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  • John Curtin College of the Arts Teacher Wins Prime Minister’s Prize for Science Teaching 

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    Oct 17th, 2023

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Ms Donna Buckley, a mathematics and cybersecurity teacher at John Curtin College of the Arts, has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools. 

Ms Buckley is known for her innovative and engaging teaching methods, which inspire students with diverse, creative backgrounds to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). 

One of her signature initiatives is the Maths Talent Quest, which encourages students to think creatively about mathematics and apply it to their passions. For example, students have used mathematical modelling to design ballet costumes and textile patterns. 

Ms Buckley has also established an accredited cybersecurity course in Western Australia, the first of its kind in the state. She believes it is important to educate the next generation about ways to make our country more safe and secure in an online environment. 

Ms Buckley’s passion for innovative teaching has had a significant impact on STEM educators and students across Western Australia. She is a regular presenter at professional development workshops and has been involved in a number of local, state, and national projects and initiatives. 

Photography credit: Department of Industry, Science and Resources

In a recent interview, Ms Buckley said she was honoured to be recognised for her work in making mathematics and cybersecurity more engaging for students. 

“I’m here to inspire and engage our students by connecting mathematics to their passions and the real world,” she said.  

“When students apply mathematics to real world problems that are of interest to them, the results are just amazing.” 

Ms Buckley’s nominator, Mr Travis Vladich, School Principal at John Curtin College of the Arts, praised her for her dedication to teaching and her commitment to STEM education. 

“Ms Buckley goes to extraordinary lengths to interest and instruct her students in maths,” he said.

“She has influenced STEM thinking and concepts for teachers and students throughout Western Australia.” 

Ms Buckley’s win is a testament to her hard work and dedication to inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. 

Watch video highlight

Videography credit: Department of Industry, Science and Resources