A love of maths, biology and chemistry led her to an honours degree in biomedical science, but it is her passion for people and outgoing nature that drew Griffith University student Keira Broadby to teaching.

It was while tutoring Griffith students in chemistry and physics that the seed was sown.

“I really loved the teaching aspect of tutoring. I’m a social person and so I was looking for something else besides research,’’ she said.

Keira is one of five Graduate Diploma of Education Secondary students participating in the prestigious Teacher Education Centre of Excellence (Benowa Cluster) program who will graduate on December 18.

Keira Broadby

Keira Broadby

A partnership between Griffith University and Benowa, Helensvale and Merrimac State High Schools, the centre is an enhanced teacher education program for future Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teachers.

Under the TECE program, pre-service teachers spend two days a week at university and two days a week teaching in a school.

TECE Benowa Cluster head of mentoring Kim Alden said the centre aimed to be the educational equivalent of a teaching hospital and is based on the world-renowned Stanford Teaching Education Program.

“Like Stanford, the principles that underpin the partnership with Griffith University are based on evidence-based practice and engaging preservice teachers with extensive STEM industry experience,’’ she said.

“This enables improved development of teaching strategies, making graduates better teachers able to deliver better student outcomes.”

Keira, whose specialisations include chemistry, biology, junior maths and science, taught at Merrimac and Helensvale schools during her professional placements.

“It has been really rewarding to have that different school experience,’’ she said.

“Coming from a research background, I love that the university has an emphasis on research and evidence-based learning, and look forward to teaching in my first school as a qualified teacher in 2016.”

Fellow student Shawtima McLoughlan, who completed a Bachelor of Science in 2013, represented Griffith at the national science teachers’ conference CONASTA in Perth earlier this year.

“It was fantastic to be surrounded by a community of science teachers who are always looking for ways to improve their practice for the benefit of students,’’ she said.

“Knowing there’s a broad range of tools and strategies for STEM teachers to use to help improve classroom and assessment practices is inspiring. I understand why science teachers take the time in school holidays for this type of professional development as it reenergises their teaching.”

“Our Griffith lecturers demonstrated effective practice in their teaching and provided critical and professional feedback preparing us for when we teach next year.”

Shawtima McLoughlin.

Shawtima McLoughlan.

The other three TECE education students are Rhys Itzstein, Bernadette Wachter and Kirstin Branch.

Congratulating the students on their success, Science Education lecturer Dr Harry Kanasa said it had been a privilege to play a small part in the development of this year’s crop of fine young teacher candidates from the centre.

“I’m sure the students would agree that while the program has been challenging, it has been hugely rewarding, and as a lecturer, I can see the leaps and bounds they’ve made in competence as well as confidence.

“Their success is in no small part due to the careful integration of theory and practice in the program design, but more so in the personal attributes of diligence, dedication and passion in the graduands.”

The students will graduate on Friday, December 18 at the Gold Coast Exhibition and Convention Centre.