An inspirational North Queensland leader has been nominated for a state-wide Excellence in Teaching Award for her pioneering work in STEM with indigenous, low socio-economic and gifted/capable students.
Wendy Bode, from Thuringowa State High School, developed and evolved the Global Tropics Future Project (GFT), a partnership between the Department of Education and James Cook University, in which she works as the regional deputy principal.
She currently has 202 GTF young scholars from years 5 to 9 at 27 schools in the NQ region, including several rural and remote schools, undertaking a blend of face-to-face and virtual STEM experiences.
Wendy manages the Queensland Virtual STEM Academy (QVSA) programs delivered from Thuringowa State High School that involve over 20 STEM professionals from 10 industries, community groups and institutions.
The QVSA component of the GFT is hosted by a network of Queensland schools including the Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology and the GTF Far North Queensland Project.
Thuringowa State High School is the only school in Queensland to deliver this innovative STEM curriculum linking industry to project-based STEM learning. Wendy led the implementation of iSTEM with the goal of developing students’ 21st century skills of problem solving, inquiry, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration.
The development of learning opportunities centred on emerging sciences and current global STEM problems has contributed to gains in student aspirations, engagement and interest in STEM careers. This has been measured through the Queensland Virtual STEM Academy courses that was delivered to 170 students in 2017 and 270 in 2018.
“Wendy has provided and continually provides quality opportunities to enrich student learning, maximise potential of gifted students, strengthen and lift outcomes for indigenous, socioeconomically disadvantaged and rural and remote students through the Global Tropic Futures Project,” principal Grant Dale said.
Congratulations Wendy on your QCT Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award nomination.