John Monash Science School's Little Scientists and Mini Mathematicians program

John Monash Science School’s Little Scientists and Mini Mathematicians programs

Melbourne’s John Monash Science School (JMSS) offered its inaugural Little Scientists Big Science initiative for the first time in 2011. The program was the brainchild of one of their Year 10 students, Lachlan Harkness, the 2013 school captain.

Lachlan wanted to engage young students in science and give them an opportunity to develop and broaden their scientific communication skills — and so the project was born. Over 200 primary school students have participated in the program over the past three years, concluding with each student presenting their final project in a JMSS science presentation evening.

Following on from the success of the Little Scientists program, JMSS offered the Mini Mathematicians program in 2018, aimed at providing primary school students with the opportunity to explore mathematics and problem-solving.

Feedback from schools, teachers, principals, parents and students has been overwhelmingly positive and will run again next year. The program will be delivered by JMSS alumni and passionate mathematics and science students. Sessions will be focused on building problem-solving skills and the ability to communicate mathematics and science effectively.

JMSS is seeking expressions of interest from primary schools who may wish to participate in 2020.

Here are some details about the program:

  • Programs consist of four fortnightly sessions and will take place on Wednesday afternoons at JMSS from 1.30pm­–3pm.
  • Schools can access the program in either Term 1, 2 or 3 in 2020. JMSS will do their best to meet all demands.
  • Up to four students from each school can get involved, and 24 students can be catered for per session (i.e. six schools per session).
  • JMSS students teaching the program will receive training and support and laboratory technicians will be present during the workshops.
  • Support will be provided for students to complete their projects and display them at JMSS.
  • There will be an opportunity for primary teachers to observe lessons and engage with our students and teachers regarding the content and processes.

Schools interested in participating in the program should email an expression of interest by Friday 13 December 2019 to Ben Delves, JMSS Program Co-ordinator at

Please ensure expressions of interest are no longer than one page and include:

  • reasons why you want to access the program
  • how you will use the program to promote science at your school
  • your choice of one of Terms 1, 2 or 3.

By running these programs, JMSS hopes to continue to provide a stimulus for science and maths for more young students.

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