Students Provide Mentoring on STEM Materials to Disability Students

Photo shows the mentoring process in geometry volume calculation session by directly measuring the volume of water in a container which is compared with the calculation results. Mentoring Sessions Are Equipped with Sign Language Interpreters to Help Students with Deaf Disabilities. The mentors themselves are a combination of students with and without disabilities

A team of lecturers from the Department of Chemistry, FMIPA UB along with student mentors from the LINK-STEM program held a science material mentoring program for students with disabilities at Pembina Kindergarten Special School (SLB). National Bag. C Malang on, (14/11/2023). This activity is to improve the abilities of students with and without disabilities, in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by providing an overview of the relationship between theory at school and its application in research and everyday life.

In this mentoring activity, students, especially from the Chemistry Department of FMIPA UB, provided material on calculating the volume of shapes, changes in the state of substances, electricity and the popular science of soap making to provide an overview of the relationship between the scientific theory taught and its application in everyday life. STEM mentor students bring teaching aids to make it easier for students with disabilities to understand STEM material. Students at SLB Lawang include students with visual, deaf, mental and physical disabilities.

In addition to science material, mentoring material is also filled with talk shows for students with disabilities and non-disabled students about inclusive education practices at Brawijaya University. In this talk show, students with disabilities from various faculties at Brawijaya University shared their experiences about the process of choosing a field of study according to their interests and abilities in the STEM field as well as the process of interacting with students with disabilities in an inclusive higher education environment. Non-disabled students also shared experiences about their interactions with disabled students in the lecture process and activities outside of lectures. It is hoped that the depiction of interactions between students with disabilities and non-disabled students in this talk show will provide an idea for students with disabilities in SLB to be better prepared to participate in an inclusive higher education environment.

The LINK-STEM program itself is a form of collaboration between the Department of Chemistry, FMIPA and the Sub-directorate of Disability Services, Universitas Brawijaya, with SLB. National Bag. C Malang.

SLB Students, Mentor Students, SLB Teachers and UB Lecturer Team Demonstrate LINK-STEM Gestures at the End of the Mentoring Session

This activity began with a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) between the Chemistry Department lecturer team and the SLB teachers. National Bag. C Malang about STEM material topics that he wanted to develop in the mentoring process. As stated in the FGD in January 2023, teachers at SLB do not necessarily have a STEM background, so collaboration with students and lecturers from STEM fields is very helpful in the process of learning STEM material at SLB.

To facilitate activities, student mentors from UB are given training on disability awareness, science communication and child protection policy as preparation for the mentoring process. In addition, student mentors, both with and without disabilities, collaborate in preparing, simulating and completing STEM material teaching aids and talk shows under the guidance of a team of lecturers from the Department of Chemistry, FMIPA UB.

Teacher at SLB National Bag. C Malang Hetik Wiyani, S.Pd, one of the teachers at SLB said that the program was very good.

“With media that is real in everyday life, children can understand STEM material better. We hope that activities like this can be continued for other STEM materials,” he said.

One of the students of SLB National Bag. C Malang expressed his enthusiasm after participating in the mentoring actvity.

“I am very happy to be able to get to know science in a more fun way,” said Arya Arfarezal, a grade 10 student who also has a physical disability.

The LINK-STEM program is chaired by Zubaidah Ningsih AS, S.Sc., M.Phil., PhD, one of the lecturers at the Department of Chemistry, FMIPA UB funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Alumni Grant Scheme managed by the Australia Awards in Indonesia in 2023. (*/OKY/UB PR/ Trans. Iir).