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August 24, 2019, 07:52:34 am

Author Topic: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership  (Read 4007 times)

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Bri MT

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A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« on: January 16, 2018, 05:11:01 pm »
+20
As you may or may not know, today I was very relieved and excited to receive an offer for my first preference, Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours). So excited that I thought I might keep a journey journal.

-Quick info-
Duration: 4 years
Location: Monash Clayton
Website: https://www.monash.edu/global-challenges
Clearly in: n/a as it is a range of criteria  but last year only 90+ ATARs got in
Edited with update: This year there were <90 ATARs accepted. It was very much based on the specific criteria/qualities for this course

Entrance
This is based on a range of criteria with the first step, the supplementary form, due in November. In the form you answer 3 questions. The first is about what you do (volunteering, leadership, extracurriculars etc.), the second is a creative solution to a global issue (I focused on tackling dehydration using a combo of VCE psych, chem and bio knowledge later supplemented by online research), and the third is about how your values and interests align with the course.

Future students: Obviously you don't want to be completing the form at the same time as you are panicking for exams, I recommend finishing the vast majority of it before October. I used the walk to highschool (35 min each way) to think about it and it took me a week to come up with an idea that I liked so be prepared to spend lots of time thinking, and then writing, and then editing to the word limit.

After the supplementary form you get your VCE results and those in conjunction with the supplementary form determine if you get an interview. I was allocated to the first day of interviews and was the first student there because I arrived about an hour early. Upon exiting the interview (which last for a bit under half an hour) I entered a strong state of mental cringing at myself but those feelings subsided with time. At the interview you also receive the dates for pre-enrolment day and the camp.

What is the course?
The same majors are available as to any other science student at Monash with the same units to select from. However, there is also communication, leadership, and entrepreneurship training built into the course. An internship is also included. The fourth year is dedicated to applying the skills learnt thus far by collaborating to create impact through science.
The end result should be a graduate with the scientific, leadership, communication, and entrepreneurship skills to tackle global challenges

I chose this course because I love science, leadership, and the idea of helping to make the world a better place.

Forward planner:
- Pre-enrollment day with science faculty (this week)
- 3 day camp with my course mates "focus on rapid group bonding"  (February)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 04:59:21 pm by miniturtle »
2018-2021: Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) @ Monash

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Vaike

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2018, 09:22:37 pm »
+7
Keen to hear your experiences miniturtle! Sounds like a very interesting course :) 

2016: Biology | Further
2017: Chemistry | English | Methods | Physics | Specialist
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zhen

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2018, 09:49:53 pm »
+7
Iím really looking forward to reading your journal.  :) Itís going to be a change from VCE when I was writing my own journal to now where Iíll be the one lurking and secretly reading everyoneís journal.  :P

Bri MT

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2018, 02:51:03 pm »
+8
Pre enrolment was great.
Each course had its own information session, so we weren't mixed in with standard science or research students. The information about subject selection and enrolment was all available online but we received more information about the camp, 4th year, and the course in general.  Although the news that we would all need to be at uni at 9am on Friday wasn't entirely welcomed, the cohort was enthusiastic about most other things. Within a few minutes of the information session finishing we all took a group photo, joined an informal fb group and chat and had our names and sizes written down for course hoodies. Soon after I went to an information session on studying life sciences with some other GCers, then the same for chemistry. 
I was glad to see the group start come together so quickly - hopefully we continue to bond and become a highly effective team.
2018-2021: Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) @ Monash

Leadership  ; Scientific Methodology ; Wanting to stay productive?

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2018, 03:23:19 pm »
+3
hi miniturtle!!

so good to hear everything's going well. :-)

all the best for uni!
HSC 2017: English (Standard) // Mathematics // Modern History // Legal Studies // Business Studies
2018-2022: B International Studies/B Media (PR & Advertising) @ UNSW

Good luck for trials! ❤️

Bri MT

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2018, 08:04:50 pm »
+8
Units:
MTH1020: Analysis of Change   - the maths for people who did methods
CHM1051: Advanced Chemistry -  the subject reviews indicate better labs in this stream
BIO1011: Biology - this is the unit that will have the most students in it
SCI1051: Impact through Science - this is with my fellow GCers

In regards to my timetable I have 3 8am starts - but I chose those slots intentionally so no complaining from me.  if I'd gotten my first preferences for all units I wouldn't have needed to come in on Mondays but now I'm coming in everyday. Although it's not completely ideal I don't mind too much because I've been looking forward to uni for a long time. I'm a bit guarded because I don't want to be disappointing but when I allow it I'm very excited to be a student, to study my course, and to connect with people who love learning as much as I do.

