Thornbury High School teacher, Lisa Pieropan, has been announced as the national winner of the inaugural OfficeMax STEAM Grants program.
“Lisa showcased a true passion for STEAM learning and is set to empower and equip our next generation with the skillsets they need to carve out promising career pathways in this ever-changing world,” GM Marketing OfficeMax Australia Anu Jose said.
As a national winner, Pieropan will be awarded $5000 and a STEAM starter kit equipped with essential products to drive STEAM learning. All other seven state-based winners will receive $2500 as well as a kit for their school.
“We are absolutely thrilled and honoured to be awarded the grant. The students at Thornbury High School come from many diverse cultural back grounds (44% of students coming from a language background other than English), which includes a high number of Indigenous students, children of refugees as well as international students.
"As a public school, funding is always a concern. Particularly having such a socio-economic diversity, school fees cannot always be afforded by many of our parents and as such we need to be frugal with how we use funds. This Grant will go into supporting and encouraging their love of the ever-changing world they are facing,” said Lisa.
In April, OfficeMax launched its STEAM initiative for teachers with a $25,000 grants program and partnership with education not-for-profit, Cool Australia to help educators integrate STEAM learning into primary and secondary schools.
Through the collaboration with Cool Australia, OfficeMax also launched free online teaching resources, including STEAM lesson plans, inquiry units and a professional development program.
Jose says the response to the program has been extremely positive: “We’ve had an overwhelming response from both teachers and schools who were looking for additional content and tools to support them in their quest to deliver exceptional STEAM education.”
So much to do, so little time. It is a trite phrase, but when I found myself as the only DigiTech teacher in the school, it suddenly gained a lot more meaning.
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