Meet a Mentor: Andreas Alzate

By March 27, 2017Profiles

In2science mentor Andreas Alzate

What have you studied, and why did you like it? I studied a Graduate Certificate in Science (Pure Mathematics) at The University of Melbourne. I am a mechanical engineer but my real passion has always been mathematics, so I decided to stop working as an engineer and went back to university to study pure mathematics.

Tell us about your In2science placement. My placement was at Mt Alexander College. I enjoyed working with students from different ethnic backgrounds and they were always very respectful towards me. I believe that I helped the students not only with their understanding of mathematics, but also with their perception that people who like mathematics are boring and uninteresting. I learned so much about myself and about teaching. Thanks to the In2science experience, I decided to change my career from engineering to education.

Why did you become an In2science mentor? I wanted to make a positive contribution to society through education and also to promote STEM careers. In2science was the perfect opportunity for me in order to achieve these goals.

What’s the best thing about In2science? To be able to help students from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. I had the opportunity to be in a high school classroom and this led me to consider a career in education.

What’s the most challenging thing about In2science? My experience with In2science was very positive. The worst thing was having to leave the classroom at the end of the placement after having developed positive relationships with the students.

What inspired you to study a STEM field? In my opinion, mathematics is one of the most coherent, solid, fascinating and beautiful human endeavors that I know of.

What did you want to do after university and why? This year, I am teaching Mathematics at Cranbourne Secondary College as part of a Master of Teaching (Secondary) Internship at the University of Melbourne. After having completed my In2science placement, I discovered that I am very passionate about education and decided to change careers to become a school teacher!

If you could have an hour to chat with any scientist or mathematician, who would it be and why? It would be the mathematician Alexander Grothendieck. He was not only one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century, but he was also a person concerned about social issues and he was a political activist and pacifist.

 

Want to become an In2science mentor? Click here!