Looking to the future as placements draw to a close
October was always going to be a tough month for our mentors. The looming presence of university exams has been further compounded by placements coming to a close. After 10 weeks of visiting schools, it can be tough to say goodbye. A big thank you from all the team here at In2science to our volunteer mentors who have generously donated their time and energy throughout Semester 2.
Where to now?
Mentoring in a classroom can have a profound impact on university students.
Some mentors know exactly what they are going to do after finishing their studies. Others find a passion for talking about science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and want to find a way to make a career of sharing what they love.
The final In2science professional development session for the semester focused on helping mentors discover what might lie ahead. Hosted by In2science at RMIT University, the ‘alternate careers’ Q&A panel brought together scientific animators, communicators, education officers and journalists to talk about their jobs and how they got there. Mentors were certainly prepared with some cracking questions and engrossing post-panel discussions.
Congratulations to Dr Alan Finkel and Simon McKeon
October was also a big month the In2science Advisory Board, with Patron Dr Alan Finkel AO FTSE being announced as Australia’s next Chief Scientist and Advisory Board Chair Simon McKeon AO appointed as Chancellor of Monash University. Congratulations on your appointments!
Stories from the schools
Marson has been mentoring at Glen Eira College this semester, helping year 9 students with their engineering project. Students were challenged to build a 30cm-tall tower using limited resources that could withstand earthquakes while under weight stress. Marson guided the students through the engineering process from brainstorming and research through to design, testing and trialling the structures using an earthquake platform while gradually increasing weight loads.
- Rebecca brought in some pet spiders for her science class at Roxburgh College to see while discussing digestive systems. Live arachnids certainly inspired the students to ask interesting questions about caring for a unique pet and what they’re fed!
- Mentor Gemma has been on placement at Werribee Secondary College this semester helping students with practical classes in science and mathematics. Gemma has been helping students test which shapes sink faster than others and relating these findings to how different fishes have adapted and evolved to minimise drag and resistance in water.
- Dom has been mentoring students at Brunswick Secondary College this semester. Although Dom’s speciality is in biological sciences, his class was learning astrophysics, so to mix things up a bit Dom brought in demonstrations to challenge the class with the idea that although we can comprehend three dimensions, physicists can use maths to understand that there are many, many more dimensions beyond what we can see with our own eyes.