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Previously an engineer in the defence industry, Mike uses his specialist skills to implement an innovative STEM program within his school. His projects encourage thought-provoking learning and have even included helping his students work towards putting a science experiment aboard the International Space Station as part of the SA Schools Space Mission.
With the aim of wanting his students to embrace their natural inquisitiveness, his classroom has a touch table which engages them about the natural world and encourages them to find things they would typically find mundane. As an extracurricular, Mike is also involved in managing a Lego League robotics team, creating an opportunity for students who want to pursue STEM learning in a fun and competitive environment.
Mark believes maths is the language of life and he aspires for all students to realise its beauty and powerful influence in everyday life. As a recognised maths champion, Mark is continuously striving for new ways to add to his student’s positive experience of the subject. Some of his initiatives include a lunchtime club for students who need extra support, the introduction of math scholarships and encouraging more students to enter into competitions and quiz nights, with up to 60 students entering every year.
Mark has been instrumental in leading teacher professional development across 4 schools and facilitates a collaborative review of maths, pedagogy and resources to ensure consistency, excellence and innovation across the high schools.
Poor student engagement prompted Amy’s decision to develop a bush kindy program at Barmera Kindergarten which now boasts attendance above the state average. Using the Respect, Reflect and Relate engagement and well-being scales, Amy has observed increased resilience and persistence among her students who have transformed from cautious climbers to spirited adventurers, inquisitive of their natural surroundings.
She also altered their pedagogical approach to learning spaces, making the kindergarten more inviting and child-focused, which allows the children to direct their own learning. Amy also supports her staff through professional development and constructive discussion which has resulted in a significant pedagogical shift.
Public Education Awards
Phone: 8226 2339
Email: publiceducationawards [at] sa.gov.au