesday, May 17 provided an exclusive opportunity for early-career STEM professionals to share their valuable insights and experiences with In2science mentors.

It was a unique crowd that gathered at RMIT’s Media Portal in Melbourne’s CBD, including university students from La Trobe University, The University of Melbourne, RMIT University and Swinburne University of Technology, and professionals from a wide variety of organisations like Toyota Motor Corporation, Thermo Fischer Scientific, Ericsson, CSL, Seqirus, Teach For Australia, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Melbourne Graduate School of Education 

In2science’s Advisory Board Chair and La Trobe University Chancellor, The Hon John Brumby AO began proceedings with an Acknowledgement of Country, followed by a short speech on the importance of STEM engagement programs like In2science to address the concerning gap between the lack of engagement in science and maths in secondary school students, and the increasing demand for STEM skills in Australia’s workforce. In addition, understanding the current STEM career climate and exploring pathways that are available after graduation is something many university students struggle with. The Career Speed-Networking event provided In2science mentors with a rare opportunity to speak to professionals within their fields of interest to learn more about what to expect in the future. 

 

Jett Osborne, an In2science alumnus and current Commercial Graduate Leader at Thermo Fisher Scientific ANZ took the floor for a captivating keynote on his own career journey from Biomedical Science Graduate at RMIT University in Australia, Hong Kong and Japan to his current position at Thermo Fisher Scientific ANZ. Jett’s advice about finding your STEM passion and weaving it into your story was invaluable for In2science mentors’ seeking to stand out from the crowd when securing that all-important first job.

Twelve STEM Professionals took part in the networking, where In2science mentors were invited to rotate around each station and have in depth conversations enabling them to tap into the wealth of experience on offer from recent graduates. 

To complement the evening, Kevin Karongo from RMIT University’s Job Shop was there to review student CV and resumes and to provide additional support to our mentors so they are better prepared for the future. 

Thank you to Toyota Community Trust for supporting the event and to all who took part to make it a success. 

In2science’s impact in 2021

By | News

We entered 2021 feeling optimistic and hopeful of a return to relative normality and, while many In2science university student mentors continued their studies online, coordinators were liaising with teachers to facilitate mentor placements in the classroom. Fortunately, despite some minor disruptions, most mentors were able to return to face-to-face mentoring, ensuring semester 1 was a great success. A return to an extended period of remote learning meant semester 2 threw up yet more challenges. However, mentors continued to demonstrate their commitment, passion, flexibility and generosity as we explored innovative ways to keep secondary school students engaged in their STEM studies.

Once again required to adapt and innovate to maintain engagement, In2science maintained strong engagement with teachers and students, facilitating 187 mentor placements in 54 partner schools to reach 3,521 students.

Feedback and survey data again confirmed that benefits of participating in In2science extend to all involved, including teachers, mentors and students. Teachers again reported that In2science mentors had positive impacts on their students, with 92% agreeing that mentors contributed additional specialised subject knowledge and/or real-life examples. While 87% noticed students were more engaged in the lesson when the mentor was present.

“In2science has effectively adapted their model to ensure mentors are able to join in the online learning environment. This has allowed the mentoring experience to continue, which for our students has added stability, something that has been critical to provide given the current uncertain climate.” – J. Vieusseux, Teaching & Learning Specialist & D. Dalton, STEM Specialist, Keysborough College

In2science Mentors again faced many challenges, however, their enthusiasm was not dampened and they continued to innovate in their interactions with their mentees. The capacity to adapt their approaches has provided the opportunity to build professional skills, with 93% of mentors reporting that In2science developed skills they will use in the future, while 85% of mentors felt they had a positive impact.

“At the beginning of the program my mentee told me she wasn’t 100% sure what to expect out of the program. In our last session she told me that she’s now enjoying school more, feels confident about her excitement for the future, and feels more prepared for one of her career choices.” Brooke Zoccoli, La Trobe University

Importantly, at the conclusion of their mentoring placement, 42% of mentors reported that they are considering teaching as a career. Approximately 10% of university STEM-qualified workers are employed in the education sector [Australia’s STEM Workforce Report, 2020], and therefore, In2science evidently provides university students with a positive and affirming experience in the classroom. With a shortage of STEM-specialist teachers, In2science can provide a critical pathway to a career in education.

Ultimately, students again experienced substantial benefits from interacting with a mentor, with 71% reporting increased confidence in science/maths. Consistent with past evaluations, the frequency of interaction with the mentor correlated positively with their attitudes and confidence levels in STEM studies and careers (see below).

“I love my interactions with my science mentor, it was the highlight of my week. He taught me things in science and math and gave me advice on everything he could, which I deeply appreciate.” – Year 9 student, Virtual School Victoria.

