Partnerships, Programs and Passion Projects
An industry placement program which provides tertiary students with authentic skills development, enhances MTS programs and realises a passion project.
Monash Tech School has always valued the importance of generating a culture that collaborates with educational and industry partners across programs, projects and infrastructure development. From the outset, MTS has offered industry based learning (IBL) placements for tertiary students, as an additional year or semester of their degree. This is an important partnership arrangement, as it provides an opportunity for MTS to support key faculties from a number of tertiary partners across partner levels, including Monash University and Swinburne University of Technology.
IBL vacancies are advertised with our tertiary stakeholders and undergraduates must formally apply for a position. Students proceed along the MTS recruitment process and are appointed for a 6 or 12 month period. In the case of Swinburne University of Technology, IBLs are supported by a scholarship arrangement, provided by Monash Tech School. More recently, our joint arrangement with John Monash Science School, sees Monash University IBLs placed with the Faculty of Information Technology but embedded within Monash Tech School. The IBL student assumes a key role, with mentoring provided by both the tertiary partner and Monash Tech School.
During the interview stage, IBL applicants are asked to consider why they believe a placement with MTS would be of benefit to their career development and to identify any areas they wish to explore whilst placed with Monash Tech School.
A current IBL expressed a desire to develop a podcast, which aligned with the IBL student’s “passion for audio production” and MTS’ strategic goals. MTS had been interested in podcasts as a means of developing our engagement with experts and the community but we lacked the expertise to make this a tangible project outcome. Our IBL student was placed in a Communications role, and podcasting as a communications medium was an avenue thought valuable to explore.
COVID-19 accelerated opportunities for potentially using podcasts as a platform to explore topics that the community and schools had particular interest in. Loren (IBL student) had long been interested in using a podcast as a medium to analyse English texts from the Victorian School Curriculum for students and teachers. It quickly became apparent that a series of podcasts focused on STEAM neatly aligned to our partner schools’ needs and the current English reading list.
Traditionally, schools can find it challenging to source industry and tertiary experts, who are able to contribute to curriculum studies and engage with students and teachers in an education format. Teachers are also busy planning classes and supporting students through their education. Producing a rich podcast takes time, energy, confidence and expertise; this couldn’t have been done without a number of stakeholders and partners lending their support to the project. The podcasts delve deeply into topics which are aligned to the Victorian Curriculum learning outcomes and feature guests, with subject expertise such as, child psychiatry, sociology, cybersecurity and indigenous politics, allowing them to unpack issues and topics in a vibrant and fast paced environment.
In addition to the “Required Reading” series, Loren recently contributed to National Science Week, developing and hosting a podcast focussing on humanity’s relationship with the ocean and its influence on sustainability; she asks, “Are we asking too much of the ocean?”.
Guests have included:
- Professor Richar Reina Head, Ecophysiology and Conservation Research Group Education Director
- Sue Graham, Phillip Island Park Ranger
- Dr. Paul Harrison, Chief Scientist and cofounder of Mainstream Aquaculture
- Author/writer Katherine Brabon
- Dr Michael Gordon, Head of Child and Adolescent Psychology at Monash Health.
- Dr Steven Roberts, Associate Professor of Sociology at Monash University
- Carsten Rudolph, Associate Professor and Head of the Department for Software and Cyber Security at Monash University.
- Professor Lynette Russell AM, FRHistS, FASSA, FAHA. ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellow 2020-2025 Monash Indigenous Studies Centre Deputy Director the Centre of Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH)
- Jemma Burt, Teacher Glen Waverley Secondary College
- Anthea Annoglou, Teacher Brentwood Secondary College
- Annika Kononen, Teacher Brentwood Secondary College
- Elizabeth Sutherland, Teacher from Mount Waverley Secondary College
- Victoria Passmore, Teacher from Mount Waverley Secondary College
In total, Loren has delivered 4 podcasts focussing on STEAM literature themes. The podcasts have been uploaded to the MTS website and are available for partner schools to download and use as required. The podcasts have also reached the broader community and have been promoted on MTS social media platforms.
These podcasts have assembled a rich array of guests, capturing contributions from our tertiary partner, educators from our partner schools as well as participants from Commonwealth and Victorian Government departments, and the private sector.
The MTS partnership arrangement with tertiary stakeholders and the broader IBL program has provided meaningful placement work, generated important program development, utilised previously untapped communication platforms and provided one IBL with the opportunity to explore her “passion project.”