Scholarship student flies to US as top science teacher

11 October 2012

Recent graduate and Redlands Teacher Education Scholarship student Mrs Julie Fryer has been awarded a $15,000 grant by the NSW Premier's office in recognition of her outstanding science teaching.

Mrs Fryer, who was honoured as the top science teacher applicant was awarded one of only 25 Premier's Scholarships this year and, when she flew to the US on a five-week study tour on October 2, was the first among all the recipients to begin their sponsored project.

The Premier's Teacher Scholarships are a wide-ranging annual awards of $15,000 to sponsor individual research in best-practice teaching. Other categories include contemporary art, financial literacy, early childhood and history.

Mrs Fryer has been teaching at Redlands - which was the only school to have two teachers receive the prestigious awards this year - for two years, since winning the Faculty of Education and Social Work Independent School Scholarship to attend Redlands throughout 2010 as well as undertaking her Master of Teaching internship there during the same year. She so impressed the principal, Dr Peter Lennox, during her internship, that he offered her a full-time position the following year.

While in the US, Mrs Fryer will be investigating four different teaching programs for promoting student engagement and learning in science. She will visit schools in San Diego, California; Phoenix, Arizona; New York; and New London Connecticut; as well as the International Conference on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics teaching in Kansas City, Missouri, from October 28-31.

Dr Lennox said he and all Mrs Fryer's colleagues at Redlands were thrilled by her achieving such impressive recognition of her work at such an early stage of her teaching career.

Before departing on the study tour, Mrs Fryer said she had been delighted by her award, although it had come as something of a surprise.

"I never expected to actually win. I received the news during a school excursion to the Great Engineering Challenge, and it took me a little while to come to terms with it."