Coming up:
Next week I have my camp! We're leaving early so I can tell all three days will be packed full of experiences. Keen to escape to nature, to do team building again and to see the GCers irl again. We've done lots of speculation about it and it'll be interesting to see how accurate our serious guesses were.
The day after I get back from camp I have Monash Access Mentor training. The people I talked to before interviews seemed interesting and like they'd have a lot to bring to the program - I hope they were selected. I've got a lot of ideas that I want to try out on whichever highschool students I'm assigned to and I'm curious about what ideas others have.
2018-2021: Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) @ Monash

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Vaike

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2018, 08:17:08 pm »
+3
CHM1051: Advanced Chemistry -  the subject reviews indicate better labs in this stream

Whoop, looking forward to some fun labs 8)

In regards to my timetable I have 3 8am starts - but I chose those slots intentionally so no complaining from me.

As someone who is most definitely not a morning person, I don't understand how you can put yourself through such a thing lol. Looking forward to hearing about your camp :)

2016: Biology | Further
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Bri MT

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2018, 07:42:15 am »
+13
Today is the first day of O-Week (orientation)!

I'm not going to give away too much information about the camp but it was a great experience and we certainly have gotten a lot closer as a cohort.
Throughout the camp we could talk to our course advisor and to 3rd year students which was very valuable in terms of learning about the course, how we got selected, and where we are going.

Training for the Monash Access Mentor program was the day after. As a first year, I'm in the Champions program which means I will be working with a couple of other mentors to facillitate groups of year 9 and 10 students completing projects. We will be semi-dormant until April which is when we finish training and get to meet our mentees. I'm keen to see who they are,  what they're like, how they work together  and the ideas they can produce.

Right now I'm on a train headed for campus and science orientation. I imagine that campus is going to be petty hectic this week and I hope the energy is energising rather than overwhelming.  I can't wait to see the labs, lecture theatres, tutorial rooms, etc. That I'll be using. 
It still hasn't quite sunk in that I'm a uni student.  It's like I subconsciously believe that I was just attending another leadership camp and training for an extra curricula activity. Like pre-enrollment was just another open day. But it's not,  and I'm thinking that today might be when it really hits me - like receiving offers all over again.

19/02/18
2018-2021: Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) @ Monash

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Bri MT

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2018, 04:18:26 pm »
+9
It is now mid-semester break and a lot has happened.

SCI1501
Although one of the purposes of this journal is to help people (especially prospective students) understand what being a Global Challenger is about, I am going to intentionally keep information from you - we weren't told everything at the start so I'm not going to tell you everything before you start.

I now have knowledge of all my assessments this semester and I'm going to share with you information about my first assessed SCI1501 task and the main assessed task. The assessments do change each year - the course is very malleable and each year level so far has had a slightly different experience.

The first one - the flash talk
This was about being able to present information about science in a clear, engaging and content-rich manner within a short time-frame.
Science communication is really one of the key focuses of this unit

On a related note, learning how to effectively give and receive feedback is also a key focus. It's a skill that sounds simple but has hidden complexities and will be useful to you no matter where you go

Main assessment: The Leadership Quest
Easily the most intimidating assessment I will face this year. Some of the work which has evolved from GC assessments includes https://www.sistersinscience.net/ which aims to increase female engagement through the use of role-models and https://sockos.com.au/ which allows people to contribute to a UN sustainable development goal by purchasing a pair of socks.
Basically you see a challenge (scale doesn't matter too much) and use the skills you have learnt to address it.

Some of you may know the frustration I felt at not having specialist maths offered at my high school, or you may be aware that my physics class was nearly cancelled. Not my school's fault - it can be hard to dedicate the resources to have that subject taught given the low levels of interest for it. This isn't just a personal issue; it's systemic. Student Family Occupation and Education (SFOE) and SES have disturbingly strong impacts on students choosing math and science subjects. eg. in a 2000 report they found these things:
  "the strongest association (between parents' education and subject enrollment) can be seen in the physical sciences,where students whose parents had undertaken higher education were more than twice as likely to be enrolled than those students whose parents had reached middle secondary level" and
"55 per cent of the students in specialist mathematics had parents from the highest educational level." (read more : https://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1012&context=lsay_research)
And of course if there aren't enough students to run a class the few students who are interested will miss out, and science will miss out from the continued reduction in diversity and perspectives.
As you may have guessed, I plan to target this issue in my leadership quest.

