Teesside Teacher Scoops Award for STEM Excellence

18 May 2018

A teacher who is considered among the best in the world is heading to the National Finals of the Enthuse Awards for Excellence in STEM Teaching.

Middlesbrough College’s Dr Richard Spencer, an A Level biology teacher and Head of Science, was named regional winner of the Enthuse Award for Excellence in STEM teaching in Further Education.

Richard is one of just a few finalists drawn from three regions of the UK – North & Scotland, South & Wales and Northern Ireland – and will be heading to The Royal Society, London for the National Finals in June.

Richard was invited to apply for the Enthuse STEM Award after he was certified as a National STEM Expert back in February. The award recognises his commitment to continuing professional development and its impact on his students.

Richard, who teaches 60 students, is well-known for his use of innovative teaching and learning resources and for involving his students in national and international projects ranging from cutting edge investigations to film production.

In the past year, Richard has travelled to Estonia, Finland, Greece, Slovenia, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates to further his professional training and to contribute to education conferences and workshops.   He has also presented at the Association for Science Education (ASE) Schools Conference for two years running.

He said “When I attend a training event, I always bring back new ideas. I take everything I learn and apply it to lessons and enrichment projects. It’s immensely rewarding to see my students develop and progress to become excellent scientists who will help solve tomorrow’s problems.”

Richard has already received national and international recognition. He was honoured with an MBE for his services to science communication in 2010 and named as one of the UK’s top practising scientists by the Science Council in 2014. He was one of ten finalists in the Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize in 2015 and was conferred with an honorary Masters degree by the Open University for his contribution to education in 2017

Richard is also one of three national finalists in the Royal Society of Biology’s School Biology Teacher of the Year. He reached the finals after beating off stiff competition and undergoing a rigorous selection process which included lesson observations and interviews by two judges. The winner of this award be announced in July.

Zoe Lewis, Middlesbrough College principal and chief executive, said: “It’s great to hear about the continued success of Dr Spencer.

“Middlesbrough College has a STEM specialism and Richard is an inspiration to staff and students. We wish him the best of luck in both National Finals.”

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