STEM Industry School Partnerships

Engage. Inspire. Develop. Cultivate.

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Our Team

Dr Scott Sleap

STEM Curriculum Support Advisor 7 – 12 (SEO 2) | Curriculum Secondary Learners | Curriculum and Reform Directorate

Dr Scott Sleap led the development of the STEM Industry School Partnerships program for the NSW Department of Education in 2017. He is currently a STEM Curriculum Support Advisor for the Currciulum and Reform Directorate, where he is responsible for the coordination of the program. Regarded as a visionary educator he was the first Technology teacher to win the prestigious Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence for Secondary Science Teaching and is a Winston Churchill Fellow. In 2020 Dr Sleap was again recognised with a National Commonwealth Bank Teaching Fellowship. Previously he was awarded the title of National Teacher of the Year by the Australian Design and Technology Teachers Association (DATTA) and was inducted as one of only three national DATTA patrons. In 2019 he was appointed as a Cyber Security Ambassador for the NSW Cyber Security Innovation Node.

Ian Preston

Deputy Principal | NSW Virtual STEM Academy 
STEM Project Officer | Murrumbidgee Academy of STEM Excellence 

Ian is Deputy Principal NSW Virtual STEM Academy and Riverina STEM Project Officer (SPO) based at Murrumbidgee Regional High School in Griffith NSW. Ian has a Bachelor of Education (Hons) Industrial Arts Technology from the University of Newcastle. Ian began teaching in 1991 and enjoyed 24 years experience as a Head Teacher prior to his involvement in the SISP Program in 2019. He was born in the Riverina and has worked and lived in the Riverina since 2000. Ian has previously been at the forefront of innovative programs including being the first Head Teacher of the Lachlan Access Program (LAP) in the early 1990’s, which used technology to deliver senior curriculum to students in the communities of Ungarie, Quandialla, Lake Cargelligo and Condobolin. The LAP is still in operation in 2021.

Nikyetta Pencheff 

STEM Project Officer | Central Coast Academy of STEM Excellence

Rel. STEM Curriculum Support Advisor 7-12 | Curriculum Secondary Learners | Curriculum Reform Directorate

Nikyetta Pencheff, is the esteemed STEM Project Officer for the Central Coast Academy of STEM Excellence, with nearly 20 years of experience as a TAS and VET high school teacher at the NSW Department of Education. Known for her exemplary work in education, she also leads the SISP team in the relieving  position of STEM Curriculum Support Advisor 7-12.  Nikyetta's expertise and dedication have been recognized through several prestigious awards, including The Minister's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2022 and the Local Government Excellence Award in 2023 for her community development program Fire-ED Up, created in collaboration with the Central Coast Council and Rumbalara Environmental Education Centre. In her role, Nikyetta collaborates closely with school executives and teachers to identify the specific STEM learning needs of SISP schools. By fostering positive relationships with local industry representatives and key stakeholders, she has successfully developed many equity-based STEM units of work that have been adopted across NSW. Nikyetta's leadership extends to coordinating curriculum initiatives, organizing professional learning events, and tailoring STEM activities to support all schools. Her contributions have had a significant impact on promoting real-world and skill-based project opportunities for school communities and the broader educational landscape across NSW.Contact:

Sarah Osman 

Rel. STEM Project Officer | Central Coast Academy of STEM Excellence

Sarah is currently relieving as STEM Project Officer for the Central Coast Academy of STEM Excellence. She obtained her Masters in Primary Education from UWS and has worked with the Department of Education for 14 years. Sarah's teaching journey began in Sydney where she gained a passion for STEM and integrated programs. She has worked as an Assistant Principal for the last 9 years where she has progressed schools and supported teachers in developing student outcomes and creating engaging programing and school systems. Now on the Central Coast her goal as an educational leader is to set standards of excellence and create a positive learning culture of challenge and support, enabling effective teaching that promotes enthusiastic, independent learners, committed to lifelong learning through STEM.

Russ Taunton

STEM Project Officer | Illawarra Academy of STEM Excellence

Russ is the STEM Project Officer for the Illawarra Academy of STEM Excellences and has been an educator within the primary, secondary and corporate sectors for the past 23 years. He has worked in a range of roles as a teacher, executive and principal across metropolitan, rural, regional and remote schools based in the Kimberley region of WA. Russ is passionate about promoting STEM and developing industry partnerships to support student learning in the classroom. He is focussed upon linking school based curriculum initiatives to a wide range of industry experiences aligning to the SISP program and IASE key objectives.


Shane Dryden

STEM Project Officer | Hunter Academy of STEM Excellence

Shane is an experienced and passionate Science educator that has been a valued member of various schools throughout the Hunter region. Currently serving as the STEM Project Officer, he spearheads the Hunter Academy of STEM Excellence (HASE) based out of Maitland Grossmann High School.  

Since assuming the role of STEM Project Officer in July 2022, Shane has been instrumental in forging strong partnerships with primary and secondary schools, facilitating enriching STEM activities, coordinating STEM engagement days and events, implementing professional development opportunities, providing mentoring opportunities and revising STEM curriculum to align with contemporary industry needs. By also offering and driving targeted programs HASE has generated a large involvement of both female and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students in STEM within the region. 

