In semester 2, 2018, 146 In2science mentors from La Trobe University, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology and The University of Melbourne spent nearly 1500 hours working with over 2500 students in 46 schools. The valuable feedback we received from students, mentors and teachers confirmed that In2science is an effective, impactful program that can dramatically improve students’ attitudes towards STEM and STEM career pathways.
In week one of the semester 2 placement period, 57% of students reported that they were confident in understanding maths concepts; at the conclusion of the 10-week placement, this figure increased to 72% – a powerful demonstration of an In2science mentor’s capacity to improve students’ attitudes towards STEM. Moreover, students who interacted directly with the mentor experienced a dramatic increase in their attitudes towards STEM (see below).
“The mentor was really approachable and didn’t make it difficult to ask questions, which helped me engage with class discussions more”. – Yr 10 student, Essendon East Keilor District College
Teachers continue to see the value and reap the rewards of hosting an engaged and enthusiastic In2science mentor with 90% of teachers agreeing that the mentor was a good role model for students. As a strong indication of the high regard in which this program as held, 100% of survey respondents indicating that they would like a mentor in the future.
“Overall, I was incredibly impressed with the high calibre of my In2science mentor his professionalism and his earnestness… and how well he was able to communicate with all stakeholders such as young teenage students, teacher aides and teachers”. – Eleni Lambropoulos, St Albans Secondary College
The In2science experience continues to provide ample opportunity for mentors to give back to the community, with 100% of mentors reporting that they spoke about their own pathways, thereby demonstrating to secondary school students that studying STEM and pursuing STEM career pathways is accessible to all.
“I remember being younger and having a set image of what someone in STEM should look like… I am keen to break down those stereotypes and have students understand that STEM is for anyone and everyone”. – Thea Mucas, RMIT University student at Laverton P-12 College
The benefits experienced through participation in In2science are not limited to students and teachers though, with 99% of mentors reporting that they developed skills they will use in the future.
Our sincere thanks to the students, mentors and teachers who took the time to provide their feedback, which enables us to deliver a highly effective program and increase student STEM engagement.