Melba Secondary School — Volunteer Mathematician/Statistician in the Magellan Project

The Magellan Project

Magellan is a project to encourage academically-inclined Grade 5 & 6 children from Melba’s feeder primary schools in science & mathematics.  In each of the two parts, science & mathematics, one of the school’s teachers & a practising scientist or mathematician/statistician as appropriate run a class of about 1½ hours twice every Friday morning for about 20 weeks in school term: the scientist/mathematician often leads the class.  There are approximately forty children in the programme: twenty children in each class.  The aim is to give the children experiences in science & mathematics which they will probably not meet in secondary school.  Because the project has been running for over four years there is a considerable volume of teaching material already available but the volunteer is encouraged to develop more of their own, perhaps following their own particular interests.

The accompanying teacher is responsible for the health, safety, & discipline of the children (who are, anyway, normally well-behaved).


Position Criteria & Requirements

The present vacancy is for a practicing mathematician or statistician.  The position has previously been filled by ANU PhD candidates & the most recent incumbent is available to talk to a potential volunteer.

The volunteer will need a “Working with Vulnerable People” certificate which is free & application may be made online (   It would be possible to start whilst waiting for the certificate to be issued.

The volunteer would probably find it worthwhile to join CSIRO’s STEM Professionals in Schools programme (


Contacts & Method of Application

Application should be made (by email) to the school principal, Mr Michael Battenally ( with copies to Sally Harriden ( & Jenny Brereton (

Interested students can contact me, John Rogers ( & I can introduce them to the previous occupant of the position.


A second position – Homework Help

The school normally also has a student volunteer to give homework help & is looking for another.  I do not know the full details of the position but understand it entails attending the school once a week at around 3.30 pm to help all comers with their school work.  It would suit an undergrad or postgrad student.  Interested students should contact the school principal, Mr Michael Battenally ( or Sally Harriden (