Nicci Hilton, an award-winning science teacher, has won a Churchill Fellowship that will take her to the United States to pursue her vision of making classroom science more engaging for students. Hilton, who graduated as a science teacher from the University of New England in 2006, went on to be recognised in the Australian Government Quality Schooling Awards in 2008 for her achievements in increasing students’ participation in – and enthusiasm for – science at Cowra High School, her first appointment. She also won the Minister for Education’s Medal of Distinction and UNE’s Young Distinguished Alumni Award for that year. Now studying towards a Master of Education degree at UNE, Hilton is a science teacher at PLC Armidale. In March next year, under her Northern Districts Education Centre Churchill Fellowship, she will travel to science education centres in California, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Washington DC and New York City in her search for resources and programs that can help students engage with science by pursuing their own investigations.
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