The winners of the inaugural 2016 Indigenous STEM Awards were announced on Friday 9 December 2016 at Gordonvale State High School.

The 2016 Indigenous STEM Award winners included educators and scientists who are leading efforts to introduce innovative STEM education programs to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, as well as Indigenous students who are charting a course for successful careers in professions in science, technology, engineering and maths.

The winners were announced at Gordonvale State High School which won the school category in recognition of its deep commitment to teach STEM programs to its diverse student body. The school received $10,000 in prize money to further its STEM programs. Twenty-eight percent of the 850 students at Gordonvale State High School, near Cairns, are Indigenous Australians.

The presentation ceremony was attended by representatives of the Queensland government, CSIRO and the BHP Billiton Foundation, as well as local Aboriginal Elders, students and teachers from Gordonvale State High School where the school received $10,000 in prize money to further its STEM programs.

The school taught CSIRO’s I2S2 program, which teaches Western and Indigenous sciences through hands-on inquiry based projects, to 192 students in 2016. The school says the program helped its students connect with science and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge of the natural world.

“The project that we have undertaken in I2S2 certainly brings the science curriculum to life and provides a sense of connectedness and belonging as it encompasses the cross-cultural dimensions of the Australian curriculum” said Markus Honnef, the Head of Science and Agriculture at Gordonvale State High School.

“In a world of innovation, fostering STEM education is essential and these awards are a critical component of our partnership as they celebrate the achievement of students, teachers, schools and professionals and encourage further participation in STEM" said Karen Wood, Chairman of the BHP Billiton Foundation.

The other 2016 Awards winners included:

  • Dr Chris Matthews: STEM Professional Award winner
  • Renee Cawthorne: STEM Professional Award runner up
  • Greta Stephensen and Sharni Cox: STEM Student Award winners
  • Glenala State High School: School Award runner up
  • Claire Wellbeloved: Teacher Award winner
  • Adam Hooper: STEM Champion Award winner

Want to find out more about the winners and all of the finalists? Check out their profiles.

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