Bundaberg State High School’s Head of Science Kylie Milliken is one of five winners in the 2020 Peter Doherty Awards for Outstanding Teacher in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The awards recognise students, teachers, schools, volunteers, mentors and organisations who have demonstrated an outstanding and innovative contribution to STEM education in Queensland.
Speaking to Bundaberg Now, Kylie said she was overwhelmed by the award and attributed it to her entire school team.
“I still find it overwhelming,” she said.
“Science is what I’ve been doing for 20 years and I really have to say I’m finally proud of myself, but I would encourage people to apply for this because there are so many good teachers that do a good job.”
20 years of teaching in Bundaberg
The Head of the Science department at Bundaberg State High School holds a degree in science, but said she was happy she made the choice to teach after leaving university.
For the past two decades, Kylie has been teaching at Bundaberg State High School, using unique methods to deliver daily lessons that are fun, educational and scientific.
“I’m always keen when a student says I want to go into nursing, or engineering or science or nutrition,” she said.
“Often I think kids in Bundaberg can be restricted to things they know about, so the more you can show them and the more they have access to the more it can help broaden their horizon.
“A lot of them do have their future and pathways organised, and it’s nice to be part of that or help them to make those steps in the right direction. They’re really smart kids.”
Engage with science
Kylie’s role as head of the science department has also led to events such as the science roadshow taking place.
Student engagement is a top priority in the STEM subjects and Kylie said practical events such as the roadshow were a great gateway into the sciences.
“I enjoyed the roadshow and I would do that again any time. It was hard work to get to all the schools organised, but every teacher loved it and all the kids loved it,” she said.
“It’s the little moments like the roadshow that those kids remember.”
On receiving the award, Kylie said it was a team effort from her colleagues at Bundaberg State High School and said there were many who didn’t apply that were just as passionate and worthy of the award.
“We all have our own areas that we enjoy, mine's science, but we’ve got some brilliant maths teachers and English teachers and that’s what we’re all like. I think everybody deserves an award.
“Everyone in my staff contributed to this and I couldn’t have done what I did without everyone in the science department playing their part in everything we’ve done.”