What is MyScience?
MyScience is an award-winning primary school science program that builds teacher capacity, uses inquiry style learning, and encourages the involvement of science mentors within the community.
Developed to improve the improve science education in Australia, the program encourages primary school students to undertake an authentic scientific investigation and to communicate their findings to their school community at a Science Fair.
The program will run over three months. For mentors, it will only require approximately 8 hours of your time. This includes an initial training session on campus, and onsite mentoring sessions at a local primary school.
What is mentoring?
Student mentoring refers to situations where teachers, other adults or older students work on a one-to-one relationship or small group basis with primary students, to achieve planned outcomes. Knowledge is transferred based on encouragement, constructive comments, openness, mutual trust, respect, and a willingness to learn and share.
The benefits of becoming a MyScience@MQ mentor
Mentoring is an essential leadership skill and can be rewarding professionally – contributing towards your career goals – and also personally – contributing back to the community.
By becoming a MyScience@MQ mentor, you will create formative experiences via science projects, exposing children to some of the challenges and rewards that science and engineering can deliver. During the process, you will also get the opportunity to improve your communication skills and learn new perspectives and ways of thinking.
A year 9/10 science student may also be partnered with you as you support a group of primary students. In this way, they will also gain science insights and knowledge and may become inspired to study science in Years 11 & 12 and beyond.
Upon completion of your MyScience@MQ mentoring experience you will receive a Certificate of Accomplishment.
What will be required of MQ mentors
The main purpose of mentoring is to provide support to primary students in their quest to plan, conduct, analyse data and report findings of their own scientific investigation. This requires asking students lots of questions throughout every stage. Review the Mentor Information Sheet for more information.
The total MyScience@MQ Mentor commitment is approximately eight hours.
- Approximately 1 hour mentor orientation session held on campus by a trained facilitator (review ‘Preparing for the Mentoring Role’)
- Approximately three school-based visits of 60-90 minutes, where you will likely be working with 6 primary students grouped in pairs or threes. This means that you will be supporting 2-3 different investigations related to a class theme. Group members work on the same question. The class teacher determines the theme.
- Approximately 1 hour attending the School Science Fair and possibly 1 hour attending the MyScience@MQ Science Fair in December 2018.
What is the criteria to become a mentor
Even if you understand the benefits of mentoring and it sounds like a great idea, you have to decide whether it’s right for you.
- Do you have science and or engineering expertise, or wish to develop such skills?
- Do you enjoy encouraging and motivating others?
- Do you want to contribute to the growth and success of others?
- Do you like to laugh and inspire others to have fun while learning?
- Can you commit approximately 8-15 hours of your time?
If you answered ‘yes’ to the above, then you’re an ideal mentor!
What are the mentor roles and responsibilities
- Understand the objectives of the MyScience program and communicate these to colleagues.
- Discuss with the class teacher how MyScience is being used e.g., identify the class theme, understand particular students needs.
- Understand the Young Scientist Assessment Rubric criteria being used to assess student work.
- Through group discussion, facilitate students’ understanding of the scientific nature of tasks, especially in the areas such as: fair testing, critical thinking, scientific method and teamwork.
- Reinforce the strengths of students’ ideas for investigation and suggest areas for development.
- Tailor support to meet students’ interests, knowledge and abilities.
- Assist teachers to build their personal knowledge and understanding of the science underpinning students’ topics.
- Assist and guide any Year 9/10 science students from local secondary schools, who may also be working with primary students.