On 7 April In2science provided mentors with a professional development workshop hosted by RMIT to help develop skills in communicating and engaging with high school students.
RMIT counsellor Lyndon Medina presented the session with the aim to give mentors new tools and techniques to engage students at their placement schools, drawing on his many years’ experience working with young people from diverse backgrounds,
From the beginning of the workshop it was clear this was going to be a different experience, as Lyndon got the participants on their feet, and lined up in order of their level of confidence in public speaking. He then called for volunteers to come out the front and tell the group what they like about science and public speaking.
The audience was invited to give feedback on what they liked about how each speaker conducted themselves. It was great to see the positivity and support that everyone showed for their fellow mentors who had put themselves out in front of the group.
The rest of the presentation was an open discussion guided by Lyndon that looked at how to empathise with students and engage their interests to encourage them in science.
This is one of several sessions In2science organises throughout the semester to give mentors the opportunity to meet up, share experiences, and to gain new skills to be more effective in inspiring students to get involved with science.