Curious Minds needs enthusiastic women to become coaches to help empower girls to excel in STEM.
If you’re a female professional working in the STEM industry and would like to coach high-performing girls in years 9 and 10 to explore their potential in STEM studies and careers, we would love to hear from you.
Applications for the 2022-23 Curious Minds program are now closed.
Not only will you be inspiring a potential STEM professional, you’ll also develop valuable teaching and coaching skills and create new networks with other women within the STEM industry.
Stories from coaches
I work as a Forensic Biologist [which] has been my dream job since I was about 15 and thankfully it is every bit as wonderful as I had hoped. I love it as it combines science with my love of problem solving and mysteries. I also have taught forensic biology on and off at my university for the last 6 years, which is another passion of mine. I am very lucky that I have known what I wanted to do since a young age, but that isn’t the case for everyone. There are so many directions science can take, and I think exploring different options is very important as well.
As a STEM coach you will:
- make a difference in the life of a girl with a curious mind
- contribute to the future career of a potential STEM professional
- develop your own teaching and coaching skills
- create new networks with a group of awesome female STEM peeps
- have a rewarding experience.
Curious Minds is a six-month program that combines two residential camps—a summer and winter camp—and a mentoring program that takes place in between.
The residential camps will enable the girls to explore all aspects of science, technology, engineering and maths through guest lectures, interactive sessions, practicals and field trips.
As a STEM Coach, you will be matched with a female student based on a compatible STEM area of interest and, where possible, geographical location. Over the course of the six months, you will be keeping in regular contact with your student to help them build their skills and confidence in a STEM area. This can include discussing study options and career pathways, helping them undertake further extension work, developing ideas based on learnings from the camp, working on a project or inviting them to your workplace for a visit. Modules will be provided to give you and your student ideas of useful things to do. The overall objective is to increase your student’s confidence, stimulate her curiosity, inspire her enthusiasm and motivate her interest in STEM studies and careers.
You will need capacity to:
- attend webinar training and catch-ups
- virtually meet your student and get started during the first summer camp
- contact your student via phone or video call every three weeks, with some emails/texts in between
- attend a wrap-up session during the winter camp in July
We will support you throughout the program with:
- initial Coach Intro sessions
- online Coach forum for questions and discussion
- planned modules including conversation tips and goals
- a ‘Head Coach’ who will monitor, check in and problem solve with you
- online catch-up sessions mid program and prior to the winter camp
- the opportunity to catch up with other mentors
We have invited 110 highly capable girls in years 9 and 10 who have an interest in STEM learning areas. The girls will:
- be highly capable, hard-working and apply themselves
- be curious and have a love of learning
- have potential but may lack confidence in their own abilities
- be willing to engage
- have the maturity to live away from home for five nights
Students were identified through results of extension programs and competitions run by the Australian Mathematics Trust and Australian Science Innovations.
In order to qualify as a Coach, you will need:
- successful proven interest in STEM activities
- the desire and capability to work with young people, in particular high school Students
- an understanding of and agreement to coach responsibilities
- a completed Working with Children Check (or state equivalent)
- the ability to commit to time requirements
The program was developed in response to the Australian Government’s 2014 Restoring the focus on STEM initiative, which aims to support improved science, mathematics and digital technology education in schools and promote improved results in international tests and increased take-up of STEM subjects at the post-secondary level.
The Australian Mathematics Trust (AMT) and Australian Science Innovations (ASI) jointly deliver the Curious Minds program, which is supported by the Australian National University.
Applications for the 2022-23 program are now closed. We will reopen applications for the 2023-24 program in October 2023.
This is a volunteer role, and all STEM Coaches should hold a valid Working with Vulnerable People card, or be willing to obtain one.