Brett McKay wins Prime Minister's Prize for Excellence

Brett McKay has overseen a four-fold increase in students taking physics at his school, many of whom have gone on to international science careers.

Duration – 1:19

Video transcript

Mr Brett McKay, Kirawee High School, NSW – Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools.

Brett McKay, Head Teacher, Science, Kirrawee High School

I'm Brett McKay, I'm the Head Teacher of Science at Kirrawee High School in Sydney.

Kirrawee is a comprehensive high school with around 1,200 students. It's got a number of former Olympians because of its sporting programs, lots of famous musicians. In the last 10 years it's really started to develop in the students a passion in science.

My favourite experiments are the ones that cause confusion. The ones where the students don't know the answer.

A great science class is where the kids are actually active. It's where they're actually asking questions.

It's when they're getting things that they don't understand and what they've actually got to do is then get that sorted out in their mind.

You know it's working when the students are actually engaged in what they're doing and they actually then start coming out and seeing you at lunch times and playgrounds to ask you about those things and saying, ‘Why is that actually like that?’

They start making the questions instead of the teacher making the questions.

It's not about creating scientists only, it's actually about creating a passion for science.

End of transcript.

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