Scientists in Schools

  • Information for ICT professionals

    The ICT in Schools program allows you to work with a teacher in a flexible, professional partnership.

    You will provide valuable ideas and inspiration for teachers and students; in turn, you will receive a fresh perspective on ICT from your contact with the classroom environment.

    The program is open to ICT professionals working in research; post-graduate ICT students and people involved in ICT in industry, such as software and applications programmers, database administrators, ICT security specialists, computer network professionals, multimedia specialists and web developers, game developers and designers, ICT support and test engineers.

    You can nominate a school, or you can leave it to us to select an appropriate school for you.

    What’s involved?

    You have control over your involvement with your partner teacher, so your partnership can suit your availability and interests.

    For example, you could:

    • arrange a class visit to your workplace or another ICT site
    • give a presentation to a class of students
    • help a school involved in an ICT competition
    • mentor students who are working on ICT projects
    • answer students’ questions by email
    • help a teacher run ICT activities with students
    • provide support and information to teachers.

    You can read about successful partnerships in our showcases.

    The most beneficial partnerships (for all involved) are those that are longer-term rather than one-off.

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    What’s in it for me?

    ICT professionals who have worked with schools have found it very rewarding. Their own enthusiasm for their profession is often increased through contact with students’ curiosity and engagement.

    Many ICT professionals find they get the opportunity to work with the ICT gadgets and equipment again that first gave them their enthusiasm for the subject.

    Many professionals also feel a sense of achievement in nurturing and inspiring students’ interest in technology as a career option and as part of their every day lives.

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    What qualifies as an ICT professional?

    Anyone who is working in one of the ICT groups identified by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency and who has a tertiary qualification at a bachelor level in ICT or has equivalent work experience and industry based qualifications will be considered to be an ICT professional for inclusion in the SMiS program. If you’re not sure whether you qualify for the program please get in touch with us.

    The ICT groups:

    • Software and applications programmers
    • Database and systems administrators
    • ICT security specialists
    • ICT Business and systems analysts
    • Computer network professionals
    • Telecommunications engineering professionals
    • Multimedia specialists and web developers
    • ICT support and test engineers
    • ICT researchers and academics

    Typical tertiary qualifications would be a Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in:

    • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
    • Information Technology (IT)
    • Computer Systems Engineering
    • Information Systems
    • Engineering (Software)
    • Engineering (Mechatronics)
    • Mechatronics
    • Software Engineering
    • Robotics
    • Computing
    • Computing Studies
    • Computer Science
    • Network systems
    • Advanced Computing
    • Digital Media
    • Multimedia Design
    • Design Computing
    • Games Design/Development
    • Science (Information Technology)

    Typical industry qualifications would include:

    • CCNA
    • CCNP
    • CCIE
    • CCAr
    • CCDA
    • CCDP
    • CCDE
    • MCSA
    • MCSE
    • MCSD
    • MCA
    • CISM
    • CRISC
    • OpenCA
    • ITIL
    • A+

    And/Or equivalent Industry Experience.

    Working with Children checks and security

    ICT professionals who undertake any type of interaction with students are required by State and Federal governments to undergo security screening. Evidence of the completed check must be provided before finding you a partner teacher.

    If you have completed a recent Working with Children check then a copy will be requested to finalise your registration. Below is a list of the accepted Working with Children Checks for each state.

    If you need to undergo or update your Working with Children check, the Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools team will help you arrange this as part of your registration process.

    Please note: Status of your relevant check will be reviewed or updated every two years.

    Working with Children checks accepted

    Australian Capital Territory

    Working with Vulnerable People check

    Office of Regulatory Services
    New South Wales

    Working with Children check

    NSW Office of the Children's Guardian

    Northern Territory Ochre Card SAFE NT
    Queensland Blue card Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian
    South Australia DCSI Criminal History check Department of Communities and Social Inclusion

    Working with Children Registration

    Department of Justice

    Victoria Working with Children check Department of Justice
    Western Australia Working with Children check Department of Child Protection

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    Support for your partnership

    The ICT in Schools program provides support materials to all ICT professionals who are partnered with a school through the program. This support material includes:

    • information and tips about working with schools, teachers and students
    • ideas for establishing and maintaining a partnership with a school
    • teaching and learning materials that can be used with students.

    Resources and ideas are also available on the website.

    We will maintain contact with you throughout the life of the ICT in Schools program or for the duration of your partnership, to provide any advice and assistance required.

    We will periodically offer free professional development workshops for participants, in which you will share ideas with other participants and learn new skills in working with schools. Invitations will be sent by email to local participants.

    Partnered scientists and teachers are also invited to join the Scientists in Schools email list, which allows them to contact participants across the country to ask questions, share ideas and discuss topics relating to their partnerships.

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    The registration process

    You can register for ICT in Schools online. On the registration form we will ask you for your contact information, as well as:

    • your preferences about the location and style of partnership you undertake
    • your supervisor contact details
    • some general information about your qualifications and research area
    • if you hold a valid Working with Children check for your state.

