Previously, high-achieving Year 12 students took university-level Chemistry classes with Ms Mercer through the University of Queensland’s (UQ) Enhanced Studies Program, which allowed them to accumulate extra rank points for their final academic results.
“We’re quite close to The University of Queensland, St Lucia, and the fact that on average 50 percent of the senior cohort successfully complete Chemistry, means that university science studies are a popular choice,” said Ms Mercer.
Ms Mercer has been named a finalist for the 2018 QCT Excellence in Teaching Award. Her colleague and nominator Karen Madden from the school’s Education Leadership Team says Ms Mercer's experiences allow her to give girls an insight into the type of career pathways, the challenges and the rewards of being a female scientist.
“Ms Mercer recognises that students have an innate curiosity that can develop into an enthusiasm for scientific investigation, and a fearlessness when faced with complex concepts and assessment tasks, in STEM areas,” Ms Madden says.
All senior students are invited to Ms Mercer's weekly science club, known as the Marie Curie Club, or MC2, where they perform investigations and experiments into all areas of science, that might not be possible in a normal classroom.
Ms Mercer notes that despite numbers of females studying science at a tertiary level equalling males in almost all areas, it’s crucial to support young women during the long-road to developing a secure long-term career in the field.
Ms Mercer's own work in the field provides a strong foundation for her teaching, having conducted postdoctoral research projects at the Baker Institute and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She also writes for Pearson Publishing, and is a key author for Pearson Chemistry: Queensland edition, which will be published this month.
Congratulations Ms Mercer on being named a finalist in the QCT Excellence in Teaching Award.