Migrant Science Communication Accelerator – New Program Launched

Migrant Science Communication Accelerator
The Productivity Commission’s Schools Workforce Research Report (2012) found one-third of Australian Year 9 students are being taught maths and one-quarter are being taught science by an out-of-field teacher.

We’re delighted to announce the launch of a new Migrant Science Communication Accelerator with our partners Cultural Infusion and the Australian Science Communicators, with the generous support of the Inner North Community Foundation and the Scanlon Foundation.

At the Royal Society of Victoria, we often meet or hear about migrants to Australia with backgrounds in the sciences who have, for a variety of reasons, been unable to secure work related to their skill base and education. This is a lost opportunity for everybody.

With science literacy evidently declining among Australians, senior student science participation rates dropping and a shortfall of teachers with a background in science and mathematics, it is more important than ever that we find ways to activate the scientists in our community to help engage, educate and prepare our society for the particular challenges of the 21st century; particularly our young people.

Not content with the anecdotal evidence, we seek to qualify and quantify the extent of the affected community here in Victoria through this pilot program. We are interested in hearing from any science and engineering-qualified migrants who have at least a Masters degree in their field, or an undergraduate science degree with relevant work experience, but who have struggled to find related work in Australia. Our intention is to purposefully (and gainfully) activate your knowledge and experience.

The Opportunity

Each year, teachers around Australia engage specialist science communicators and educators to come into their schools and deliver specialist science programs. In this way, the school meets a variety of student curriculum goals that are beyond the capacity of the staffing profile or syllabus.

From 2017, schools in Victoria also have to deliver two new curriculum components – science as an international endeavour, and Intercultural Understanding.

This provides an opportunity to combine learning about science and learning about other cultures in a single session.

The Program

Our pilot program will assist Victorian, science-qualified migrants (with a particular focus on communities to Melbourne’s north, in service of our commitment to our grant bodies) to tell their migration story while developing a science show that is both engaging and suitable for Victorian schools. We will train you to deliver it, and we then help market it to schools through Cultural Infusion’s Schools Program.

Mentorship by working science communicators is provided as well, alongside invitations to great science forums and events to help you connect with Melbourne’s science community and stay in touch with the latest in scientific research and application.

Business training and assistance in setting up as a sole trader is included. If successful, we will seek to expand the program to train and deploy more eligible participants.

Further Information and Applications

Applications can be made via Cultural Infusion’s website, which includes eligibility, guidelines and avenues for further information. Please note the submission deadline of 5pm on 30 December, 2016.

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