High school mentoring - physics
Broadening Physics Student Experience and Learning Through a High School Mentoring Programme
School: Physics and Astronomy
Team Member: Jean-Christophe Denis
It is recognised that numerous efforts need to be undertaken to attract students from disadvantaged backgrounds at the University, and the gender and social inequalities at the School of Physics and Astronomy need to be reduced. Outreach is generally considered able to address these issues. Meanwhile, students ask for new educational experiences which can improve their employability, communication and maturity.
In this context, we propose an innovative mentoring scheme for up to eight volunteer 2nd year Physics undergraduate (UG) students to become mentees of up to three High School pupils over the whole year. The expectations for the UG students is that they would help in the classroom with science teaching, and stay at the school to help mentees with their science homework, once every two weeks. UG students would give about a half-day every two week for the school visit itself, plus a similar amount of time to prepare it. They will have a budget at their disposal, and will be encouraged to take ownership of their own work, with strong supported from the Outreach Officer in the School of Physics and Astronomy. After this one-year pilot, this scheme would become a credit-bearing course if successful. The pupils mentored by the UG students would be willing S4 students. We would hope to show them that Physics is a choice of Highers that is open to them.
We believe UG students would benefit greatly from the scheme, both personally and academically.