The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has completed an evaluation of the efficacy of the In2science peer mentoring program, and the results show that mentors increase student engagement. A total of 1868 secondary students from 34 participating schools were surveyed on a range of areas including their confidence in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) studies, their understanding of the relevance of STEM, their enjoyment of science and maths, and their awareness of the career opportunities in STEM related fields.
The review found that secondary students who have In2science mentors working with them experience positive benefits including the belief that anyone can understand science and maths with enough effort and the confidence to find solutions to problems. Students could also see the relevance of things they learned in science and maths to daily life, for people other than scientists and mathematicians. Students who had a mentor in their class also reported high levels of enjoyment of the problem solving aspects of science and maths, and an awareness that going on to study STEM subjects in VCE would improve their employment prospects in the future.
The full report can be accessed here, or at: http://www.in2science.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/In2science-ACER-evaluation-2017.pdf