Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Environmental Education Research Group

Re-imagining futures in STEME

Growing Tall Poppies Program: An authentic science experience for Year 10 students (2015-2017)

The Growing Tall Poppies (GTP) program involves a student-scientist partnerships strategy where, mostly, Year 10/11 female students attend a science organisation for 3 to 5 days wherein they work with scientists to undertake an authentic research project directly related to a current research area. The program had an aim to enhance the status of school Physics by partnering schools within three states of Australia with science organisations and to increase the retention of girls beyond the compulsory years into Year 12 Physics. The central role of developing partnerships with physics organisations was to provide authentic out of class experiences to address the mindset girls may have about the interdisciplinary nature, the stereotypes and the career opportunities available by studying physics. The GTP program was successfully implemented to 217 students who came from 38 schools, both rural and metropolitan, across three Australian states, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. The students collaborated with 70 Scientist Mentors from 5 science organisations.


Team members:

• Dr. Eriora Barone-Nugent, Melbourne University
• Dr. Peter Hubber, Deakin University

Partner organisations:
• Santa Maria College;
• Northcote; Australian Synchrotron;
• La Trobe University;
• Charles La Trobe College;
• West Macleod; Catholic Education Office Melbourne;
• The Imaging Centre an ARC Centre of Excellence; Deakin University;
• ARC Centre for Excellence for Mathematical & Statistical Frontiers;
• Griffith University.

Funding body: The Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education Australian Maths and Science Partnership Program (AMSPP).


  • Hubber, P. J. & Speldewinde, C. (2018). Evaluation of the Growing Tall Poppies Program: An authentic science experience for Year 10 students (2015-2017). Deakin University: Burwood
  • Hubber, P., & Barone-Nugent, E. (2017). Growing tall poppies: Findings from a partnership program between students and scientists, In M. Pietrocola, I, Gurgel, & C. Leite (eds.) Contemporary science education and challenges in the present society: Perspectives in physics teaching and learning. (pp. 217-222). Faculty of Education University of Sao Paolo, Sao Paolo, Brazil.