Scientists ready to wow local schools

Scientists ready to wow local schools

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Southern River College deputy principal and mentor Mike Erith and Tech for Australia teacher Jessica Silva react to their elephant's toothpaste explosion experiment. Photograph —Richard Polden.

Jessica Silva has plenty of experience when it comes to chemical reactions. The educator is one of five of the newest Tech for Australia teachers at Southern River College.

The Tech for Australia program is aimed at degree holders who have leadership skills and industry experience to fast-track into classrooms in schools in areas of relative disadvantage.

Not only is she a marine science and a turtle expert, she has also been a Scitech science communicator for 10 years, which made her a perfect fit for the program.

“It may sound like a cliché but I want to make a difference, I want to use my experiences to educate others,” she said.

“I have been passionate about education since graduating from university and believe that every child should have the same opportunities.”

Southern River College deputy principal Mike Erith and Tech for Australia teacher Jessica Silva react to the elephant’s toothpaste explosion. Photograph — Richard Polden.

Ms Silva will be covering year seven chemistry, year 10 biology and year 11 ATAR biology.

“I would like to include STEM project-based learning in the classroom,” she said.

“People learn best by using their hands and in collaboration and Scitech is all about hands-on learning and I want to include this as much as possible in my classroom.”

During her time at Scitech, Ms Silva has travelled all over Western Australia, visited communities throughout the Kimberley and mentored students competing in the Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition.

Southern River College deputy principal Mike Erith said the Teach for Australia program associates come into teaching with a wealth of industry and community experiences that enhance and enrich the learning of students.

“Ms Silva is fresh from Scitech and with her unique skill set, she was ideally placed to engage in STEM and link with our primary schools,” he said.