Once again, In2science would like to express our sincere gratitude for the commitment and support of our outstanding partner schools, teachers and mentors, and look forward to building student aspirations in STEM in 2022.

The pleasure of presence: Returning eMentor, Chukwunonso Anyaoku, reflects on his In2science experience

By | News, Profiles

In2science mentors undergo vigorous training to prepare them for a placement with Victorian secondary school classrooms. A learning tool we love to use before entering a class is storytelling. At each training session, In2science invites past mentors to join coordinators in building the connection between verbal instruction and practice. Returning mentors reflect on their placements of previous semesters, sharing their experience and advice to help the new cohort feel empowered and confident before beginning their first placement.

Chukwunonso Anyaoku, a PhD candidate studying Chemical Engineering at RMIT University, joined In2science in 2021 and offered his valuable insight to the 2022 cohort of eMentors. Like many university students, Chukwunonso was looking for a job to support himself and when finding In2science, took some time to decide if it was something he wanted to pursue at the time. In the end, he discovered that the opportunity he was given, money could not compensate. It was more valuable than he ever realised.

Chukwunonso is an eMentor. eMentors support small groups of students with online mentoring and Chukwunonso’s first placement was with one student. In his first placement he was paired with, what their teacher described as, a reserved and shy student from Virtual School Victoria. However, due to the tailored nature of the eMentoring model, Chukwunonso was pleasantly disappointed. His eMentee quickly came out of their shell, “the placement takes on the personality of you and your mentee. It eventually ends up being your world and you can bend and shape things to your strengths.”

To his fellow eMentors he shared 4 discoveries:

  1. Use all the resources at your disposal. Your greatest resource at the beginning is the teacher. The teacher already knows what the student may be like, what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are. Ask the teacher and you can hit the ground running.
  2. In2science training works. Sometimes there are curveballs but remember your training. It is priceless.
  3. You get to form a real connection with a small group of students (in eMentoring). It allowed me to craft the sessions to my eMentee’s benefit.
  4. Expect pleasant surprises. For me, it was discovering that mentoring provided emotional security for my student. The session will take on the personalities of you and your eMentees. You yourself more at home than you thought possible. You will also find that your anecdotes are so appropriate. It is an authentic experience.

If you are a university student interested in mentoring for In2science, click here.

 

 If you are a teacher, click here to host a mentor in your classroom.

 

In2science celebrates the 2021 Annual Awards at Science Gallery, Melbourne

By | Events, News

The highly anticipated In2science Annual Awards was held at the Science Gallery, Melbourne to celebrate the outstanding achievements and contributions of mentors, students, teachers and schools who participated in the peer mentoring program in 2021.

Throughout 2021, In2science has supported science and maths engagement and education across 54 schools, with 187 mentor placements reaching 3,294 students in metropolitan and regional/rural Victoria. The most inspiring examples from across the program were highlighted at this special celebration.

The event was opened by In2science Program Director, Dr. Alison Every with an Acknowledgement of Country followed by a video showcasing the Mentor Experience.  The Hon. Prof. John Brumby AO was invited to deliver his keynote speech, followed by Prof. Vera Ignjatović, a Director of the Toyota Community Foundation Australia Pty. Ltd. Prof. Brumby spoke of the generous support of In2science’s program and award partners, the Toyota Community Trust, Victoria’s Department of Education and Training, CSL Behring and Boeing was acknowledged, followed by a reflection of this challenging, but ultimately rewarding year. Prof. Ignjatović emphasised on the importance of small gestures in life that can spark a sense of curiosity in something new and congratulated the team on a successful launch of the Mentor Leaders Program, a new endeavour made possible with support from the Toyota Community Trust.

“Sometimes it is the small gestures that make a child or student veer in a certain direction, a respected teachers, an adult, an experience. I’m sure you can all remember a time when someone inspired you to do something different, see a subject in a whole new way or spark a sense of curiosity in something new” – Prof. Vera Ignjatović, a Director of Toyota Community Foundation Australia Pty. Ltd. and Senior Principal Research Fellow at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

The first winner of the evening was Brianne Chen of Virtual School Victoria (VSV), who, since taking the reins as In2science’s central point of contact for VSV in 2020 has hosted an incredible 30 mentor placements supporting 32 school students across Victoria. Joint Mentor Support Award winner, Lakshmi Sharma of Coburg High School has built wonderful relationships with mentors and In2science since joining the program in 2019 and continued her enthusiasm by maintaining these connections from in-person placements in Semester 1 to online with remote learning in Semester 2.

 

Two schools, Maffra Secondary College and Bayswater Secondary College took home awards for their school communities. Maffra Secondary College in Central Gippsland has been a committed and outstanding eMentoring partner school since the inception of the regional online mentoring model in 2016. Kristen Raine, who accepted the award on behalf of the school community has been phenomenal in her support of the program and is visibly dedicated to the success of In2science at the school. Amanda Dales received the award on behalf of Bayswater Secondary College, who have been a Swinburne University of Technology partner school since 2012 and is a school who fully embraces the range of benefits In2science and mentorship.

