New partnership offers free VCE support for girls studying maths and sciences

28 June, 2021

A new program designed to support girls studying STEM subjects in VCE was announced by Monash’s Faculty of Education and The Invergowrie Foundation today, 28 June 2021.

Teenage girl having online lesson in her room with her teacher.

The Monash Virtual School will offer a series of six free classes per subject, delivered over Zoom, and is set to launch in 2022.

According to Faculty of Education Dean, Professor Viv Ellis, research shows gender equality is an on-going challenge in STEM fields.

Women represent less than a third of those employed in scientific research, and male students aspire to STEM careers at double the rate of girls.

“We want to change that story. By removing cost and geographic barriers, this program is designed to tackle educational disadvantage, particularly for girls from low-income families and rural areas,” Professor Ellis said.

Invergowrie CEO Kim Bartlett said they were delighted to partner with Monash on this project as part of their mission to advance the education of girls and women, particularly in STEM.

“The Monash Virtual School revision classes will provide enrolled students with extra knowledge, skills and tools which may otherwise be unavailable to them to assist with reaching their potential,” Ms Bartlett said.

Classes will be available for girls studying biology, physics, chemistry, psychology and information technology, as well as methods, specialist and general mathematics.

The Monash Virtual School will be led by online learning expert Associate Professor Michael Phillips and delivered by Monash pre-service teachers.

“This project offers an amazing opportunity to enhance the learning opportunities for young women studying STEM, as well as enhancing the online teaching capacities of our next generation of educators,” Associate Professor Phillips said.

The program will kick off Term 1, 2022 and will run for two years. Revision classes will run 4.30-5.30pm during Terms 1–3.

Registrations for the program will open in February 2022.

This project was made possible through the generous support of the Invergowrie Foundation.