SASTA Award Recipients

Congratulations to the following Award recipients who were recognised at the SASTA Annual Conference:

Nominations for the 2019 SASTA Awards are now open - find out more here


  • Selena Kleinrahm

What impact did receiving this scholarship have?

The Helen Castle Memorial Scholarship Award gave me the opportunity to attend the SASTA conference in 2018. Being a country based teacher as well as a sole parent makes it challenging to access city professional development opportunities and this scholarship made it possible by removing the financial hurdles. The SASTA Annual Conference would be one of the best opportunities for me to increase my effectiveness as a Science/ STEM teacher in 3 ways:  

  • Firstly it provided me with numerous ideas, activities and curriculum content.  
  • Secondly, it provided an opportunity to network and share practice with other Specialist teachers.
  • Finally, the keynotes gave me an opportunity to learn more about advances in Science in a range of interesting areas.

I have had opportunities to share ideas and information with others locally, through my own networks and our local PLC group. Thank you again for this opportunity!


  • Dr Kathy Paige

What have you been doing in your classroom / school that helped you win this award?

My teaching involves working with third and fourth year preservice teachers. The interactive workshops focus on transdisciplinary aproaches to teaching and learning, STEM, Place Based Experiences, constructing digital narratives and Slowmations, and making connections with schools during placement where possible, This year I have continued to involve preservice primary/middle science and mathematics teachers in judging the year 6/7 games for the Oliphant Science Awards. I have been on the editorial board of Teaching Science for the past decade, peer reviewing articles to ensure that there are inspirational examples for early career and preservice teachers to engage in challenging and rigorous science. I have been working with teachers in research projects such as Water Literacies, STEM and Girls and Culturally Reponsive Pedagogies.  

What impact did receiving this award have?

It has been interesting to receive feedback from a range of people. Early career teachers who receive the SASTA newsletter emailed their congratulations. It was posted on university yammer and received comments like 'Just read something in Yammer about you receiving this award. Congratulations and well deserved.' I have added it to my CV as it is an example of sustained support for the science professional association. 


  • Paul Gavini (Upper Secondary)
  • Dina Phan (Primary) 

What have you been doing in your classroom / school that helped you win this award?

In the last year and a half, I have been moving towards inquiry-based learning, using a STEM approach (not solely focussing on Science). Through this, students have been able to develop their research skills, and critical and creative thinking. I had a lot of success with the Year 5, 6, 7s, and their biodiversity project. Students identified an issue within Australia, relating to biodiversity, and by the end of the unit, had designed prototypes for a range of machines, equipment, apps, and technology. These prototypes were designed to combat the issue they had identified, and reduce the negative impact on Australia's biodiversity. For example, one group of students designed an app for monitoring the spread of cane toads. Anybody can report sightings, taking pictures of the cane toad(s) spotted, as well as mapping its location. This would go onto a national database that scientists could then use to assist in tracking cane toad movement. Another group had designed a system for trapping, and safely re-locating water buffalo. This also included the use of technology, by having an alert sent to farmers' phones when water buffalo had been trapped. I am very proud of the students' achievements in this area, and it certainly showed me how much they are able to achieve when given the opportunity for open-ended inquiry.

Within the school, I run an annual Science Fair, to celebrate National Science Week. Each year, I have many students from Years 6 and 7, who volunteer to help with setting up and packing up, running activities, and making sure the day goes as smoothly as possible. It's been a great success, and students have had the opportunity to learn about different science areas, through a range of activities. Some of these include making ooblek, designing and making catapults, playing with light and shadows, learning about air pressure, a touch table full of various artefacts, and the ever popular food-science related activities: edible crickets, and "foolish yoghurt".

What impact did receiving this award have?

I feel honoured to be a recipient of this award, and would like to thank Credit Union SA, and SASTA for the recognition. I enjoy being able to pass on my passion for science, and nurturing students' natural curiosity about the world. This award has reassured me that I'm on the right path with my teaching, and I feel more confident about trying new things.

Click here for information and criteria on the above Awards.