Inspiring high school students to study STEM
Are you a careers advisor or teacher looking to provide your students with a hands-on science and maths experience at university?
UTS Science is now accepting applications for its popular science outreach programs. High school students take part in practical workshops in microbiology, physics and forensics with experienced tutors.
Merrylands High School has been involved in UTS Science’s outreach programs for six years. Biology teacher Paul Clarke has seen first-hand how it has continued to benefit his students.
Of the 20 year 10 students who took part in the program last year, the majority chose science electives for their HSC. "A few thought 'that was really good, I enjoyed that, I’m going to do it,'" said Mr Clarke.
Outreach programs are also free, which Mr Clarke said is a big bonus.
"We're in Merrylands and its socio-economics aren't fantastic," he said. "Not everyone is rich and wealthy, there’s not a lot of spare money floating around for excursions and when we come to UTS there’s nothing to pay except for the train fare on the day."
At Parramatta High School, science was already a popular subject and students who took part in the program had "an increased awareness of the various areas of science", according to Careers Advisor, Michelle Ibrahim.
The students are already interested in science, however their career pathway is much clearer after the program, for example, many students became interested in forensics
"The students are already interested in science, however their career pathway is much clearer after the program, for example, many students became interested in forensics," Ms Ibrahim said.
Past students have said that they “loved the real-world nature of the workshops” and being able to conduct the experiments themselves.
"I enjoyed that it was interactive and we learnt by seeing what did and didn't work," said a year 11 student.
The outreach program also gives high school students the opportunity to experience UTS’s state-of-the-art facilities, including the underground Super Lab, Crime Scene Simulation Lab and 360 degree Data Arena.
Students also have the chance to speak with current UTS Science students, many of which began their undergraduate degree here and have since progressed to higher degree research.
Spaces within the outreach program are limited, so teachers should register students early to avoid missing out.