Scientists in Schools

Information for teachers

The ICT in Schools program allows you and your students to work with an ICT professional volunteer in a flexible, professional partnership. You can be teaching in any discipline.

The ICT professional can act as mentor, role model or inspiration for your students, providing you and them with access to new ideas and fresh perspectives in using ICT in your classroom. In turn, you and your students will help ICT professionals see their work from a new angle and stay engaged with the public perception of their work.

The program is open to schools anywhere in Australia, and to all levels of schooling. The ICT professional involved will come from a wide range of disciplines and will include researchers, engineers and people involved in applied ICT (such as web developers, programmers and ICT security specialists).

What's involved?

Your involvement with the ICT professional can be tailored to suit your availability, interests and classroom situation, and will also depend on the professional's availability.

For example, you could:

  • Take your class on a visit to your ICT partner's workplace
  • Ask your ICT partner to give a presentation about their career or area of work
  • Work with your ICT partner to develop a project or unit of work related to their field
  • Email students' ICT questions to your ICT partner
  • Collaborate with your ICT partner to run ICT activities for your students
  • Undertake professional development with your ICT partner.

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.

Back to top

What’s in it for me and my students?

Students can benefit by:

  • exposure to an ICT role model for career inspiration
  • learning more about the role of ICT in society
  • exploring the technology being studied in their community
  • discovering the ‘real’ ICT behind their curriculum.

Teachers have the opportunity to learn about cutting edge ICT research in their area of interest, and to create links with ICT professionals and ICT organisations for teaching and learning inspiration.

Teachers can also use their partnership as evidence to support their work towards the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Depending on your partnership this might include:

  • 2.1 Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area
  • 2.2 Content selection and organisation
  • 2.5 Literacy and numeracy strategies
  • 2.6 Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • 3.3 Use teaching strategies
  • 3.4 Select and use resources
  • 6.1 Identify and plan professional learning needs
  • 6.2 Engage in professional learning and improve practice
  • 6.4 Apply professional learning and improve student learning
  • 7.4 Engage with professional teaching networks and broader communities

Back to top

Police checks and security

ICT professionals who undertake any type of interaction with students are required by State and Federal governments to undergo security screening.

The ICT in Schools program will work with your school and the ICT professional to ensure that all security requirements are met before you commence your partnership.

Back to top

Support for your partnership

The Scientists, Mathematicians and ICT in Schools team provides support materials to all teachers who are partnered with an ICT professional through the program. This support material includes:

  • information and tips about working with ICT professionals and ICT organisations
  • ideas for establishing and maintaining a partnership with an ICT professional
  • 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 making the most of your partnership with an ICT professional. Invitations will be sent by email to local participants.

Partnered professionals and teachers are also invited to join the ICT 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.

Back to top

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 style of partnership you undertake
  • the year levels and subject areas you’d like to have involved
  • your principal’s contact details.

All teachers who participate are required to have the support of their principal.

If you like, you can nominate a type of ICT professional that you would like to work with. You can request a specific professional who you might know or nominate a field of ICT research that would suit you and your school.

Once you have registered, we will match you with an ICT professional according to your stated partnership preferences. If there is no professional already registered who matches your preferences, we will endeavour to recruit a suitable ICT professional for your partnership.

We will then send you the ICT professional’s contact details and your support materials; at the same time we will send your contact details to the ICT professional. 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 professional have made contact. You and your partner can then develop the partnership in a way that suits you both.

Back to top

Frequently asked questions

I’m in a remote or regional school with no ICT organisations nearby. Can I participate?
Absolutely. If we can’t find a local ICT professional or someone who works in an ICT field, we will consider other options such as email or teleconference partnerships, or finding a professional willing to travel to your school.

What if our circumstances change after we partner with an ICT professional?
At any time you can negotiate with your partner 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 teacher to work with the ICT professional.

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

I’m already working with an ICT professional– 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 provide you with access to all the ICT in Schools support and resources.

What about money?
There is no charge to register for ICT in Schools or to be partnered with an ICT professional. Please note that we’re unable to pay for teacher release 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 listed on the registration form are based on the national education framework and represent the way that science, technology and mathematics subjects are covered in most schools.

What sort of activities can I do in the partnership?
Let your imagination guide you! You and your partner scientist can decide on activities that interest you and the students. See some examples of what others have done.

Back to top