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Richard Johnson

Rostrata Primary School
Australia

"Preparing children to be global citizens is very much a case of influencing their attitude to life and the world around them.”

Bio

Richard was instrumental in setting up Australia’s first school science laboratory specifically for young children. Supported by crowdfunding, donations from local businesses and a $25,000 grant Richard received for winning the 2013 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science Teaching, the lab has since evolved, developing a STEM focus.

Richard’s students use technology to engage with augmented reality resources and work together on project areas including robotics. Richard uses 3D printing to enhance learning across all curriculum areas. In 2015, he won the runner-up prize in the DiscoverE.org Educator Awards for a harmonograph designed by his students and manufactured on a 3D printer.

Richard arranged for a Nobel Prize winner to run a workshop with his students and encouraged them to research and write a children’s book about the prize-winning theory. A hard copy of the finished book was sent to Stockholm’s Nobel Museum.

Richard works closely with the local science museum and university and discusses his methodology widely at conferences and online. His school has been assigned Teacher Development status; results in national and state tests have significantly improved since the lab was set up. Numbers of science specialist primary science teachers and laboratories have steadily increased throughout Australia and Richard’s website has received 320,000 page views.

Richard received the Department of Education Award for Excellence and Innovation in 2008 and the Premier’s Science Award in 2012.

  • Launched Australia’s first school science laboratory for young children
  • His students learn using robotics, 3D printing and augmented reality
  • Winner of Prime Minister’s Prize for Science Teaching: Primary (2013), Premier’s Science Award (2012), Department of Education Award for Excellence and Innovation (2008)
  • Significant academic performance improvements since the lab was set up; school awarded Teacher Development status