Dr Scott Sleap is a great example to students in the NSW Hunter region that science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) can be a pathway to brilliance.

Scott became an Industrial Arts teacher, then followed his dream and became a passionate STEM specialist and advocate, completing a PhD in Engineering at the University of Newcastle, where he is now a conjoint senior lecturer.

As Deputy Principal at Cessnock High School, Scott has had enormous impact where his Academy of STEM Excellence is attributed with engaging students’ interest in STEM, cutting the suspension rates and lifting attendance. In 2019, his Academy model was delivered in 65 schools in five regional centres across NSW.

Another of his programs, STEM Industry Schools Partnership (SISP), in which schools partner with industry giants to mentor and inspire students, is also being rolled out across the state.

In developing curriculum models for the NSW Department of Education, Scott focusses on attracting under-represented communities into STEM programs.

Scott is regarded as a visionary educator – in 2018, he was the first Technology teacher to win the Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching and his SISP program is now a blueprint for hundreds of schools across the state.