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USQ researcher US-bound on Smithsonian Fellowship

Associate Professor Ange Fitzgerald will travel to Washington, DC next year to advance her research work after being awarded a Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowship.

Providing ongoing and sustained professional learning for primary teachers is crucial to their confidence and competence in teaching science.

Associate Professor Ange Fitzgerald, a science education and STEM researcher at USQ, will travel to Washington, DC next year to further her work on using digitally enabled technologies to enhance primary science education.

Associate Professor Fitzgerald was awarded a Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowship to work at the Smithsonian Science Education Centre (SSEC), where she will head up a project looking at developing an online professional learning tool for teachers.

“Gaining access to quality professional development and learning is challenging for both current and future teachers in a state like Queensland,” Associate Professor Fitzgerald said.

“Those working in these spaces need to be innovating, not only in terms of the quality of the programming on offer but the ways in which these offerings are shared with teachers living and working in rural and remote locations.

“We want to develop a quality, online professional learning package to support current and future teachers in both the United States and Queensland to improve the learning and teaching of primary science.

Working with the SSEC’s Teacher Professional Development team, Associate Professor Fitzgerald said she was honoured by the opportunity and looking forward to sharing her skills and knowledge to the US, as well as learning from her new colleagues.

“The SSEC have quality science education programs for primary-aged students and significant resourcing, but are uncertain about how to improve their reach and scale with teachers across the US,” she said.

“I will be using my experience in working with teachers in online settings to develop ways in which this can be improved and achieved using a range of cutting-edge digital technologies.”

Woman outdoors
USQ Associate Professor Ange Fitzgerald has been awarded a Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowship.