Professor Martin Westwell
Director

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Martin is the Director of the Flinders Centre for Science Education in the 21st Century, Strategic Professor in the Science of Learning and a Chief Investigator in the national Science of Learning Research Centre. These two main pillars of our work (i.e., the science of learning and the learning of science) are complementary and cooperative in that each adds value to the other.

Martin serves on the SACE Board, South Australia's senior secondatry curriculum authority and chairs formed Innovation Development Advisory Group. He's a member of the steering committee of UNESCO's Education Research Institute Network (ERI-net) that coordinates research efforts from teams around the world looking at the future directions of education in the Asia-Pacific region.

Martin completed his degree and PhD at Cambridge University (in biological chemistry) from where he went to Oxford University as a Junior Research Fellow in Biomedical Sciences at Lincoln College. Here he developed a research interest in neuroscience with collaborators across the university.

He stepped out of the university into a spin-out biotech company for while and then worked for a number of science education and science policy organisations. Martin returned to Oxford as Deputy Director of the Institute for the Future of the Mind , before coming to Flinders University in 2007.

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Diane Vomberg

Administrator

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Diane makes the whole place tick. She holds the team together and helps us work like the well-oiled machine that we are!

She also stops Martin getting overwhelmed by all the interesting projects to which he can't say no.

 
Kristin Vonney 

Teacher-Researcher

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Kristin has worked as a mathematics and science teacher for over twenty years in DECD high schools. She completed the Graduate Certificate in Neuroscience (Learning) in 2006 and since then she has had a passion for embedding current evidence based research into my teaching practice.

Kristin is the Project Officer for the Science and Mathematics Academy at Flinders (SMAF). SMAF opened in 2011 for the purpose of enhancing and providing opportunities to access specialist mathematics, physics and chemistry for stage 2 students from Aberfoyle Park High School, Christies Beach High School, Hallett Cove School R-12, Mt Compass Area School, Wirreanda High School and Yankalilla Area School. Specialist teachers from the schools involved work in subject-teams to deliver the curriculum to students.

Kristin also works closely with a range of schools, from early childhood centres to adult education, to develop curriculum and practice that helps students to develop their executive functions. Executive functions are often referred to as 'stop and think' skills, and the development of these skills can help students to be successful at school. She works across a range of subject areas including: technology, creative arts, English, society and environment, mathematics, Research Project and a precursor to the PLP.

She is working as part of the Empowering Local Learners project in the Port Augusta/Quorn DECD partnership where the focus is on developing reasoning and problem solving skills with the students throughtheir mathematics.

 
Florence Gabriel

Researcher

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Florence Gabriel is an Early Career Researcher and part of the ARC Science of Learning Research Centre.

Florence came to Flinders University from the Cambridge Centre for Neuroscience in Education where her research interests focussed on mathematics learning included dyscalculia and students' development of understanding of fractions.

She has developed a program of research on the development of young people's complex problem solving skills. Florence uses online microworlds to create the scenarios in which problems are solved.

Originally from Belgium, Florence completed her degree and PhD at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

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Deb Lassock

Teacher-Researcher

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Deb has worked in classrooms from Reception to Year 7 for over 30 years. In more recent times she has worked to develop numeracy skills with educators and her passion in this area has developed from both observing learners and working with mathematical associations and schools.

At Science21 her interests in the areas of mathematics and numeracy have enabled her to work with schools to explore learning contexts and curriculum through the lens of neuroscience. Deb works with members of our team, individual schools and clusters of schools to build research informed practices in learning environments. She's a member of the executive group of the Mathematical Association of South Australia and on the Committee of the Primary Mathematics Association.

Recently Deb has been devoting a lot of time to the Empowering Local Learners project that involves all of the schools and Centres in the Port Augusta and Quorn Area. She is also currently working on projects with a number of individual schools and a cluster of early years educators. Through all of this work, the intent is to provide practical and theoretical understandings of learners thinking (especially the use of executive functions) in a numeracy context and a focus on how educators can make a difference.

 
 
Peter Tangney

Lecturer

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Peter is a lecturer at Science 21 and coordinates the BSc program in Science Policy and Communication.

Peter completed his PhD in political science at Griffith University in 2015, while also working as a researcher, tutor and associate lecturer at both Griffith and the Queensland University of Technology.

Originally from Cork in Ireland, Peter trained as an environmental scientist and spent 6 years working as a consultant to the UK water industry and as policy advisor in the UK public service. During this time, his work focused on environmental risk modeling and assessment, regulatory impact assessment and the use and dissemination of evidence for climate change policy.

Peter’s research is in political science and science-policy studies. He is particularly interested in the ‘politics of science’ and the tensions that arise between political and expert forms of authority during policy-making.

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Rachel Crees

Project Officer

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Rachel completed her Bachelor in Chemistry in Queensland and Masters in Chemistry in Sussex in the UK. Her subsequent career has included pharmaceutical, biotechnology and nanomaterials laboratory research, school and university teaching, management, administration, not-for-profit and government policy all with a science and technology focus.

In her work with Science21 and the studies in Science Policy and Communication she works to help make scientific literacy ubiquitous throughout society by expanding the scientific engagement and literacy of governments, business, industry, students and the general public as well as helping scientists themselves to connect more effectively and personally with these communities.

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Amy Butler

PhD Student

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Amy is a science graduate with a passion for science communication and teaching. During her undergraduate degree she stumbled upon a fantastic notion – there is more to education than school teaching! She has since experienced a number of roles allowing her to communicate scientific ideas in different ways. These include:- teaching into first year biology here at Flinders; working for the CSIRO in their Lab on Legs schools program; leading tours and workshops with high school students as part of my role as an ambassador for the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Amy is currently undertaking her PhD with Science21, and is investigating the role of critical thinking in science education. She is interested in both educator perspectives and actions (at high school and tertiary levels), in addition to seeing the effects of these strategies on the development of student’s critical thinking skills.

 
 
Anne Pillman

PhD Student

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Anne is an experience primary school teacher with a great deal of expertise in science teaching.

Anne is currently working part time towards her PhD while also teaching at Marryatville Primary School and working in the Teaching and Learning Services team in the Department of Education and Child Development.

Anne's PhD studies focus on the idea of transfer in science education - the extent to which learners can develop their knowledge and thinking in one area and apply it elsewhere. In many ways, it could be said that without developing transfer, education has been a waste of time for students.

 
 
Anne Marie Grisogono

Adjunct Professor

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Anne Marie Grisogono is an Adjunct Professor at Science21.

She has over 30 years experience in applied research and development including 15 years as a Research Leader in the Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group).

Anne Marie has worked with Army Headquarters to reframe the Army's approach to strategic planning in research and has held national and international leadership roles within DST Group in the fields of simulation, systems engineering and systems science, human sciences and complexity science.

Anne Marie's brings expertise in decision-making, problem-solving and the factors that influence these processes to the work of Science21.

Anne Marie is a member of the Australian Research Council's Engineering College of Experts.

 

 
Ancret Szpak

Researcher

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Ancret completed her PhD in the School of Psychology at Flinders University in 2015.

Her expertise lies in the fields of cognitive psychology, experimental psychology and neuropsychology.

 
 
Caitlin Hitchcock

Researcher

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Caitlin was an Early Career Researcher in the Centre funded by the ARC Science of Learning Research Centre. Her research focussed on students' attention ad mind-wandering during tests and aspect of "brain training". She says she didn't want to leave us but when the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at Cambridge University makes you an offer, it's hard to refuse.

 
 
Diana Pham

Researcher

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Diana did all the hard work on the successful South Austraian end of the Smart Science Initiative, a collaboration between Flinders University, led by The University of New South Wales (UNSW), including The University of Western Australia (UWA), and funded by the Austraian Federal Government's Australian Maths and Science Partnerships Program (ASMPP). It is currently being trialled at numerous high schools around Australia. She is now Education Officer at the CSIRO for the Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools programs.