August has been another busy month, with mentor placements finalised and underway, including the first full-scale group of eMentors connecting with regional schools. With a multitude of activities for National Science Week, the In2science team was also out and about at various events:
eMentoring at Wangaratta STEM careers expo
eMentoring Coordinator, Ana Garcia-Melgar, hopped on a train to attended the STEM Careers EXPO at Galen Catholic College in Wangaratta. There, she gave teachers and students a live demonstration of eMentoring in action. They were able to connect online via Zoom to talk to In2science staff, see how eMentoring works in practice and to learn about the benefits of online mentoring for regional students.
Conversation with Dr Alan Finkel
Australia’s Chief Scientist, and In2science Patron, Dr Alan Finkel met in conversation with ABC’s Natasha Mitchell at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. There, he shared his insights and reflections on Australia’s place in the ever-changing science, technology and research landscapes. Three In2science Coordinators were in attendance, as well as one new La Trobe University mentor, Marianne Haines, who posed an excellent question that was addressed by Dr Finkel.
YSA lends a hand to train mentors
This semester, In2science partnered with Young Scientists of Australia (YSA) to help new mentors build their science communication skills. Four YSA volunteers (including one former In2science mentor) joined mentor training sessions at three partner universities to lead activities on relating science to real life and communicating a passion for science. The YSA members also invited mentors to join their national network of budding science enthusiasts.
Several In2science team members and mentors attended The Australian Newspaper’s Rewire luncheon. This event hosted a panel of experts, who examined some of the big questions around STEM education in Australia. They addressed questions such as why existing programs have not resulted in a national approach to STEM, the obstacles of student participation in STEM, and how Australia can increase its STEM teaching workforce.
Quantum Victoria STEM workshop
University of Melbourne Coordinator, Madeleine Yewers, attended a STEM best practice workshop at Quantum Victoria. The workshop was designed for teachers to build capacity in STEM Education and further engage students. The workshop combined hands-on activities in programming, applying mathematics to the real world, and confronting well-known misconceptions in science as real-life examples (e.g. there are more than 5 human senses including pain, balance and body temperature). Maddy picked up some great ideas to inspire our mentors in the classroom!