US Space Camp trip a dream come true

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Pic­ture: Ja­cob Win­dle.

St Paul’s Pri­mary School teacher Ja­cob Win­dle has been cho­sen to ful­fil his dream of vis­it­ing Space Camp in the US in recog­ni­tion of his ef­forts get­ting his stu­dents in­ter­ested in sci­ence.

St Paul’s Pri­mary School teacher Ja­cob Win­dle has been hon­oured for his in­spir­ing and in­no­va­tive ap­proach to get­ting stu­dents in­ter­ested in sci­ence.

Mr Win­dle and two other West Aus­tralian teach­ers were among 10 teach­ers given the nod at the ASG Na­tional Ex­cel­lence in Teach­ing Awards hosted in Mel­bourne.

He was be­stowed with the in­no­va­tion and lead­er­ship award after be­ing com­mended for chal­leng­ing the con­cep­tion that sci­ence was only for aca­dem­i­cally gifted stu­dents through the use of hands-on ex­per­i­ments.

As well as the award, Mr Win­dle was cho­sen to head off on a trip to Space Camp in the US.

“I am so stoked about that, it is a childhood dream and I thought, get­ting into teach­ing, that would never hap­pen,” he said.

“The kids have been so sup­port­ive — just this morn­ing in my first class back the kids go ‘good morn­ing Mr Win­dle and con­grat­u­la­tions’.

“I wasn’t ex­pect­ing any­thing like that.

“They are the ones I do this for, to show them teach­ing can be a lot fun; it is the best job on the planet.”

ASG NEiTA chair­man Allen Ble­witt said Mr Win­dle’s pas­sion for sci­ence and STEM was help­ing pre­pare stu­dents for the fu­ture.

“I con­grat­u­late Mr Win­dle for mak­ing St Paul’s Pri­mary a school of sci­en­tists,” he said.

“He has trans­formed tra­di­tional and stereo­typ­i­cal mind­sets where his phi­los­o­phy was first scoffed at, to get­ting stu­dents to dis­cuss and share their ideas and de­velop a keen in­ter­est in clas­si­cal sciences.

“Mr Win­dle has also gar­nered in­ter­est and sup­port from the wider school com­mu­nity, host­ing as­tron­omy nights and con­nect­ing with lo­cal tele­vi­sion me­dia where some of his classes mea­sured, recorded and re­ported the weather from Kar­ratha.”

ASG NEiTA chief ex­ec­u­tive John Vele­gri­nis said the re­cip­i­ents had made a dif­fer­ence to ed­u­ca­tional as­pi­ra­tions fam­i­lies have for their chil­dren.

“These out­stand­ing teach­ers and ed­u­ca­tors have earned the re­spect of their com­mu­ni­ties through their hard work, build­ing trust­ing re­la­tion­ships and en­sur­ing their love for ed­u­ca­tion gets passed on to their stu­dents, cre­at­ing a cul­ture of life­long learn­ing,” he said.

“Teach­ers have an enor­mous re­spon­si­bil­ity and our ASG NEiTA re­cip­i­ents take on this re­spon­si­bil­ity with hu­mil­ity, striv­ing to al­ways be ac­count­able for their ac­tions, work­ing beyond what is ex­pected of them and ex­pect­ing noth­ing in re­turn.

“Their joy comes from the chal­lenge of en­sur­ing their stu­dents flour­ish aca­dem­i­cally and so­cially, giv­ing stu­dents choices.”

Mr Vele­gri­nis said the com­mu­nity ap­plauded the re­cip­i­ents for their con­tri­bu­tions to teach­ing.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

St Paul's Pri­mary School teacher Ja­cob Win­dle is one of 10 WA re­cip­i­ents of the 2016 ASG Na­tional Ex­cel­lence in Teach­ing Awards.

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