Ashlee Davey of Galen Catholic College, Wangaratta and Fatuma Mohamed of Mount Alexander College were joint winners as eMentoring and in-class mentees this year and enthusiastically accepted the Award from Prof Brumby. An inspiring speech from fellow mentee, Year 9 student from Virtual School Victoria and previous In2science award winner, Alex Zavros-Orr followed, where he detailed his experience with 4 science mentors from a diverse range of science backgrounds over the last 4 semesters.

Lastly, the Mentor Awards were presented. Five outstanding mentors representing each of the In2science partner universities were invited to the stage to be congratulated. The mentors of In2science “are truly the heart and soul” of the peer mentoring program. It is their commitment and enthusiasm that makes the difference to secondary school students. Patrick Taylor from RMIT University received the Boeing-sponsored STEM Champion award for his dedication in the online space during remote learning. Patrick co-facilitated computer science workshops and trained other mentors to do the same while also sharing his education journey in computational chemistry with multiple schools online.

 

John Seymour from Swinburne University of Technology won the Impact Award due to his dedication to mentoring and professional development since starting with In2science in 2019. John participated in eMentoring as well as in-class mentoring and has always shown detailed preparation and facilitation in supporting students to make a “sincere and valued impact.”

Toyota Community Trust sponsored the next two awards, with La Trobe University’s Lily Kenchington-Evans and The University of Melbourne’s Stella Ulm receiving the Dedication and Mentor Leader Awards, respectively. Lily has been an In2science mentor for four years and has always been a “shining example of dedication” through her work with many year levels at a variety of schools in Victoria. Stella Ulm has shown exceptional leadership skills during her 2 years as an In2science eMentor and, after being chosen to take part in the Toyota Community Trust-supported Mentor Leaders program, further demonstrated her outstanding commitment, especially supporting young women in STEM. During her time as a Mentor Leader, Stella engaged with multiple In2science placements through guest speaker sessions and facilitating career discussions.

Madeline Tomkins from La Trobe University took home the Regional Impact award for making an exceptionally positive impact on regional and rural students in In2science’s eMentoring program. Madeline frequently requested multiple placements and has been an extremely enthusiastic, reliable, and dedicated mentor since joining the program in 2020.

Finally, RMIT University mentor, Saumaya Fernando was invited to share her experiences of volunteering with In2science. Saumaya reflected on her motivations for joining the program, what inspired her to undertake a science degree and some notable memories of her time in the classroom. Most of all, as she recounted her experience as a mentor, she is grateful to be “the biggest nerd in the room and have someone look at (her) in wonder”.

The evening finished with good conversation over refreshments among the inspiring artworks of the Science Gallery, Melbourne, the atmosphere feeling all the more electric as all attendees embraced the opportunity to connect with others in person. Despite the challenges of 2021, In2science’s success continues to be reflected through the hard work of its mentors, teachers, schools and government and industry supporters.

Click here to read more about the 2021 Awards

Click here to access the 2021 Awards Photo Gallery

In2science is grateful for the generous support of our Program and Awards partners, Toyota Community Trust, CSL Behring, Selby Scientific Foundation, Boeing and the Department of Education and Training, Victoria.

Celebrating the successful roll-out of the Mentor Leaders Program

By | Events, News

The inaugural Mentor Leaders Program, which was rolled out in semester 2 this year, is an initiative aimed to bolster mentors’ understanding of STEM careers and develop their leadership skills by pairing them with outstanding early-career STEM Professionals from our industry partner network. To celebrate the achievements of the Mentor Leaders, the STEM Professional Mentors, and their commitment to the program, In2science hosted an end-of-program event, held at the Toyota Corporate Office in Port Melbourne. The face-to-face event provided a wonderful opportunity for like-minded STEM students and professionals to network and reflect on their participation in the program. 

 A major focus of the Mentor Leaders Program was to gain a deeper understanding of career pathways, and therefore, In2science invited a panel of esteemed STEM Professionals to talk about ways to navigate challenges and create opportunities in STEM graduate pathways. The invited panel members work within a diverse range of fields, including science and technology, within academic and industry settings, providing a well-rounded collection of perspectives on the topic.

Catherine Hart, a Senior Sustainability and Environmental Specialist for Toyota Motor Corporations began the discussion by describing that the STEM industry is constantly evolving, and how important it is to say yes to opportunities, even if is a bit hard or different, as you never know what will come out of it.  

