Teachers across Western Australia are being celebrated as next Friday, October 29, is World Teachers Day and one teacher from Byford Secondary College has shared his inspiring story.
Ali Zafar Mohammadi was born in Afghanistan during the war and when he was a child, he travelled by boat to Australia where he attended school.
Ali was the first of his family in generations to pursue higher education when he attended UWA and studied engineering.
As a PhD student, Ali had a life changing experience when he travelled to the Kimberley as part of a team of student ambassadors promoting higher education to regional communities.
During the trip, he facilitated science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities with Broome Senior High School students.
These activities included the use of a NASA RocketModeler program to stimulate optimised water rocket.
“Students worked in teams to optimise the physical design of their interactive model, such as size, shape, type of fins and nose cone with the aim of achieving maximum range speed and flight time,” he said.
“In part two of this activity, students used the data to design and engineered their rocket.”
Ali said with his own experience of struggling to gain an education, he decided educating others was his calling.
“Throughout my life experience and training, I discovered that education was my passion and a teaching career would enable me to inspire and empower the generations to come,” he said.
While at Byford Secondary College, Ali has coordinated the robotics club and ran the robotics elective subject on top of his role as mathematics teacher. Each day in the classroom, he inspires students to achieve the very best they can and showcases anything is possible.
“My approach is to build renewed engagement in STEM through active classroom settings,” he said.
“As part of my teaching, I embed robotics in my mathematics classroom in all year levels.
“For example, in Year 8, students work through the engineering design process of planning, modelling, and programming their smart robot to navigate complex missions autonomously.
“That means being able to move and detect objects using an array of sensors and motors.
“My aim in every lesson is to introduce students to important mathematical concepts, teach major strategies and develop flexibility for problem solving, foster creativity and strengthen intuition, stimulate enthusiasm and enjoyment of mathematics, and provide for the satisfaction, joy and thrill of meeting challenges,” he said.
“I ensure that all my students can access my lessons and be challenged in their own way.”