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Bionics Institute Girls in STEM Mentoring Program 2023 Mentoring Session Guidelines

Welcome!

Welcome to the Bionics Institute Girls in STEM Mentoring Program. At the end of this page you will find a program calendar and detailed guidelines on mentoring sessions for mentors, students and teachers.

The overall aims of this program are to:

  1. Increase student understand of career and study options in STEM.
  2. Increase student engagement in STEM learning experiences.

This is achieved over a six-month period through STEM workplace tours, online mentoring sessions and information gathering, which culminates in the preparation and delivery of a five minute presentation at a school assembly or in class.

Students are allocated to mentors in groups of 2-4, usually all from the same school. While we try to match students to mentors who work in a research area that interests them, this cannot be guaranteed.

During the program, students:

  • Discover the study and career paths of women working in STEM
  • Visit laboratories and workplaces of their mentors for hands-on learning experiences
  • Learn to source and summarise complex scientific information
  • Receive guidance on reading and understanding straightforward scientific articles
  • Share learnings in a PowerPoint presentation to peers.

What’s in the presentation?

To see a sample presentation, view the 2022 celebration event video here towards the end.

There will be no competition for the best presentation in 2023, we only require confirmation from teachers that each pair of students has presented a summary of their learnings to their peers.

If possible, mentors should be invited to attend the presentation given by their students online or in person, but this is not mandatory.

Your commitment to online mentoring sessions

Leading female scientists have volunteered their time to be mentors because they are passionate about their field and enjoy being a positive role model for students.

We request that students are respectful of their mentor’s time and let them know well in advance, by email, if they are unable to attend a session.

Both mentors and students have committed to five online mentoring sessions of 20-30 minutes in duration to be held at a mutually convenient time, which could be at lunchtime or immediately after school ends.

Mentoring sessions can be rescheduled only once, unless the mentor is willing and able to reschedule a second time. If rescheduling is not possible, the session can go ahead if at least one student is able to attend and recorded for those who cannot attend.

If you have any questions, please contact Sam McLarty: smclarty@bionicsinstitute.org

Mentors and students must adhere to the Girls in STEM Program Terms and Conditions

Mentoring session guidelines and calendar of events

Scroll down to find detailed guidelines on mentoring sessions and a calendar of program events below.

The aim of the first session is to get to know each other and establish expectations for the program. To prepare for this session you will need to:

  1. Email your students after the Meet Your Mentor event to find out when they are available for the first session and send a calendar invitation for a Teams or Zoom meeting.
  2. In the same email, ask if they’d like to pick a specific part of your research area to focus on or whether they would like you to choose something interesting. For example, cochlear implants, treatments for anxiety or the practical application of data science.
  3. Let your students know that they need to email you to let you know if they can’t attend a meeting but you can only reschedule once.

  • Mentor introduces themselves to students, giving a summary of what VCE subjects they studied at school, what they studied at university, a quick history of their career so far and what they love about their work.
  • Students introduce themselves, giving details of what subjects they are studying, or will study in Yr 11 and 12; what university course they are thinking of doing; and what they hope to gain from participation in the program.
  • Mentor introduces the research focus area that has been selected.
  • Mentor outlines what will happen in each session, as follows:

    Session 1: Mentor introduces the wider subject area (for example how hearing works) and asks students to carry out online research to gather more information ready for the next session.

    Session 2: Mentor and students discuss the results of the online research and mentor introduces a sub-area (for example types of hearing loss) and asks students to carry out online research to gather more information ready for the next session.

    Session 3: Mentor and students discuss the results of the online research and mentor introduces a related area (for example treatments for hearing loss) and asks students to carry out online research to gather more information ready for the next session.

    Session 4: Mentor and students discuss the results of the online research and mentor introduces a related area (for example research taking place into one of the treatments); introduces a scientific article on this research and asks students to summarise what they learnt in the session for discussion in the next session.

    Session 5: Mentor leads a discussion on how the students will prepare a PowerPoint presentation of their learnings in pairs, suggesting best practice (minimal text, use of images, writing notes) and asks the student pairs to work on the presentation and send it to the mentor two weeks before their assembly presentation date for review and suggestions for improvement

  • Mentor discusses the best dates and times for meetings in June, July, August and September and sends a calendar invitation for each meeting after the first session ends.
  • Mentor informs students that the program will lead to a five minute PowerPoint presentation in pairs at the end of the program.
  • Mentor asks students to prepare one side of A4 of bullet points summarising what they have learnt from Google research about the focus area for discussion using screenshare in the next session.

To complement the online mentoring element of the program, mentors, students and teachers are invited to attend three in-person events between May and October and the dates for these are detailed below. Attendance is not mandatory but will enhance the experience for everyone involved. You will receive invitations to each event 4-6 weeks in advance and we request a prompt RSVP.

5 April
  • Mentor briefing.
3 May
  • Meet Your Mentor event at the Bionics Institute. Some mentor organisations may organise bespoke events for their students at their workplace around this time – more details to follow. After this event, mentors contact their students by email with a copy to the supervising teacher to introduce themselves and request details on student availability before sending calendar invitations for all five mentoring sessions.
May (to be arranged by mentor)
  • Mentoring session #1
June (to be arranged by mentor)
  • Mentoring session #2
July (to be arranged by mentor)
  • Mentoring session #3
16 August
  • Bionics Institute Open House – more details to follow.
August (to be arranged by mentor)
  • Mentoring session #4.
September (to be arranged by mentor)
  • Mentoring session #5
Early October (to be arranged by school)
  • PowerPoint presentation to peers and mentors, if possible, at school assembly or in class.
30 October
  • Girls in STEM Certificate Presentation event at the Bionics Institute where students are paired with someone from another school to give a two-minute summary of what they’ve learned followed by a certificate presentation for all participants. Some mentor organisations may organise bespoke events for their students at their workplace around this time – more details to follow.