Oatley's Annie Martin, a teacher of about 30 years, has won the 2023 Premier's Prize for Innovation in STEM Teaching.
The Junior School Science Coordinator at Presbyterian Ladies' College in Croydon was rewarded on November 15.
The NSW Premier's Prizes for Science and Engineering seek to recognise excellence in science and engineering, and reward leading researchers for cutting-edge work that has generated economic, environmental, health, social or technological benefits for NSW.
The awards aim to raise community awareness and appreciation of the important contribution scientists and engineers make to our daily lives and encourage careers in both fields.
Described as a passionate educator, Ms Martin was the winner of the category Innovation in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics Teaching in NSW.
"Staff, students and their families appreciate her love of science and ability to integrate STEM subjects across the curriculum," her nominee said.
"Her classroom is an evolving treasure trove of inspiration and curiosity. Annie works collaboratively with classroom teachers to design innovative programs. Lessons are student-centred and learning activities build knowledge and understanding while promoting active engagement and critical thinking. Provocations from literature, the local environment and children's curiosity about their world form the basis of inquiries.
"Annie sources everyday materials for hands-on science investigations and inspires her students to carry out fair tests and solve problems. She encourages students' self-belief and sense of agency to carry out independent research then creatively share and present their findings.
"Annie goes above and beyond her classroom teaching load. She gives freely of her time to mentor students and meets with their families to ensure science is a highlight of their school experience. She provides countless opportunities for students to embrace further learning and real-world science experiences.
"Students have achieved outstanding success with her encouragement and guidance, most notably winning 30 of the 104 national awards since 2013 in the primary school category of the Australian Museum Eureka Sleek Geeks competition.
"Annie's desire to make science accessible for all extends to the broader community. She has been involved in curriculum review, science teaching associations, gifted and talented workshops and delivering professional development at conferences and workshops for colleagues in local and international, public and independent schools. Her work has had a very positive impact on science teaching in NSW."
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