UOW alumnus recognised in Heroes of Liverpool awards
Dr Ken Silburn awarded for contribution to teaching.
A UOW alumnus has today (Monday 26 June) been recognised by Liverpool City Council for his contribution to teaching, particularly in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
Dr Ken Silburn, currently the head science teacher at Casula High School, was recognised by Liverpool City Council at the 2017 Heroes of Liverpool event for his tireless efforts in the field of science education. For these efforts he was also recognised in the 2016 UOW Alumni Awards, receiving the Alumni Award for Professional Excellence – an award he claims led to recognition by Liverpool City Council.
Dr Silburn studied a Doctor of Education at the University of Wollongong, where he focused on the use of technology in education.
A global leader in the field of science education, Dr Silburn founded the iSTEM program in 2012, giving high school students across Sydney’s South West and beyond a chance to meet like-minded peers and engage in activities not usually available in their schools: anything from robotics workshops, space labs, and tours of nuclear reactor facilities, to visits to universities and museums.
iSTEM also runs an annual trip to the United States for Year 9-12 students and teachers from across Australia, where they experience a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in the Space Academy Program at the US Space and Rocket Center in Alabama.
“The ultimate goal of iSTEM is to make it so that every student, regardless of the school or their background, has the opportunity to be involved in science education at a high level,” Dr Silburn said.
“Our second goal is to make it so that any student in Australia can be involved in the iSTEM program.”
Dr Silburn credits the team of teaching staff around him for the program’s success and his recent accolades.
“It’s not just one person that does these things; you need a whole group of people. I have an extremely good science faculty at Casula High School who are all very supportive,” he said.
Earlier this year, Dr Silburn was selected as one of the top 10 teachers in the world by the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize.
The Global Teacher Prize was set up to recognise one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession, as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.
The only Australian teacher to be shortlisted for the prestigious award, Dr Silburn was selected from more than 20,000 nominees spanning 179 countries around the world, as one of the top 10 teachers.
In 2015 Dr Silburn was recognised for his leadership and excellence in science teaching in secondary schools with the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science.Last year, Dr Silburn was selected as one of 28 scientists and educators worldwide – and one of only six Australians, and six teachers overall – to participate in the NASA Spaceward Bound Program in India’s Ladakh region.
The Heroes of Liverpool event will be held at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre on Monday 26 June from 3-5pm.