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-Evans, Catriona 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;
- ‘A day in the life of a cancer researcher’, with Lizzie Lieschke, a PhD student from The University of Melbourne/WEHI
- ‘My journey in STEM’, with Aurelie Tsee, a PhD student from La Trobe University
- ‘What a geology field trip entails’, with Elowen Amos, an Honours student from The University of Melbourne
- ‘The importance of Maths in everyday life’, with Rashmikka Thivakaran, an undergraduate student from Swinburne University.
- ‘A day in the life of a Chemistry Honours student’, with Lily Kenchington-Evans, an Honours student from La Trobe University.
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.