STEMM Educator of the Year – Primary or Secondary School Level

Congratulations to the 2021 STEMM Educator of the Year (Primary or Secondary School Level) Finalists.

Mr Thomas Oliphant

Pembroke School

Thomas Oliphant is a passionate, innovative, and experienced educator specialising in robotics, programming, and advanced technologies. Thomas takes pride in exposing his students to new and emerging technologies, future STEMM pathways and authentic learning experiences.

He is best known for his role in inspiring the success of three South Australian robotics teams who represented Australia in both the 2020 and 2021 Vex Robotics World Championships.

Thomas has more than 10 years’ experience in advanced technologies education and promoting STEMM problem-based learning, sharing his passion through mentoring both teachers and undergraduate teachers. He continues to develop engaging learning programs that stretch learners into developing the skills and independence required to thrive in a technological future.

 

Thomas was a finalist in the 2020 STEMM Teacher of the Year Awards and was also named Australian Robotics Teacher of the Year in 2021.

 

Mr Graham Wegner

Prospect North Primary School

 

As the Assistant Principal in STEMM, Graham has worked hard to create and nurture STEMM programs and opportunities for the students at Prospect North Primary School.

 

With 60% of students coming from a non-English speaking background, Graham has introduced initiatives such as Digital Leaders, robotics teams and the Kids Teach STEMM program, which has seen students engage with STEMM and become experts in working with neighbouring schools and the community.

 

Working with teachers, he has designed high quality units of STEM learning using student agency as a key driver, which has acknowledged Prospect North Primary School as a STEMM focused school where other educators can come and see STEMM embedded as an everyday part of student learning.

 

His programs have also connected with the multicultural community where parents are keen for their children to participate in STEMM activities and work towards potential STEMM careers.

Miss Samantha Wyatt

Trinity College

 

As the Head of STEMM at Trinity College and a researcher at the University of South Australia, Samantha is a passionate educator who is committed to leading transformative STEMM education in South Australia.

Through holistic, future-orientated curricula and professional learning communities, Samantha has successfully led the implementation of interdisciplinary teaching and learning across five schools. Each initiative aims to increase STEMM knowledge and engagement by raising awareness of career pathways, empowering students to be innovative problem solvers and engaging the wider community.

She recognises that professional networks are key to creating a 21st century education that equips students with the knowledge and capabilities needed to flourish now and in the future. Alongside lead educators and national and international researchers, Samantha has worked to bring contemporary research into the classroom.