    All professionals who participate are required to have the support of their supervisor or equivalent. ICT professionals who don’t have a supervisor, for example self-employed professionals, can select the ‘not applicable’ option in this section of the registration form.

    If you like, you can nominate a school that you would like to work with. If you choose not to nominate a school, we will select an appropriate school for you.

    Once your registration is complete, we will match you with a teacher according to your stated partnership preferences. If there is no teacher already registered who matches your preferences, we will endeavour to recruit a suitable teacher for your partnership.

    We will then send you the teacher’s contact details and a link to your support materials; at the same time we will send your contact details to the teacher. You can initiate the partnership at any time after this. We will contact you to ensure that you have received all the material and to check that you and the school have made contact. You and the teacher can then develop the partnership in a way that suits you both.

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    Frequently asked questions

    What sort of activities can I do in the partnership?
    Let your imagination guide you! You and your partner teacher can decide on activities that interest you and the students.You may need to discuss issues of cost, equipment availability and safety with your partner teacher.

    Here are some examples of what others are doing:

    • Code clubs: A group of interested students get together during a lunchtime or after school to do their own little projects in writing code. The ICT professional could start showing students how to do simple programs, how to write an app or how to script up a web page. This might be once week, month or fortnight. This would fit very well into years 5 to 10.
    • Special programming lessons: An ICT professional working with the teacher to show a class how to do some programming for a few classes a week over a month or so. The teacher could then carry on with some class project with the students using the skills they have learnt. An example of this could be learning Javascript then using it to do nifty things on a webpage. This would fit very well into years 5 to 10.
    • Competitions: The ICT professional comes in and mentors students entering competitions such as Young ICT explorers Australia [external link] (years 3 to 12), First Lego league [external link] (ages 9 to 14), RoboCupJunior [external link] (years 4 to 12), and the Australian Informatics Olympiad [external link] (years 7 to 12).
    • Robotics: Many teachers would like to use robots in class but lack the confidence to jump into the ICT world. An ICT professional might show a teacher outside of the classroom how to build simple robots. This could be done with Lego Mindstorms which many schools have invested in. This assistance might take a few afternoons a week for a few weeks.
    • Art and creative design: Using technology like Arduino prototyping tools [external link] or Raspberry Pi [external link] to build techno art installations. This partnership might be coaching the teacher or mentoring the students. This activity could be anything from a one off day to an hour a week for a term. This would be suitable for years 5 to 12.
    • Curriculum development: Working with a teacher for a few afternoons to design a unit of work to cover some part of the Australian Curriculum in either Digital Technologies or ICT capabilities in other subject areas.

    Why do you need to know my age?
    Information about your age is only collected as part of demographic data. We welcome professionals of all ages.

    What if my circumstances change after I partner with a school?
    At any time you can negotiate with your partner teacher to change the style of partnership to fit with your new circumstances. If you are no longer able to participate, you can leave the partnership and we will endeavour to find another scientist to take your place.

    How much time will the partnership take?
    That’s entirely up to you. You can choose to spend a few hours per term, or visit a school every week. You and your partner teacher can choose a style of partnership to suit your availability.

    I’m already working with a school – should I register anyway?
    Yes, please do. We are keen to find out about successful partnerships that have been developed through other programs or directly between schools and ICT professionals. There’s room on the form to describe your existing partnership(s). If you don't want another partnership, please tell us; in this case we will simply record your existing partnership in our database and give you access to all the Scientists in Schools support and resources.

    What about money?
    There is no charge to register for Scientists in Schools or to be partnered with a school. Please also note that we’re unable to pay for your time or any costs incurred through the partnership.

    Will my details remain private?
    Please read the legal notice for details of our privacy policy.

    What do the subject areas cover?
    The subject areas are based on the national education framework and represent the way that science, technology and mathematics subjects are covered in most schools. They relate to ICT disciplines as follows:

    • Digital Technologies knowledge and understanding –
      • Representation of data, which involves how data are represented and structuredsymbolically
      • Digital systems (Years 5 to 10 only), which involves the components of digitalsystems: software, hardware and networks
      • Interactions and impact, which involves influences on, and the impact ofinformation systems in people’s lives.
    • Digital Technologies processes and production skills –
      • Years F to 4 - using data,
        Years 5 to 10 - managing and analysing data. This involves collecting, managing and interpreting data when creating information, and the nature and properties of data, how they are collected and interpreted
      • Years F to 4 only - using digital systems which involves using a range of digital systems and their components and peripherals
      • Years F to 2 - defining and solving problems
        Years 3 to 6 - defining problems and implementing solutions
        Years 7 to 10 - specification, algorithms and implementation. These involve the precise definition of problems and specification and implementation of their solutions.
      • Years F to 2 - creating and communicating
        Years 3 to 4 - creating and communicating online
        Years 5 to 10 - creating and interacting online. This involves creating and communicating information, especially online by creating websites, and interacting safely using appropriate technical and social protocols.


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