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Scholarships give teachers access to cutting-edge science

30 August 2013

The Maurice Wilkins Centre sponsors scholarships for high-school biology teachers to attend Queenstown Research Week.

The aim is to give New Zealand teachers the opportunity to attend an international conference on contemporary biological research and network with colleagues and practicing biologists from around the world.

“This scholarship was a unique opportunity for me, as a teacher, to be exposed to cutting-edge scientific technology and research from national and international scientists,” says 2013 scholarship winner Sarah Johns, a Biology teacher from Nelson College for Girls. “I teach in a small city with no close links to a University and this opportunity has allowed me to gain knowledge and understanding around research at the forefront of scientific innovation that will inform and inspire my teaching.

“Often students have limited knowledge as to where science can take them when they leave the school gates. Students need inspirational stories that they can themselves relate to and aspire to one day achieve themselves. Since returning to school not only have I shared my experience and knowledge acquired with my student but also colleagues within the Science department.”

The winners of the Maurice Wilkins Centre Biology Teacher Development Scholarships in 2013, the fourth year the Centre has offered this programme, were: Erin Sycamore, Lytton High School; Rana El Fara, Tarawera High School; Sarah Johns, Nelson College for Girls; and Jan Galland, Napier Girls High School. The scholarships covered the teachers’ conference registration, accommodation, and travel to the meeting.


Scholarships give teachers access to cutting-edge science

High school biology teachers, including MWC teacher fellowship winners, at Queenstown Research week with the Minister of Science and Innovation Hon Steven Joyce and Nobel Laureate Professor Susumu Tonegawa. From left to right: Rana El Farra (Tarawera College), Jan Galland (Napier Girls High School), Sarah Johns (Nelson College), Hon Steven Joyce, Professor Sususmu Tonegawa, Professor Peter Shepherd, Rachel Heeney (Epsom Girls Grammar), Helen Webber (Epsom Girls Grammar), Helen Swift (Epsom Girls Grammar).