Sarah Fletcher talks about her research and contribution.
[Music plays and an image shows the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, the words ‘Australian Government’ the Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools medallion and the text beneath: 2020 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science Mrs Sarah Fletcher]
[Images move through too show tins of coloured pencils, post it notes stuck onto posters posing science questions, and the Bonython Primary School entrance sign]
Sarah Fletcher: My name’s Sarah Fletcher and I’m the STEM Specialist Teacher at Bonython Primary School in the ACT.
[Image changes to show Sarah sitting in a classroom and talking to the camera and then the image changes to show Sarah sitting at a table with a group of students working on an electronic project]
I’ve been teaching for 18 years now and 13 of those years have been as a STEM Specialist Teacher.
[Camera zooms in on Sarah talking to the students and then images move through of Sarah and colleagues working on laptops and talking around tables]
I think the thing that’s set me apart to be recognised in the Prime Minister’s Prizes was the work that I do for teachers with other teachers.
[Image changes to show Sarah talking to the camera]
I created the Primary STEM Teacher Workshop as a response to a questionnaire that I sent out to all ACT teachers.
[Image changes to show a profile view of Sarah talking to the camera]
What I found was that not only did teachers not know what was out there, they didn’t know where to look to find it. And I thought, “I can solve that problem.”
[Images move through of students working on electronic projects around a table, Sarah leaning over the table and helping them, a close view of Sarah talking to students, and Sarah and colleagues talking]
In Australia, we have so many industry providers that go out of their way to make sure that they have fantastic education resources; and my job is to connect teachers with those providers, to connect teachers with teachers.
[Image changes to show Sarah in the classroom talking to the camera and then the image changes to show students working on electronic projects around a table, and then Sarah helping the students]
The ANU Science Enrichment Day is an event that I established when I realised that there’s a lot of confusion among kids about the educational pathway they need to take to attain a career in science.
[Images move through of a close view of the students’ hands working on the electronic project, a view looking down on the students at work, and a profile view of Sarah talking to the camera]
That event invites schools from the Tuggeranong region to nominate students to work through real science problems for a day in a university laboratory, which they just find absolutely, incredibly amazing.
[Images move through of Sarah talking to the students as they work at the table, a close view of a student working on an electronic project, and a group of very young students looking at a snail]
Science in primary schools is such an important thing because that’s when they’re discovering their world around them.
[Images move through of a close view of the child watching the snail on the plate]
It’s like watching a child walk for the first time.
[Image changes to show a student stroking a blue tongue lizard and then the image changes to show Sarah working with students using tins and string to perform a sound experiment]
I get to share in them truly understanding things for the very first time in their lives.
[Camera zooms in on two of the students and then the images move through to show Sarah working with students in the classroom at a desk, and then Sarah talking to the class]
It means so much to me personally to be recognised as a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science for Excellence in Primary Teaching.
[Image changes to show Sarah picking up a snail from a student’s plate and then the image changes to show Sarah talking to the camera]
But more than that, the inclusion of a teaching prize, or two teaching prizes, within the Prizes is a testament to the role that education plays in creating the scientists of the future.