Nanango State High School teacher Stephen Anderson has been named the 2023 Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellow

October 13, 2023

Nanango State High School’s manual arts teacher, Stephen Anderson, will be jetting off to New York early next year after winning a prestigious Queensland fellowship.

Stephen has been named the 2023 Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellow.

He will be spending 12 weeks working at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum under the tutelage of some of the world’s leading design educators.

Stephen has been teaching Materials & Technology and Engineering Principles & Systems to Years 7-10 students at Nanango SHS since 2018.

The former boilermaker also runs the school’s successful Human-Powered Vehicle (HPV) team – which competes in three races every year – as well as overseeing the CO2 Grand Prix during which students run carbon-dioxide powered tiny race cars.

Four of his students recently won awards from the Design and Technology Teachers Association, three at regional and one at State levels.

The Queensland-Cooper Hewitt Fellowship Program aims to fund teachers to gain further knowledge and skills in industry and technology design.

Stephen is the first recipient of the award since 2019, when the COVID-19 pandemic restricted international travel.

The funding provides support for travel costs and living expenses.

Fellows are chosen by an independent assessment panel.

“The Queensland Government has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Smithsonian Institution in United States of America, the world’s largest museum education and research complex, of which the Copper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum is part,” Science Minister Leanne Linard said.

“Not only is the awarding of the Fellowship prestigious in itself, but it also provides enormous benefits to Fellows and their schools, particularly by presenting valuable perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational and curatorial programming.

“Since 2008, close to $200,000 has been awarded to 11 Fellows from across Queensland who have returned with valuable experiences and knowledge to apply to their teaching and share with their teaching community.

“Mr Anderson is a passionate teacher with the aim of helping students in the Nanango area prepare for the workplaces of the future.”

Education Minister Grace Grace said it was fantastic to see another well-deserving Queensland State School teacher given this incredible opportunity.

“The knowledge and experience Stephen will gain as part of this fellowship is invaluable and will have a positive impact in the classroom when he returns,” Minister Grace said.

Stephen said he was humbled to receive the Fellowship.

“This Fellowship will allow me to work closely with world-renowned experts in design education. I am very thankful to the Queensland Government for giving me this opportunity,” he said.


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