UC students strategise for science

UC students strategise for science

Kathleen O'Shea

18 December 2013: A group of University of Canberra public relations students have created a communications strategy that will be implemented by the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA).

Julie Maynard, Dandan Qu, Tracey Pulli and Stephanie Baker designed a strategy to help ASTA promote their Creative Horizons national publication, which showcases Australia’s young leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths to schools and communities around Australia.

ASTA EO and UC students

UC students Dandan Qu, Tracey Pulli, Stephanie Baker, Laura Howes and Julie Maynard with ASTA CEO Vic Dobos (centre). Photo: Barbara Walsh

The students worked closely with the organisation on their strategy and also had the chance to present to ASTA’s chief scientist. Ms Maynard described the whole experience as “the highlight of my university career.”

“The organisation was very happy with the work we’ve done and knowing they’re going to use it is amazing,” she said.

Ms Maynard said their strategy “aimed to encourage a sense of national pride in the international accomplishments of these young achievers and to highlight the value of fields like science and maths as a career choice for students.”

ASTA chief executive officer Vic Dobos said he enjoyed “working with a team of enthusiastic and passionate students who show talent in communication across all mediums.”

“The UC student’s seamless and coherent presentation of the communication strategy shows fantastic team effort,” Mr Dobos said.

The strategy was created as part of the final year PR Project unit. Other strategies created by University students for not-for-profit organisations in the ACT include a recruitment campaign for foster carers for Barnardo’s, a social media strategy for Lifeline Australia, communications strategies for headspace and the Healthcare Consumer’s Association and a youth engagement strategy for The Street Theatre.

“This was all about students applying what they’ve learned over the last few years at university in a real-life setting, and opening their eyes to the challenges of managing communications in a not-for-profit sector with very little funds,” unit convenor Barbara Walsh said.