As the huge challenges associated with COVID-19 became apparent 12 months ago, In2science swung into action to ensure that we could continue supporting schools, teachers and students. As everyone grappled with the impacts of social-distancing restrictions, remote learning and elevated anxiety levels, In2science consulted with mentors and teachers, and developed a range of options to offer schools our support.
Adapting the program and upskilling our mentors so that they could continue mentoring online ensured that In2science could continue to foster students’ enthusiasm for STEM. As such, In2science placed 239 mentors in 55 partner schools, reaching 2,314 students.
The In2science mentors’ unwavering commitment to supporting teachers and students, all the while facing their own challenges, is reflected in the outstanding feedback received.
Consistent with past evaluations, 92% of teachers noticed students engaged more in the lesson with a mentor present, with 93% agreeing that the mentor was a good role model for students. Importantly, teachers who hosted mentors last year were immensely grateful for the mentors’ presence, resulting in a Net Promoter Score–characterised as a measure of how likely a teacher is to recommend the program to a colleague–of 100, the maximum possible score.
The support mentors received from teachers and In2science coordinators is also reflected in the exceptional feedback provided. In 2020, In2science mentors’ adaptability, commitment and professionalism was on display. Indeed, 97% of mentors agreed that In2science developed skills they will use in the future, with 85% feeling that they had a positive impact during their placement.
Ultimately, the impact on students was dramatic, with 77% of students who interacted with a mentor realising that everyone can study science. Importantly, the evidence is clear: the frequency of interaction with a mentor has a significant positive impact on students’ attitudes towards science and maths, and STEM study (see below).
Once again, In2science would like to express our sincere gratitude for the commitment and support of our outstanding partner schools, teachers and mentors, especially throughout these most challenging of times.