Widening Participation Unit

Widening Participation Unit

LEAP - National Indigenous Science Education Program (NISEP)

indigenous programMacquarie University's Indigenous Science Education Program (ISEP) was expanded as part of the LEAP program in 2010 and has continued to reach more students and community members. In 2011 ISEP was awarded an Australian Learning and Teaching Award for Programs that Enhance Learning and in 2012 was successful in receiving an Inspiring Australia grant to expand its programs nationally.

The National Indigenous Science Education Program (NISEP) is an innovative, university based program, run collaboratively by Macquarie University staff, high school staff, Aboriginal communities and a growing number of partner organisations and universities.

Providing secondary students, especially Indigenous students, with the motivation and skills to complete their high school studies and to open pathways to tertiary education.

Our main aims:

  • Addresses the alarming low retention of Indigenous students in secondary education
  • Allows students to become more engaged in the learning process by placing students, especially Indigenous students, as 'teachers'
  • Bolsters self-esteem, and develops the students literacy and presentation skills
  • Has provided many students their first opportunity to meet university staff and students to demystify university
  • Has been successful in breaking down the barriers between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, while fostering pride in their identity among Aboriginal students

The main activities through which NISEP currently address these aims include:

  • Interactive Science Shows and Expos
    • Indigenous students are placed in leadership roles as they demonstrate hands-on chemistry, biology and microbiology activities to their peers
  • Macquarie University Open Day
    • Senior students are given the opportunity to attend the University open day and be exposed to further education options available
  • Macquarie University Science Experience (MQSE)
    • Three days of science activities over a range of disciplines held on campus, promoting science and providing information for further study
  • Maclean (Yaegl) Cultural Immersion Program
    • In collaboration with Yaegl community elders and Maclean High School, a series of excursions have been developed integrating local Indigenous knowledge with the school curriculum
  • Indigenous Oral History Project
    • Students are provided with training in video recording and editing to assist in the collection of oral histories of their community

NISEP Brochure (PDF 0.87MB)

Contact us

Associate Professor Joanne Jamie
Faculty of Science
T: +61 2 9850 8283
E: joanne.jamie@mq.edu.au

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