Science teacher's passion rewarded

DEB WHITE'S enthusiasm for science is infectious.

Her enthusiasm and hands-on approach has earned the Riverside Christian College teacher the prestigious Peter Doherty Award for Excellence in Science and Science Education.

Ten science teachers across the state won the $5000 Outstanding Teachers of Science award and will attend an official ceremony at Customs House on October 6.

When Ms White was told the good news yesterday she was “gobsmacked”.

She immediately got on the phone to her family to share her good news.

“I didn't know what to say – I was a bit speechless and if you know me you know that's very unusual,” she said.

Ms White was nominated for the award by a teacher aide at the school. “They didn't tell me until near the end of the selection process. It was a pretty well-kept secret,” she said.

“I'm really humbled and excited. We've done some big things in the science department since I got here three years ago.

“When I started at Riverside the science lab was all pretty new and didn't have a lot of equipment. Now it's a proper science department with all the gizmos.”

Ms White said science was always her love.

“Especially biology,” she said.

“You need to be passionate about science. If you're not teaching with passion, you're not really giving it 100 percent.

“When a teacher is passionate the kids can't help but be dragged along with you.

“Science is a subject that has to be delivered hands-on and with a sense of humour. I do about 50 per cent prac in my lessons – and I'm not always politically correct.”

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