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STEM teachers build space station on Mars!

​Erin Bolger and Ross Bradford building a model of a space station on Mars

Two dedicated Queensland teachers were the first Australian participants to join 50 educators from 29 countries for the second annual International STEM Studio held in California earlier this month.

Erin Bolger, from Mabel Park State High School, and Ross Bradford, from Park Ridge State High School, attended the 5-day course which focused on inquiry-based learning and the use of technology in classrooms.

A science teacher for more than 20 years and department head, Mr Bradford said the STEM studio gave him the opportunity to learn best practice from international experts.

"The course gave me a greater understanding of how to use inquiry-based learning with hands-on challenges including building a model of a space station on Mars," Mr Bradford said.

"Park Ridge State High is building an innovation centre, so to be chosen to attend the STEM Studio this year was perfect timing.

"It gave me the opportunity to develop an action plan for determining what 'innovation' will look like and get invaluable feedback from educators from throughout the world.

"It was a unique experience that will help me shape the future of STEM teaching at Park Ridge State High School," he said.

Erin Bolger has been teaching for 9 years and is involved in Mabel Park State High School’s Maths and Science Academy and Girls Excelling in Maths and Science (GEMS) Programs.

"Science has always been something close to my heart," Ms Bolger said.

"The studio helped me build relationships with teachers across the globe which I will use to create an international STEM teachers' network.

"I’m excited to share the skills I learnt during the week in the classroom to foster a greater love of STEM with my students.

"I’ve come back with a greater understanding of establishing inquiry-focused classrooms where students are encouraged to question and wonder," she said.

The International STEM Studio is an initiative of the Tiger Woods Foundation and is committed to high quality teacher professional development.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/ )
Last updated
26 August 2019