National Indigenous Science Education Program

The National Indigenous Science Education Program uses science projects to enhance educational outcomes for young people particularly in regional and rural communities, working with Indigenous high school students as mentors and role models.

Run collaboratively by university and secondary school staff, Aboriginal communities and science outreach organisations, NISEP empowers Indigenous students by building confidence in science, communicating its relevance and providing accessible role models in the tertiary scientific sphere.

Based at Macquarie University, NISEP adopts a community inclusive approach through engaging Indigenous students and Elders as ‘teachers’ to deliver science activities and cultural information to the community. Indigenous ‘teachers’ in turn become excellent role models and mentors for younger students.

NISEP activities include hands-on science shows featuring Indigenous youth explaining science that has relevance to their everyday lives, science-based cultural programs presented by Aboriginal Elders to the public, and community visits to partner universities and scientific organisations.

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The transformations I have seen in the classroom are amazing. Two years ago one student had to be literally dragged into the lab. Now she is the first in and has become a program ambassador.

Nimalika Weerakoon, teacher Mt Austin School, Wagga Wagga