Shailer Park State High School
This teacher’s innovative work is improving student outcomes and creating future life opportunities in the process.
As Head of Department of Science, Andrew Pirie has transformed the way Science is being taught at Shailer Park State High School (SPSHS).
Andrew’s incredible contributions to the science department, have seen student achievement improve significantly, and students are consistently engaging with university programs such as the University of Queensland’s (UQ) Junior Physics Olympiad, STEM Girl Power Camp, Growing Tall Poppies and the National Youth Science Forum.
Andrew’s most distinguished achievement is the long-term development of the Math and Science NEXUS Academy at SPSHS, an academic excellence pathway designed to challenge the most capable of students.
His integral role in the establishment of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Griffith University for the NEXUS academy has led to the students embarking on multiple university visits, and a Women in STEM conference held at SPSHS.
At the conference students were able to hear from keynote speaker Professor Debra Henly, the Deputy Vice Chancellor at Griffith University, as well as a team of highly distinguished Griffith University Women who are leaders in STEM.
SPSHS has also this year hosted the regional Wonder of Science (University of Queensland) conference for 120 students across Logan as a result of Andrew’s co-chair role in the ENABLE STEM network.
Another of Andrew’s contributions has been his leadership in successfully integrating literacy education with science in the development of a program called the “Language of Science”.
This program is now used school-wide, and other schools across the region have taken notice and adopted the language principles as well.
In addition to his role at SPSHS, Andrew has also spent time as Head of Curriculum in Science at Kimberley Park State School – one of the largest primary schools working with Shailer Park State High School.
Andrew shares his expertise in implementing effective science curriculum in schools by leading several professional development sessions.
He has been invited by leading educators and academics to speak at conferences and network seminars, and has engaged with Professor Geoff Masters, CEO of the Australian Council for Educational Research, for the purposes of assessment re-design and schoolwide curriculum alignment.
Andrew’s programs and efforts have been widely celebrated by the school community, including the Director-General of the Department of Education and Training, Dr Jim Watterston.
Congratulations Andrew on your nomination.