Next, we heard from Thilanka Morawakage, a Project Assistant at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and IMNIS catalyst. Thilanka contributed to the discussion by giving insights into how mentoring has been a very valuable experience during COVID. For Thilanka, mentorship helped her identify transferable skills that she gained from an academic education and previous jobs, such as project management.  

 

Ivy Weng, a manufacturing graduate at CSL, spoke about her unique career pathway as a STEM graduate. Ivy reflected on how her education and training prepared her for the opportunities and challenges that arose over the past few years. Ivy also highlighted the technical and soft skills university training provides that really help you thrive in whatever career you choose to pursue.

To round off the panel discussion, Sarah Goss, an Advisory Board Member for In2science and Head of Innovation from Ericsson Australia and New Zealand, spoke about how the pandemic has accelerated the role of technology in our everyday lives. Sarah mentions that at the government, industry and societal level, tech is transforming and we won’t look back. 

 

Overall, this event facilitated thought-provoking discussions between Mentor Leaders and STEM Professionals, providing university students with further insights into the graduate opportunities in STEM.  

With the successful completion of the first Mentor Leaders Program, we would like to gratefully acknowledge the outstanding support from Toyota Community Trust, which allows In2science to continue to empower students to navigate the opportunities and demands of their STEM-based future. 

We also express our sincere gratitude to our STEM Professional Mentors for generously volunteering their time to mentor our In2science mentors.  

Finally, huge congratulations to our Mentor Leaders for being selected to participate in this program. by demonstrating exceptional leadership skills and for successfully completing the program. 

To find out more about how Industry partnerships can support STEM engagement for secondary school students, please contact In2science Program Director, Dr Alison Every.

In2science mentors keeping students engaged online

By | News

In2science is fortunate to have a wonderful community of STEM Professionals and In2science mentors who have kept secondary school students engaged in science and maths throughout the last 18 months of remote learning. The online environment presents a multitude of ways to facilitate mentoring sessions, as it is not constrained by time or the location of those involved. Online mentoring with In2science has included online guest speaker sessions with a classroom of students, 1:1 conversation with In2science mentors and STEM Professionals, and mentors creating social media content aimed to educate students about STEM degrees and pathways. 

Guest speaker sessions

With remote learning, the majority of our mentors have been unable to attend their in-class placements. Despite this, dedicated mentors including Lily Kenchington-EvansCatriona Nguyen-Robertson, Jenna Pride and Bianca Fato teamed up to virtually visit Footscray High School to support VCE students leading up to exams.  

 We also had enthusiastic mentor, Stella Ulm, join multiple eMentoring sessions to educate secondary school students on ‘launching their career in space’. Stella shared her journey in STEM and a PowerPoint presentation filled with opportunities, interactive resources and videos to boost students’ engagement and confidence in STEM careers.  

 Social media content creation

As a way to keep our mentors engaged and share their passion for STEM with the In2science community, we rolled out #TakeoverThursday. This initiative involves a mentor sharing their journey and passion in STEM through a series of Twitter posts, images and videos. So far, we have captured the diversity of our In2science mentors, the various degrees they are studying and the unique pathways they have taken to get where they are today. If you missed any of the #TakeoverThursdays, you can catch up here; 

In addition to our social media campaign, many of our talented mentors have created engaging and educational videos that teachers can share with their class, for example, learn DNA & RNA transcription/translation with Sarah or join Vivian for a short and sweet explanation of blood flow. Check out all other videos at the In2science YouTube channel. 

1:1 conversation with In2science mentors and STEM Professionals

Since 2019, the In2science eMentoring team have partnered with KBR facilitating STEM Professional employees joining eMentoring sessions to discuss STEM career pathways. Four KBR employees joined mentoring sessions, allowing regional secondary school students an opportunity to ask questions about STEM education and how this can lead to a diverse range of careers. The feedback from these sessions was overwhelmingly positive from both the students and the mentors; 

 “It was a wonderful experience for me, and certainly for the student as well, being able to gain valuable insights from different STEM industries. I truly believe that the session was beneficial and provided the student with a more well-rounded view on STEM.” – Bryan, In2science eMentor, 2021. 

 “It went really well! Really enjoyed the discussion a lot. The student loved seeing a different perspective from another field and similarities between different pathways in STEM.” – Georgia, In2science eMentor, 2021 

 While the onset of remote learning posed many challenges for school students to remain engaged in STEM, In2science mentors and our larger network of STEM Professionals have provided innovative opportunities for students to participate in broader conversations around science and maths. By sharing experiences and motivations through social media, 1:1 guest sessions with early-career professionals or mentors in the online classroom, In2science helps school students engage with STEM and encourage pursuit of tertiary studies in STEM so that they can help tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow.

 

If you are a university student interested in mentoring for In2science, click here.

 

 If you are a teacher, click here to host a mentor in your classroom.