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ESF Scholarship Research Reported
A report was presented on Wednesday 1st May at a function at the CERES Environmental Park at East Brunswick that will help make Emergency Services Foundation (ESF) Scholarships for CFA volunteers and staff more accessible and easier to apply for.
CFA contributors to the project were invited to attend the report presentation ceremony. Students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in USA spent several weeks in Victoria conducting a research project on behalf of ESF to find ways to attract more applications from CFA and other Victorian Emergency Services Organisations for the ESF scholarship programme.
This was addressed by conducting several interviews with key informants as well as past applicants and recipients. A survey was then sent out based on findings from the interviews. Among the many useful findings of this research it has been suggested that ESF market the scholarship via Facebook and email, adding pre-selected topics, a mentor program and group projects. Streamlining the application process, and allocating a proportion of grant funds to educational workshops and seminars to encourage continuing education of emergency services personnel including volunteers would also increase the number of people benefiting and the reach of the programme.
Researchers for this project were Amanda Cormier, a Junior Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering double major and teammates Jon Michel and Ryan Burgan. Jon is an Electrical Computer Engineering Major and Ryan is an Aerospace Engineering Major. They with about twenty other WPI students were working on interactive qualifying projects (IQPs) for their University studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, otherwise known as WPI.
Other WPI student research projects presented on the day included topics such as use of evacuation lifts, educational programmes at CERES Environmental Park and the Melbourne Zoo, Reducing Environmental Impact of Hazardous Wastes in the Fire Protection Industry, evaluation of Hands-on Science Education Activities, Economic Impact of Residential Energy Efficient Retrofits,
More details about the ESF Scholarship Programme can be found online at http://www.esf.com.au/scholarships.htm