My other subjects:
Bio is a bit strange because it isn't streamed. So you have people to whom the concepts are mostly revision and others who are seeing everything for the first time. Additionally, in the first few weeks VCE chem was very useful so people who had studied neither chem nor bio were really struggling.
Regardless of studying subjects before hand, there is a lot of content - so if you have done bio before don't get complacent. There are marked post-lectorial quizzes every week and optional follow up quizzes. Many people choose to Google the answers these quizzes. I think this is a good example of how uni is different:this isn't highschool and no-one is going to say "do the optional follow up daily to get a good mark"[I don't actually do that] or anything, so it's really up to you to prioritise your time and workload to ensure you retain concepts. On the other hand, the support and resources are available if you want them - you just need to actively make the choice.

Chem Adv is pretty similar to standard chem except that we have longer labs and bits and pieces of additional conceptual grounding. In the first week it was a very significant advantage to have done VCE physics. This is my most conceptually difficult subject and the one for which (imo) prereadings are most vital. My first lab was the most daunting despite being the most simplistic (titrations) simply because it was solo work and our first experience in the labs (though the person across from me being rushed to hospital partway through didn't help either). It's important to prepare for the labs in advance not just for your grades (there is a prelab quiz) but also so that a) you understand what you're doing and b) you can work efficiently, neatly and save time. We tend to finish and leave before the full four hours are up but I certainly wouldn't rely on that being the case.

Math 1020 was quickly identified as a subject I like and was the clear winner in the first few weeks out of everything expect SCI1501 (which is just a whole different league to anything). The lectures are split into two streams each with a different lecturer. I cannot recommend enough that you find which one suits your learning style and make all 3 of your lectures be with that lecturer. It is very disorientating to switch from one style to another and I personally don't find the other stream anywhere near as engaging. My stream is really about developing intuitive understanding and working with others to debate question answers during the lecture. The other stream takes a slower pace, goes step by step through the formulas and instead has its questions at the end. There's no prereading but I like to work through the lecture notes before lectures.

Other news:
- I was elected as the first year GC rep for MASS^3 which is the society for advanced science students. We have a trivia night coming up shortly which should be great :)
- Time management is being quite difficult especially with the travel time that I have, but I'm learning to make more effective use of that time. I wouldn't consider changing unis to be closer to home for even an instant but it can be draining
- Biology gives you assessments due during the mid-semester break even though you don't attend uni then which kinda sucks

Timeline:
- I'll complete the last of my Access Monash Mentor training this month and get to meet my mentees
- SCI1501 students also have events that occur outside normal contact hours. We have had 2 so far (3 if you count the great race - if anyone saw the picture of Star Wars people running round campus that was part of it) and there's another this week
2018-2021: Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) @ Monash

Leadership  ; Scientific Methodology ; Wanting to stay productive?

Bri MT

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2018, 06:41:00 am »
+14
Today is my first uni exam (advanced chem) and I'm keen.  No, you didn't read that wrong,  I'm keen for the exam.  I've reached a point in my life where I'm completing an exam for university science and that is just such a wonderful thing.  I get to enter a room with my peers and provide proof that yeah,  I've been learning with other people who care just as much and want to delve deeper. I get to be assessed on my own merits and really genuinely be able to be shared luck and wish luck to others without reservation. 

In a week I will have determined my marks for the first semester of uni, and you can expect a long post shortly after that.
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Joseph41

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2018, 04:21:49 pm »
+5
Today is my first uni exam (advanced chem) and I'm keen.  No, you didn't read that wrong,  I'm keen for the exam.  I've reached a point in my life where I'm completing an exam for university science and that is just such a wonderful thing.  I get to enter a room with my peers and provide proof that yeah,  I've been learning with other people who care just as much and want to delve deeper. I get to be assessed on my own merits and really genuinely be able to be shared luck and wish luck to others without reservation. 

In a week I will have determined my marks for the first semester of uni, and you can expect a long post shortly after that.

I really love the sentiment of this post. Hope it went well for you!
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Bri MT

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2018, 10:36:36 am »
+8
I'm going to start with the most recent and move back in time.


Yesterday I finished my mental health first aid course.
We began with an overview & looked at misconceptions, stats for mental disorders in Aus etc.
Then we looked at (day 1) depression, suicide, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, (day 2) trauma, traumatic events, psychosis, severe psychotic states, substance use problems and severe effects from alcohol & other drugs.

Lots of content to cover over the two days, especially as we kept asking questions, but it certainly didn't feel "doom and gloom"-y despite the sometimes heavy nature of what was being covered.

