Saturday, July 13, 2024

Nanango teacher named Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellow

Nanango State High School industry and technology design teacher, Stephen Anderson, has been named the 2023 Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellow.

The Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellowship Program provides funding for teachers to travel to the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City to gain further knowledge and skills in the field of industry and technology design. 

Mr Anderson is the first recipient of the award since 2019, when the Covid-19 pandemic restricted international travel.

The Fellowship program aims to support teachers in enhancing design thinking in Queensland schools, enabling educators to better engage students in the learning process, facilitate creative problem-solving and encourage collaboration.

Queensland Minister for Science, Leanne Linard said design and design thinking imparts a thought process that builds essential 21st century enterprise skills while engaging and empowering people to address real world problems in their communities.

“The Queensland Government has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Smithsonian Institution in United States of America, the world’s largest museum education and research complex, of which the Copper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum is part,” she said.

“Not only is the awarding of the Fellowship prestigious in itself, but it also provides enormous benefits to Fellows and their schools, particularly by presenting valuable perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational and curatorial programming.

“Since 2008, close to $200,000 has been awarded to 11 Fellows from across Queensland who have returned with valuable experiences and knowledge to apply to their teaching and share with their teaching community.

“Mr Anderson is a passionate teacher with the aim of helping students in the Nanango area prepare for the workplaces of the future.

“He will spend 12 weeks in New York, working with the museum’s design education experts.”

Nanango State High School, Stephen Anderson.

The funding provided under the Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellowship Program provides support for travel costs and living expenses for between 8 and 12 weeks, with Fellows chosen by an independent assessment panel.

As the 2023 Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellow, Mr Anderson will also have the opportunity to participate in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Design Week and National Design Awards events, scheduled for October 2023.

“It is fantastic to see another well-deserving Queensland state school teacher given this incredible opportunity,” said Queensland Education Minister, Grace Grace.

“The knowledge and experience Stephen will gain as part of this fellowship is invaluable and will have a positive impact in the classroom when he returns.

“Through our Trade to Teach program, the Palaszczuk Government is encouraging more tradies to become ITD teachers, because like Stephen, we know how important real-world experience is.

“I congratulate Stephen on this wonderful achievement.”

Mr Anderson says he was “truly humbled” to receive the Fellowship.

“There is a shortage of Design and Technology teachers in Queensland, which I know the Queensland Government is working to reduce,” he said.

“One of the many things I hope to bring back to Queensland on my return is the ability to introduce to new teachers, and teachers moving from other teaching areas, a practical understanding of the additional skills and knowledge needed for Design and Technology, including in the areas of the design process, design thinking and most importantly how to teach these.

“This Fellowship will allow me to work closely with world-renowned experts in design education, giving me an unparalleled opportunity to provide this vital knowledge in the Queensland education sector.

“I am very thankful to the Queensland Government for giving me this opportunity.”

More information on the Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellowship Program is available here.

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