Back to school for JPII teachers


It was back to school recently for St John Paul II Catholic College, Schofields and Nirimba teachers who enrolled in the STEM (Science, Technology, Mathematics and Technology) Academy at the University of Sydney. The intensive three-day session was an opportunity to build skills and network with industry experts.

The dedicated teachers were given the chance to work with mentors and as a school team to create purposeful and engaging STEM learning opportunities for students at St John Paul II Catholic College.

Mathematics teacher Shiela Joy Fernandez said highlights included seeing a driverless car, meeting Australian science superstar Dr Karl and the chance to rethink how to teach STEM.

“It made me look at things differently with great new ideas about sustainability and supporting students to make connections between what they are doing in the classroom and personal growth," Mrs Fernandez said.


Teacher Amanda Balfour said she felt very lucky to have the opportunity to engage in the STEM Academy at the University of Sydney.

“The STEM Academy experience has got me excited about teaching again and I feel refreshed with a collection of new ideas. I’m looking forward to creating engaging STEM learning opportunities to challenge and excite my students," Mrs Balfour said.

Teacher Jessica Idone said she is looking forward to the future and development of STEM at the school as attending the STEM Academy has opened her mind to different opportunities she can harness in her Agriculture classes.

“While working with the STEM team we were able to learn how we can integrate all subjects and look at our student learning more holistically. It has already changed my way of thinking and I have trialled a few mini STEM projects in my agriculture classes, with great engagement and success,“ Mrs Idone said.