Griffith University science education student Gemma Sardoni will represent Queensland’s pre-service teachers at next week’s National Science Teachers Summer School (NSTSS) in Canberra.
Science teachers from throughout Australia will assemble in the nation’s capital from January 11-17 and will hear from leading scientific researchers, including Nobel Laureate Professor Brian Schmidt from the Australian National University.
The NSTSS is a program designed to inspire science teachers and bridge the gap in understanding between what is taught in the classroom and real-world research and practice.
Gemma, Melissa Blacklock (Queensland University of Technology) and Gabby Gilmore (University of Queensland) are the first pre-service teachers to take part in the Summer School and they also gain complimentary membership to the Science Teachers Association of Queensland (STAQ).
Their participation is sponsored by the Step Up project, a collaboration between five Queensland universities — including Griffith — and national education partners. Its aims include increasing the quantity and quality of mathematics and science teachers in Queensland schools.
Since completing her BASc (Oral Health) degree in 2008, Gemma has worked in the private dental sector in Brisbane. However, it was her role as the university educator for a commercial dental health company that sparked her passion for teaching.
In 2014, Gemma began a part-time Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education at Griffith. Her teaching areas are Science, including Senior Biology, along with Health and Physical Education.
“I come from a family of teachers and a lot of my friends are teachers, so going into teaching was natural for me,” she says.
“I’m passionate about helping students discover and understand the world they live in and I hope to expand my own scientific knowledge and skills by attending the Summer School.”
While in Canberra, Gemma will gather insights to share with pre-service teacher peers and teacher educators at Queensland universities. She will also contribute to the Step Up blog and forums conducted by STAQ and the Australian Science Teachers Association.