Wednesday , November 14 2018

Meet the STEM teachers who met the Prime Minister & won $50k

Primary teacher Brett Crawford has transformed science learning at his state school, where English is a second language for 60% of students and there’s a large cohort of hearing-impaired children.

Deputy principal, STEM, for the Cessnock Learning Community, Dr Scott Sleap created a program to help students struggling with numeracy catch up with the help of robotics.

The 2018 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science were awarded this week, with a primary and a secondar teacher winning for extraordinary contributions to school science education. 

·       Mr Brett Crawford has transformed science teaching at Warrigal Road State School in Brisbane. All the school’s 50-plus teachers now actively teach science in their classes: Mr Brett Crawford, Warrigal Road State School, Brisbane, $50,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools

·       Many of Cessnock’s students don’t believe that the new jobs are for them. Dr Scott Sleap is opening their eyes and showing them that they can participate in the new economy: Dr Scott Sleap, Cessnock High School, $50,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools.

Brett Crawford:
A school where everyone
teaches science

Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools

Mr Brett Crawford has transformed science teaching at Warrigal Road State School in Brisbane. All the school’s 50-plus teachers now actively teach science in their classes.

Warrigal Road is a large primary school in Brisbane with more than 1,300 students. The students are from 54 cultures, English is a second language for 60 per cent of them, and there’s also a cohort of hearing-impaired children.

The local high schools have recognised that Warrigal Road students come to them curious about the world and ready for secondary science. Test results back that up, showing the school’s science performance is well above national averages.

Brett is the lead science teacher at the school. He believes that science teaching in primary schools is easy.

Primary school students are curious about the world. You can engage them with simple, inexpensive experiments.

But Brett also knows that many primary school teachers are anxious about teaching science.

So, at Warrigal Road he led a program in which he spent two days every week mentoring his fellow teachers.

The results speak for themselves and other schools are now picking up his ideas and programs.

For creating an environment in which every teacher is engaged in science, Brett Crawford receives the $50,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools. Brett is the lead science teacher at Warrigal Road State School in Brisbane.

Scott Sleap: Opening young eyes to
careers in science, technology,
engineering and maths

Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching in Secondary Schools

Cessnock in New South Wales was traditionally a mining town, but today’s high-value jobs in the Hunter Valley are in agriculture, tourism and increasingly in aerospace. Williamtown is already a maintenance base for Australia’s F/A-18 fighters. Soon it will be a maintenance hub for the Joint Strike Fighter in the Asia-Pacific.

Many of Cessnock’s students don’t believe that the new jobs are for them. Dr Scott Sleap is opening their eyes and showing them that they can participate in the new economy.

He’s done that by creating the Cessnock Academy of STEM Excellence, a partnership between Cessnock High School, its feeder primary schools, and local industry.

Students struggling with numeracy are catching up with the help of robotics. A team of Aboriginal girls are making and racing model F1 cars, mentored by Boeing engineers. And the number of students signing up for STEM subjects is growing. NSW Education is now rolling out similar programs in other regional centres.

Dr Scott Sleap receives the $50,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching in Secondary Schools. Scott is Deputy Principal, STEM, for the Cessnock Learning Community.

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