A Gold Coast school teacher with a drive to inspire students to study science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) has been recognised at the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science in Canberra.
Megan Hayes received a Highly Commended Certificate from Prime Minister Scott Morrison for her passion and commitment to teaching STEM at Mudgeeraba Creek State School.
Ms Hayes, who travelled to Canberra to accept the honour, said it was very special to be recognised for the work she’s doing to promote STEM.
“My focus is always about creating opportunities for learning that are real world based and allow students to make connections to their own experiences and knowledge base,” Ms Hayes said.
“My lesson mantra is ‘FAIL=First Attempt In Learning’, and my students love making mistakes and having a go in STEM lessons.”
Ms Hayes is an advocate for gender balance and encourages her female students to look beyond the traditional idea of what a Scientist or Engineer is.
“Girls are fantastic problem solvers and as they are exposed to more opportunities in the STEM based fields they can experience how exciting and challenging these new careers can be for women.”
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology and Member for McPherson Karen Andrews MP congratulated Ms Hayes for ensuring her students are prepared for the future.
“As a proud Gold Coaster, I’m a big fan of the work Megan is doing to develop our leaders of the future and I’m thrilled to see her acknowledged as an incredible advocate for STEM,” Minister Andrews said.
“Projections show us that 75 per cent of the jobs of the future will require STEM skills.
“Ensuring our children not only have an opportunity to learn these subjects, but actually get excited about them, is critical.
“The Morrison Government has made significant investments in initiatives to engage Australians with STEM and to ensure that females have equal opportunity to pursue STEM studies and careers.
“We have appointed a Women in STEM Ambassador, developed the Girls in STEM Toolkit and are raising awareness of the diverse opportunities STEM study and careers can provide.”