If there are two things I can leave with you I think it would be this:
a) diet and exercise matter a lot more than you probably think they do
b) if you think someone might be planning to kill themselves, ask, listen to what they have to say, avoid judgement & encourage them to connect to support



Unrelated: On my way home it felt great to walk past a sign at Southern Cross for the Wendouree train departing in 99 minutes (I was on that line last semester) over to the metro train which I now catch.    Travel to & from uni next semester is going to be great.
 

exams
The chem exam was alright. I went in feeling pretty psyched and I think I performed ok. The practice exams (both chm1051 and chm1011) were a pretty good indicator of what the actual exam was like.

The bio exam was SOOO much easier than we thought it would be. The revision questions were about 20 times more difficult, and the actual exam was based on the lectures NOT mastering biology.  It was slightly irritating to have invested so much time into revision only to be greeted with an easy exam that didn't require that depth of knowledge, but better safe than sorry I guess.

By maths I was busy stressing about packing for moving and just wanting exams over and done with. This is the subject I was least prepared for (math got a bit boring towards the end....) and I felt that while sitting the exam. I doubt I'll get a great score but I feel pretty safe that I'll get the marks I need for my course.      The days before the exam I was feeling quite unwell (probably made worse by stress) but fortunately I've conditioned myself to feel upbeat and positive on exam days & that kicked in once I arrived on campus & overrode my unwell-ness.   [ I usually prepare a nice brekky for myself, have everything completely ready, read a bit, go to bed early etc. the night before & loop positive self talk through my head on the day of the exam]

I really love the sentiment of this post. Hope it went well for you!

Thankyou! :)   I hope so too!       

week 12

Wow. This was a big week.

Monday:  Group presentation for CHM1051 due
Wednesday: Group presentation for BIO1011 due   (& we hadn't met up before this day due to everyone's timetable crashing)
Friday: Leadership quest Part A due, speakership presentation due

Luckily, I was with good people for both of the group presentations, who had done their research and were prepared to speak their parts.
Given that the speakership presentation was due at 9am of the Friday & I tend to prioritise GC work I focused pretty heavily on that throughout the week.
In particular, I spent a significant amount of Tuesday tweaking my 4 minute speech, refining it, and then memorising it. I arrived to the classroom at 8am and started practicing performing my speech in front of a couple of other classmates. By 8:50 Djuke (the course co-ordinator) had arrived and we started setting up the room. 9:00, I was allocated in the group of people who would present in the 2nd half of the workshop. Speeches began. Halfway time: I asked if I could speak last. The reason? I had decided I didn't like my speech, discarded my hours of preparation & decided to start from scratch using the approx 20 second breaks between presenters to create my new speech plan my delivery. It was a risk, but one definitely worth taking.  My speech was received well & soon after rushed off to finish-off my leadership quest portfolio part A.
Note: Impromptu-ing a speech can work if you know what you're doing. Impromptu-ing a leadership quest portfolio will not work.


2018-2021: Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) @ Monash

Leadership  ; Scientific Methodology ; Wanting to stay productive?

strawberries

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2018, 10:48:19 am »
+1
Good luck for your results! Enjoy the rest of your break and good luck for next semester too! :)
VCE '15
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Bri MT

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2018, 11:04:48 am »
0
Good luck for your results! Enjoy the rest of your break and good luck for next semester too! :)

Thankyou!  Best of luck to you too! :)
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Bri MT

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Re: A turtle's exploration of the world of science & leadership
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2018, 10:30:35 am »
+6
Just had my first lecture of semester 2 which also happened to be my first time watching a lecture by livestream. It was a bit frustrating that I missed the start of the lecture due to "browser incompatibility" - the site told me to update adobe flash player despite this being fully updated so I was using trial and error to resolve the issue. Luckily since it was the first lecture much of what I missed was revision or general notices.  I prefer in person attendence but seeing as I only have one lecture on Mondays and Fridays the travel isn't worth it.

 In other news, it's great to start to see the projects my students mentees are working on in the Access Monash program start to come together. I've got most of my hours for the year which is great since I don't want to be stressing about activity hours (which come from things like facilliating highschool tours) at the end of semester. ( I'll still be doing mentoring until the end of the program, but that's very reliable as it's scheduled and waiting lists aren't applicable).

I'll be heading on campus later today for the mass^3 bbq and downball competition, I didn't get to catch up with my cohort much during the break (and I didn't communicate with non-commitee research students at all) so it'll be especially great to see some more familiar faces.

Finally, while writing this I opted out from the montrack program. It's nice that first year students have older students call them and check up on them, but I don't need it and I'd rather avoid the random phone calls.

Hope everyone has a great start of semester & that the highschool students aren't too freaked out by their first week back. The first couple of weeks of term 3 were the most hectic and stressful time for me in year 12, but it'll be over before you know it (in a good way)
2018-2021: Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) @ Monash

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