Semester 1, 2018 saw 129 In2science mentors from La Trobe University, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology and The University of Melbourne continue the proud In2science tradition of inspiring secondary school students to continue studying STEM subjects and aspire to STEM-based careers.
In doing so, In2science mentors volunteered a total of 1169 hours to help 1780 high school students across 39 partner schools.
Consistent with past appraisals, feedback from students, teachers and mentors reflected the overwhelmingly positive impact the program has on all who participate.
“He showed us different parts of what part science plays in everyday life. It helped me to understand where science hides even if you don’t know it’s there.” – Yr 8 student, Rowville SC
“Lachlan was amazing with the students. He had an ability to quickly build rapport with students, share life experience, share tertiary knowledge and engage all at the same time. Lachlan helped all students in the class, and helped build curiosity in science.” – Teacher, Templestowe College
The majority of teachers (88%) noticed that certain students engaged more in the lesson when a mentor was present, while the same percentage also agreed that the mentor was a good role model for the students, sharing their passion, experience and knowledge of STEM career pathways. Furthermore, by hosting a mentor, 75% of teachers gained the capacity to undertake additional activities in the classroom, while 78% noted that the mentor contributed specialised subject knowledge and real-life examples. This positive teacher feedback is a testament to the high calibre of the mentors recruited to participate in the program.
“Bastien showed great initiative and was very proactive in assisting students and extending them beyond what I had planned, which was fantastic.” – Teacher, Glenroy SC
Indeed, the benefits of the program extend beyond the positive impacts experienced by students and teachers, as mentors also enjoy opportunities to accrue the ‘soft skills’ that will ensure they stand out in an ever more competitive employment market. Amongst mentors, 98% agreed that their participation in In2science enabled development of skills they will use in the future.
“This was one of the best experiences of my uni degree thus far! Can’t wait to do it again next semester.” – Lily Martin, Swinburne University of Technology student and mentor at Auburn High School
Most importantly, this semester saw the In2science program continue to achieve its aims of increasing student engagement in STEM and building students’ aspirations for STEM-based careers. These outcomes were especially strong for those students who mentors were able to work closely with over the course of the semester.