Teacher Jacinda Kontoleon wants to build students’ resilience and to see failure as not something to be feared but as a step towards better understanding. She teaches Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Curriculum at Saint Stephens College. Collecting extensive records on class participation and home work; working through data of individual students Jacinda identifies students’ prior knowledge and skills and areas for improvement to ensure targeted teaching and learning.
Jacinda has worked hard to develop a STEAM program that engages all, collaborating with Indigenous learning centres to create authentic tasks embedded in curriculum and sharing STEAM experiences with Southport Special School. There is an increase in participation in science by students, as an example more are attending Tinker Club where junior students are invited to take apart and figure out how electronic devices work. Maths participation has increased around the school and a current round of testing has seen a 35 per cent increase in the passing grade specifically in targeted Math learning classes. Recently students competed in a national STEAM competition and won the Kidprenere Challenge. The winning team of five students from Years 5 and 6 designed, manufactured and marketed a durable lightweight pet location device. They were judged in a competition of 1,000 team entries. Jacinda recently completed a Masters, continues to write articles, present at conferences and invite collegiate discussion. Congratulations Jacinda on your nomination.