Late last year I applied to be part of this mentoring program called in2science that involves university students, that have completed at least one year of a science-related degree, going into middle-schools and acting as a mentor to the students encouraging them to keep an interest in science. The story behind it is that the Victorian government recognized that there is a decline in specific science-related university graduates (mainly mathematics, physics and chemistry), and they are funding this program as a long-term solution to that problem. I was invited to participate in the program earlier this month and attended a training session yesterday. Which is the reason I didn't blog yesterday, as I was at this thing from 0900-1400 and then at work from 1430-2200.
So yeah, I'm really excited to participate. I'll be going into a school for three hours a week and assisting in a science-related class and just generally encouraging kids to take an interest in science. If I complete one semester of this, I get a nice certificate and a shirt, if I do two semesters I get morning tea with the dean of the university, and then subsequent semesters they work out other prizes and badges for you. So very eager to get in and inspire young minds.
I'm sure it will also help me build my communication skills, my teaching skills and should help me revise and subjects that I may be rusty in. The trainer guy even said that we can run presentations or demonstrations for the class! I'd love to do a physics-related demonstration, something akin to what Walter Lewin of MIT does in his physics lectures that are hosted on Academic Earth. And just a note about Academic Earth; I really have to recommend it to anyone that is considering studying certain fields, or even is already studying. It has entire semesters-worth of world class lectures from Harvard, Yale, Stanford et cetera, and is an invaluable resource for anyone interested or studying particular subjects.
I'll wrap up now; in my next blog I'll talk about the training session I did today. It was for another mentor program, but this one is for first year university students in my course, nursing.