Meet a Mentor: Grace Curtis

By March 2, 2017Profiles
Grace Curtis

In2science mentor Grace Curtis

What are you studying, and what do you like about it? I’m studying a Bachelor of Science (Applied Chemistry) at RMIT University. I love science, I’ve always loved science. I love how it is infinitely complex and tells us things from the composition of all matter, to the expansion of the known universe. I believe that through studying science I have developed a mindset that allows me to think critically and methodically in all areas of life, not just in the classroom, a skill many scientists would say is their greatest asset. Science is always developing, new theories and discoveries are always being made and I suppose the ever-changing nature of science is what has attracted me to study it at a higher education level. The possibilities in STEM are as infinite as our universe.

Why did you become an In2science mentor? In high school I never really had that someone who was able to tell me about science at a university level and even as a career, science was purely learnt in the classroom. When it came time to choose what to do at a higher education level, I knew I loved science, I knew I was good at it, but I didn’t really know where it could lead in the future. That made me unsure about what career options I could have or if science was all research and I’d have to remain at university forever. My overall aim through being an In2science mentor was to share my passion for science with young people who, like me, may not have had that person to show them the potential career opportunities the world of science can offer, and to show that anyone has the potential to succeed in science.

Tell us about your In2science placement. My In2science placement was at Bayside College in Williamstown with a year 8 science class in semester 2 2016. I was placed in a class which had a number students who needed extra help. Their teacher believed my passion for science may ignite their interest. While a significant element of my placement was assisting students with classwork, I was able to build a greater rapport with a small number of students, developing discussions around my evolving career in the world of science and my journey through high school.

What’s the best thing about In2science? The best thing was getting to know all the students in the class. Being able to help them with any problems and seeing them understanding a problem or a principle after I discussed and explained it with them was extremely rewarding.

What’s one of the biggest challenges about In2science? The biggest challenge I found was making myself relatable to the students. Even though I’m still a student myself, they view me as an adult and at first a teacher-like figure in the classroom. Breaking down that initial barrier to be able to build rapport with them was the greatest challenge.

What inspired you to study what you are studying? As long as I can remember I’ve wanted to know, how do things work? Why do they happen? What effect do they have on the world or how do they interact with the world? I’ve always had a lot of questions. To me, science provides the opportunity to seek out those answers.

What do you want to do after you finish university and why? As my career at university continues to develop I am seriously considering the opportunities that may be available to me in the area of medical research, specifically, cancer research. I believe that there is so much more to discover about this disease, its diagnosis and treatment.

If you could have an hour to chat with any scientist, mathematician or engineer, who would it be and why? Marie Curie would be my first choice because she was the first woman to have won a Nobel Prize in two fields of science while overcoming extreme prejudice and discrimination of the time.

What advice would you give other students looking to get involved in the In2science program? Just do it. The rewards are incredibly inspiring and motivating. It is an extremely rewarding program that has allowed me to connect with and hopefully inspire future scientists, while also providing me the opportunity to test my own knowledge of science.

 

Want to become an In2science mentor? Click here!