The 2016 In2science Awards recently recognised and celebrated the outstanding achievements and outcomes in STEM engagement through the In2science peer mentoring program.
In2science chairman, The Honourable Professor John Brumby, presented awards to mentors from all four partner universities, and three partner schools at the Melbourne Museum Theatre on Thursday 1st of December.
Professor Brumby opened the proceedings by praising the continuing efforts of the mentors, teachers, and supporters of In2science. He highlighted the need addressed by the program, “We all know that we’ve got a huge continuing challenge in this area. More results have come out on maths achievement in Australia, and the reality is that this is an area where Australia is really challenged. We look at the countries around us in the world, Singapore and South Korea and Malaysia and now China, they are making big investments into STEM.”
Despite this, Professor Brumby was upbeat about the achievements of In2science, “Tonight is about celebrating the success of the last year. Success in a re-invigorated form. 45 schools, 4 universities. Outstanding engagement from all of the participants. I think it’s true to say that the program is now stronger than ever.”
To recognise the efforts of mentors, there were five award categories. To read more detail about the award winners and finalists, click here.
The Mentor Impact Award for the mentor that made the greatest positive impact in engaging students in science or maths went to Selda Ekri from Swinburne University of Technology.
The Role Model Award for the mentor recognised as an outstanding role model for their student mentees was accepted by Andres Alzate of The University of Melbourne.
The Dedication Award for the mentor that showed greatest dedication and commitment to the In2science program was awarded to Tarik Zepcan of La Trobe University.
The Above and Beyond Award for the mentor that showed greatest initiative in engaging students in science or maths went to Shelley Haslett of RMIT University.
The eMentoring Award for the most dedicated university mentor in the online eMentoring program was given to Mitchell Griggs of La Trobe University.
Three awards were given to teachers and schools for their support of In2science mentors.
Teacher Kylie Lambert from Maffra Secondary College traveled nearly three hours to attend the awards and accept the Mentor Support Award for the classroom teacher who provided the most supportive mentoring environment.
The Teacher Program Commitment Award for the classroom teacher that showed the greatest commitment to the In2science program went to Jessica Sartori from Brunswick Secondary College.
The School Program Commitment Award for the school that demonstrated the greatest engagement with the In2science program was awarded to Bundoora Secondary College, and was accepted on the night by link teacher Ross Goddard.
eMentoring Award winner Mitchell Griggs delivered a mentor reflection in which he highlighted the importance of the In2science program in helping to increase levels of achievement in science and maths in Australian schools, which he said have plateaued over the last 20 years according to the 2015 TIMSS report. Mitchell also reflected on the benefits he had gained from multiple placement rounds both in-class and online, “My education, both formal and otherwise was greatly enriched by the experience of being an In2science mentor, and my perspective broadened and informed about the importance of science communication and education.”
Following the official proceedings, the mentors and teachers mixed over drinks and canapes in the foyer with other guests including representatives of the four partner universities, as well as members of government and industry.
For full details about the 2016 In2science Award winners and finalists, click here.