Stella Ding

The Ponds High School, NSW

Dharug Country
Early Career Teacher

In just four years of teaching at The Ponds High School, Stella has designed new and innovative STEM opportunities for her students and made impressive contributions to student wellbeing and her colleagues’ professional development during lockdown.

With a drive to make STEM fun for her students, Stella founded an after-school STEM Club, which now attracts over 30 students every week. Through coding and design challenges, she introduces her students to real-world applications of STEM – the latest project saw the club launching native beehives to help educate the entire school about the important role of bees in our ecosystems. She has also coached several student teams to success in competitive STEM competitions, with one of her teams winning the 2021 IBM Edtech Youth Competition.

During lockdown, Stella built several innovative online courses to maintain student engagement. For her Year 9 class, she developed an entirely gamified unit of work called Project Medical School, where students role-played as medical students and then applied their newfound skills to solve mock scenarios in online clinics. Her work is having increasing impact – she has delivered workshops on online engagement to teachers within and beyond her school. This year, Stella founded the Science Faculty Skills Team to improve the consistency of how scientific skills are taught across all year levels.