Head of the Science Faculty at Aitken College, Dr Adele Hudson, has been named the 2018 national winner of the BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Teacher Award, which recognising the outstanding contribution made by a classroom teacher to science education.
Dr Hudson teaches middle school science, senior chemistry and physics at Aitken College.
After completing her undergraduate Science degree at the University of Adelaide, she moved on to a PhD at RMIT, where she also worked in a postdoctoral position. She enjoyed her rewarding work with high school students in university outreach programs, which motivated her to move into teaching.
Dr Hudson is passionate about providing students with opportunities to engage in open-ended experimental investigations. She has found that when students learn through exploration and discovery, it nurtures a love of learning and strengthens skills such as working collaboratively, problem solving, critical thinking, and utilising technology for data collection and communicating ideas. The skills that students learn in their lower secondary years serve them well when undertaking experimental assessment tasks in Year 12.
Dr Hudson has worked with the Aitken College science teaching team to ensure students engage in learning tasks that are relevant, based on real world scenarios and develop future work skills. She says that while it was humbling to receive the award recognition, it was an acknowledgement of the College’s willingness to embrace changes that enhance participation and engagement in Science.
“We have been moving from traditional learning from textbooks to kids doing more hands-on learning and investigations in the laboratory,” she said.
Dr Hudson also created a program to inform parents and students of the changes occurring in the world of work, as well as other pop-up science and maths programs that educate students about STEM careers and develop their project management and communication skills.
One program, EngGirl Ambassadors, was recently awarded a Scale Grant from the WISE Changemakers initiative, because of its potential to increase women in STEM engagement and retention. The program has seen female high school students develop and manage science projects while working with primary school children.