For the seventh year in a row, Swinburne students are invited to sign up and inspire the next generation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) professionals as part of the hugely successful peer mentoring school program In2Science.
Working with partner universities like Swinburne, In2Science encourages Victorian secondary students in low socioeconomic areas to consider tertiary education and a career in STEM by providing them with passionate role models.
University students can submit mentor applications for Semester 1 2022, offering a chance to build meaningful relationships and develop interpersonal skills.
Swinburne In2Science Coordinator, Ashlee Lambton, says ‘the program would not be possible without our dedicated volunteers’.
‘Our mentors are incredible students who are trained to inspire, mentor and assist teachers and students in their STEM subjects and aspirations.’
In2Science mentors visit low socioeconomic high schools to share their passion for STEM. Supplied.
A desire to inspire
Emma Holder is in her final year of the Bachelor of Science with a major in Physics and minor in Applied Mathematics. She spent 2020 mentoring a Year 7 maths class and Year 12 student.
Emma wanted to challenge herself and get more experience in the field. Her passion for science and encouraging young people (particularly girls) to get involved, drove her to become a mentor.
Final year student of the Bachelor of Health Science with a major in BioMedical Science, Tharindie Silva, was an In2Science mentor during the first semester of 2021. She says In2Science was just one of the opportunities Swinburne provided to further her education.
As a self-employed tutor, Tharindie felt motivated to share her experience of studying science with high school students and the training sessions prepared her to inspire students.
‘This is a simple process, but the outcome of this benefits the entire society if many students take the initiative to achieve something huge and help the world through science.’
Swinburne student Emma Holden volunteered as an In2Science mentor in 2020, finding meaningful relationships and ongoing employment. Supplied.
Highlights of Emma’s experience include seeing the students excited about science, having their own in-depth conversations about STEM fields and forming a close bond with her Year 12 student.
‘I was very lucky to have a lovely group of students and an amazing teacher who made me feel very supported the whole way through,’ she says.
Many mentors use their experience with In2Science and the training sessions to gain employment.
Mentoring developed Emma’s communication skills and she went on to secure a role as a PrimeSci! Educator that takes students on tours and runs labs sessions at the Australian Synchrotron research facility in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton.
For Tharindie, ‘the ability to inspire the students and make them feel important in society’ is the best thing she could have gotten from the program.
‘In2Science is an incredible program. I know a lot of students find STEM subjects particularly intimidating or feel they’re irrelevant, but I think this program is doing a great job at challenging those perspectives and building students’ confidence,’ says Emma.
For the time poor, In2Science offers an eMentoring program that pairs mentors with regional students with a passion for STEM virtually, enabling university students to gain this experience while juggling their busy schedule.
Emma says it’s a ‘commitment that is definitely worth the effort’. ‘It’s fun, rewarding, and great to be part of an enthusiastic team who all share a passion for STEM and want to inspire the next generation of critical thinkers!’
Find out more, or become a volunteer mentor, here.