- Provide a sustained Professional Learning program for classroom teachers who then facilitate student learning with Mentor support.
- Encourage students to undertake hands-on scientific investigations to solve a problem or question linked to real-life issues. Clear achievement criteria support the student learning.
- Move from structured to open-ended learning experiences for teachers, students and schools.
- Allow students to work in groups and to select areas of personal interest for their scientific investigations.
- Provide students and teachers with specialist content knowledge through Mentors and MySTics (MyScience Trainees in the Classroom, sourced from Year 9/10/11 science students).
- Strengthen links between primary and secondary schools with Year 9/10/11 students working in primary classrooms alongside Mentors.
- Expose Year 9/10/11 students to practicing, enthusiastic scientists, engineers and people who use science in their everyday lives.
- Highlight the importance of Science and Technology education in the school community.
- Encourage school community involvement through the inclusion of local Mentors with science expertise.
Specific Information for Mentors
- As a Mentor, you bring VALUED science expertise, particularly related to: fair testing, critical thinking, scientific method and teamwork.
- The way that you talk about, think about and help students with their scientific investigation is how they (and their teacher) will learn what to do. They learn through INTERACTING and SHARING ideas with you.
- You will probably be working with 6 primary students grouped in pairs or threes, whom you will visit in their classroom on 3 occasions each lasting 60-90 minutes.
- This means that you will be supporting 2-3 different investigations related to the class theme. Group members work on the same question. The class teacher determines the theme.
- For more detailed information about what MyScience mentoring involves, follow the link to the ‘Mentor Information Sheet’ in ‘Resources’ on the right.
- To find out what to do, use the TOP menu link to ‘Implementation’ and follow the ‘Mentor Steps’.
- Mentor Roles and Responsibilities are listed in the centre column.
Working with Children check
- MyScience mentoring does NOT require a NSW ‘Working with Children Check’ because the number of contact hours with children (4.5 hours) is too low and because the teacher is always present in the classroom.
- If, however, your school DOES require adult (over 18) Mentors to register, they will be following the instructions via the ‘Working with Children Check’ button in RESOURCES on the RIGHT.
- As a volunteer the check is FREE.
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 criteria (e.g. Young Scientist Assessment Rubric) 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,
- COMMUNICATE online (where possible) with students between school visits,
- ASSIST teachers to build their personal knowledge and understanding of the science underpinning students’ topics,
- ASSIST and GUIDE any MySTics from local secondary schools, who may also be working with primary students.