QUT Education graduate and teacher Jess Schofield earned international recognition for her work in STEM education after being awarded LEGO Education’s Australian Teacher of the Year.
Jess was presented the award at the LEGO Symposium in Boston in June 2018.
As a Prep to Year 10 teacher at Injune State School, a rural Queensland school with just 80 students, Jess said that she was proud the award brought her community and work to an international stage.
“Winning the award was like a dream come true. I was thrilled to have international recognition for the work I am doing in my small community,” said Jess.
“It brings a great boost of confidence to know that I can bring such an engaging and worthwhile program of work to my students, so early in my career.”
Jess won the award for her Robot Olympics project – over 10 weeks, students designed and built an Olympic event suitable for LEGO’s Mindstorms EV3 robots, and then constructed and programmed their robots to compete. The project also got the wider community involved.
“As a reflection tool, students put together a newsletter called From the Athlete’s Village to showcase their progress, which was distributed around town and to local schools. They also completed a design journal that was used to assess their work.”
“On the culminating day of the project, students from two local primary schools were invited to be mentored by my older students and ‘compete’ in the events.”
Jess’s interest and passion for STEM education was spurred by the opportunities offered during her Bachelor of Education (Secondary) course at QUT, where she graduated in 2015.
“I developed my passion for this teaching area through my work with the Robotics@QUT ambassador and outreach program,” said Jess.
“It was a great foundation for my future STEM teaching. It not only gave me the motivation and skills, but having that experience looks very appealing to employers when beginning a teaching career.”
Jess is excited about her future as a STEM teacher, and is grateful to have started her career in a rural school.
“Teaching in a rural setting allows for such strong relationships to develop with the community and with students, and so much freedom for innovative ideas so projects like the Robot Olympics can happen.”
“As a teacher, STEM can be a challenging subject to work in and I enjoy pushing myself out of my comfort zone in this area.”
For more information about studying education at QUT, visit the 'Courses and study' page.
Jessica Schofield's 'Robot Olympics' project was delivered at Injune State School in 2017, and won her LEGO Education's Australian Teacher of the Year Award 2018.
QUT Bachelor of Education (Secondary) graduate Jessica Schofield was awarded LEGO Education's Australian Teacher of the Year 2018 (pictured fifth from the left)
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