Science teacher Peta Scorer of John Curtin College of the Arts has been nominated for the prestigious 2021 STAWA BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Teacher Award.

The award recognises teachers who engage students to make an outstanding contribution to science education in Australia.

Peta has worked at John Curtin since 2012 and in that time has shared her passion for sustainability with students and staff across the college.

“It’s such a privilege to work with these passionate kids that have amazing ideas about things” she said

“Our role as coordinators is to help them to hit their goals” she said.

One of these goals is working to battle against fast fashion.

Though seeing herself simply as a manager working with passionate students, Peta’s dedication to environmentalism and hands-on learning has inspired her work colleagues and students and led to many changes across the college.

“At the moment they’re really concerned about fast fashion so we looked at getting a clothing bin here so that all of those weren’t going to landfill.

“We’re also doing a clothes swap as well which has been very popular with the college community and helps spread the environmental message.

“Really the students have these amazing ideas and it’s just trying to give them the tools to be able to achieve them” she said.

This work is being done by the student led Roots & Shoots club, the youth arm of the Jane Goodall foundation, implemented and run by Peta at John Curtin.

Peta attributes part of her drive to bringing together the disciplines of art and science through her work.

“Having so many of our alumni go out and do things in conservation, choosing to go into fields that looks after the environment, like conservation biology and to be able to help them and nurture their passion that’s been a good thing.

Seeing students that are well rounded when they leave school and their skills have been turned to talents and they’ve found passion” is the work that Peta is personally most proud of.

In addition to Peta’s nomination 19 science students won prizes at the 63rd STAWA Science Talent Search for their scientific endeavours, including the Young Science Communicator of the Year Award presented to Year 10 student Eliza Ramsay.

“Winning that award just shows how talented our kids are and that they can try their hands at anything” she said.

The inspiration is a two-way street with Peta herself learning from her students’ projects for the Talent Search.

Eliza’s project on the science of fouettés won her 1st place in the Year 9-10 Science Video category, work which impressed Peta as well as the judges.

“Knowledge that we, certainly I, didn’t understand such as the science of fouettés, I had no idea about the physics of that” she said.

Eliza was also surprised by her success and said “It was just a project I did on something I liked because it would interest me more so I was very surprised but also proud of myself and my work.”

Eliza hopes to carry on with these endeavours in her future.

“I would like to get into WAAPA for ballet and eventually get into a ballet company and pursue that, but I also want to do nutrition so for ATAR I’m going to do Human Biology as those are the areas I want to study and work in” she said.

On the news of Peta’s nomination, Eliza said “She really deserves it and she was really supportive in the whole process of making my project.”

With her colleagues and students singing her praises the ever humble Peta was perhaps the only person surprised by the news of her nomination.

Her overwhelming stance was that of gratitude and admiration for her fellow teachers and students working in the Science department at the college.

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