Barker’s Head of Agriculture, Mr Scott Graham, has received the Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools, in the 2021 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science. During his time at the School, Scott has continued to develop unique programs to engage students and to emphasise the positive difference agriculture makes to society.
Scott’s aim is to highlight how agriculture can lead to diverse and unique careers across a range of both urban and rural industries. He draws on 12 years of teaching experience to educate students about the importance of agriculture in Australia and employment opportunities in this scientific and business-driven field.
Student enrolments in Agriculture at Barker College have tripled over the past seven years. The School has more than double the number of Year 12 agriculture students than any other school in Australia. Around 30 per cent of these students have gone on to pursue agriculture-related degrees at a university level.
“We teach predominantly urban students at Barker,” Scott explained. “Even if these students don’t pursue a career in agriculture, they are still going to have at least four interactions with agriculture every day. This could be anything from the food they eat to the clothes they wear. Agriculture will have something to do with students every day for the rest of their lives, so it’s important that they have something to do with agriculture. We want them to be informed about the decisions they make.”
“One of our strategies has been to develop a range of resources and teaching materials that make students think about how agriculture fits into the bigger picture. Whether it’s dealing with food security or climate change, we want students to be involved in making a difference.”
“To be recognised in the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science acknowledges not only the importance of teaching and education, but the integral role of agriculture for our nation. I hope this recognition inspires students across Australia to take up agriculture, and teachers to continue to support the subject in schools across the country."