Teacher has the winning formula

Caitlyn WattsPilbara News
STAWA Science and Engineering teacher of the year Anna Ritzema.
Camera IconSTAWA Science and Engineering teacher of the year Anna Ritzema.

A Karratha teacher involved in bringing science, technology, engineering and mathematics to the forefront of Pilbara education has taken out a top award.

Tambrey Primary School teacher Anna Ritzema, pictured, was recently awarded the science and engineering teacher of the year by the Science Teachers’ Association of Western Australia.

Ms Ritezema is the school’s science specialist and also the STEM co-ordinator for The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation Karratha STEM Centre.

Ms Ritzema said it was “amazing” to have this achievement.

“It’s lovely because it helps solidify what we are doing here,” she said.

“My highlights have been the children’s success, especially with the work that I do with the Polly Farmer STEM centre. That’s been one of the biggest, proudest moments I’ve had.

“We’ve had children who have come into the program and now after three years in the program are now getting Bs and As in their science who previously weren’t, and also 100 per cent attendance at school which is pretty amazing.”

Ms Ritzema said STEM education opened up future career opportunities.

“I just see (STEM) as the real future, especially being here in the Pilbara with whatever is around us. I think to be able to be competent in those key areas is something that is really important,” she said.

“We look at the trend towards career pathways and a lot of them will involve STEM and a lot of them will involve the skills that you acquire from STEM like flexibility, co-operative learning, all those things.

“I think if we can teach them and get the children passionate at the youngest age we’ve got much more hope of getting them through into the upper years when it gets a bit tougher and harder.”

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