Activities

How the outcomes were achieved

Communicating Science

Scientists from the Institute for Frontier Materials presented a series of seminars on their practice to undergraduate students at Deakin University, which were then used as the basis for assignments.

Contact

Dr John Cripps Clark, Deakin University.

Responds to ReMSTEP innovation(s):

1

Contemporary science and mathematics integrated in initial teacher education (ITE) units of study.

3

Maths and Science teaching specialisations within ITE primary programs.

Key points

  • Science communication students attended seminars presented by research fellows, research doctoral students and staff from the Institute for Frontier Materials
  • Students gained valuable insight into the scientific research process
  • Some participants recruited into the ‘Successful Students - STEM Student Ambassadors program’

Students studying science communication at Deakin University were given the opportunity to attend seminars presented by research fellows, research doctoral students and staff from the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM). The unit included students from a range of backgrounds, enrolled in science, education and engineering courses.

For me, the best thing was seeing somebody similiar to me, someone who was a student, and seeing where their work took them… and some of the discoveries they were able to make… nobody else had made those sort of discoveries, so it was really groundbreaking.

Science undergraduate, 2015

As part of the unit, the students did background research on the topics and prepared questions for the researchers. After the presentations, the students were given a task based on the presentation:

One of the profiles produced by the students

Both personal and professional aspects of science research practice were presented to the undergraduate students and this had a significant impact on students. Many had only an indistinct understanding of research practice and this activity gave them valuable insight into not only the scientific research undertaken, but also the human side of the endeavour.

I also think for the students it was a good experience, just to have an idea what they would face if they would do a PhD, what would their life look like. I think it was a great idea.

IFM researcher, 2015

The project model engaged students in groups to produce useful communication artifacts, and at the same time giving meaningful experience and feedback on communication to scientists, in a supportive and familiar environment.

There is evidence that the experience gave many students ideas and confidence for teaching science in schools in the future. A number of the students were recruited into the Successful Students - STEM Student Ambassadors program, which places Deakin science and engineering students in science, mathematics and technology classrooms in Geelong secondary schools.

Learn more

For more analysis download the Activity Evaluation report.

Download report - 279kb pdf

Footnotes:

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