Understanding that true excellence in STEM requires a solid foundation, Shane has actively cultivated relationships with feeder primary schools, to ensure a continuum of STEM education from primary school through high school and beyond. By emphasising the importance of this continuum, Shane aims to increase the aspirations of students to pursue further studies and employment in STEM-related fields. 


Karen Ramsay

STEM Project Officer (Primary Education) | Rivers Academy of STEM Excellence

Karen Ramsay started with RASE in early 2021. She comes to the role of STEM Project officer from the position of Teacher Librarian at Lismore Public School. Karen graduated from Southern Cross University with a Bachelor of Education (Honours) and holds a Masters of Education (Teacher Librarianship) from Charles Sturt University. She has extensive experience teaching students from K-6 as both a classroom teacher and specialist teacher. Developing students’ curiosity and love of learning is a particular passion of hers. She has successfully developed and run a range of gifted and talented, and extension programs for students, embedding STEM and inquiry-based learning across a range of learning areas. A strong desire to build teacher capacity and confidence to increase student engagement, outcomes and aspiration in STEM fields underpins her enthusiasm for this role in the Rivers Academy of STEM Excellence. 

Zane van den Berg

STEM Project Officer (Secondary Education) | Rivers Academy of STEM Excellence

Zane was the Head Teacher Science at The Rivers Secondary College, Kadina High Campus. He has a Bachelor of Science (1st Class Honours) from Griffith University and a Graduate Diploma in Education from Southern Cross University. Zane began teaching in 2004 in Brewarrina. He then moved back to his home town of Lismore in 2008. Zane has 10 years’ experience as Head Teacher and has a long history of coordinating Gifted and Talented programmes in various forms. He implemented an integrated STEM course into the curriculum for students in the Enrichment class at Kadina High Campus, and has developed and delivered a year 9 enrichment programme “STEM Innovation and Entrepreneurship”. In 2020, Zane joined the SISP program as a STEM project officer in the Rivers Academy of STEM Excellence (RASE). His work with RASE has focused on embedding the STEM Design Thinking Process across the curriculum in both primary schools and high schools as a strategy to develop key skills of the students in those schools.

Mark Wiggins

STEM Project Officer (Secondary Education) | Coastal Learning Community Academy of STEM Excellence

Mark has taught Industrial Arts in NSW and QLD schools for 23 years. He founded the Coastal Academy of STEM Excellence in 2021, and also works as Head Teacher of Industrial Arts and Computing Studies at Kingscliff High School. Mark has a Bachelor of Technology Education from Griffith University, and received honorary membership in the Golden Key National Honour Society for his high GPA. He has always had a strong passion for STEM, engineering and engaging students in technology. Mark managed the first NSW winning team in the 24Hr Fraser Coast Technology Challenge. He has continued this passion establishing a Coastal Learning Community STEM Coordinator Team and running interschool activities prior to joining the SISP Program. Mark has invested significant time establishing a Makespace Facility at his current school with Laser Cutters, 3D Printers, Robotics and drones to name a few. He has continued this work to support local school on the journey to deliver cross-curricular learning opportunities and resources integrating the iSTEM Process.

Liz Edwards

STEM Project Officer (Primary Education) | Coastal Learning Community Academy of STEM Excellence

Liz is the Primary Project Officer for the Coastal Academy of STEM Excellence on the Far North Coast and a Stage 3 classroom teacher. With a Bachelor of Film and Media (Griffith University) and a Bachelor of Education (Charles Sturt University), she had an extensive career in the Film Industry before pursuing a teaching career in 2006.  With her passion for visual literacy, Liz has inspired many primary students with all elements of filmmaking.  She has successfully developed and incorporated STEM initiatives into her classroom pedagogy and schools through robotics, Makerspace, inquiry learning and HPGE challenges.  With a focus on expanding STEM opportunities for more staff and students, Liz is working with local schools to establish common learning goals and experiences that are inclusive of local industry partnerships.


Warren Reynolds

STEM Project Officer | Hastings Academy of STEM Excellence

Warren Reynolds is the STEM Project Officer (SPO) for the Hastings Academy of STEM Excellence based in Port Macquarie. He has a Bachelor of Engineer Degree from Newcastle University and comes to the SISP team from outside of the educational sector.  He ran his own IT and Custom Electronics business for 15 years in country NSW and has recently returned to the educational sector teaching various courses including Advanced PLC's, Programming and subjects from the Advanced Diploma of Electrical Engineering and Electrotechnology courses at TAFEs across NSW. He has mentored Australian champion robotics teams that have represented Australia at the FIRST Robotics World Championships in Houston USA. His has a passion for robotics with a focus on emerging technologies including AI and Vision processing. He plans to accelerate the growth of potential student engineers through developing programs that bring industry experience into the classroom in a skills for solution based approach to learning with collaboration and critical thinking at the core.

Ellen McDonald

STEM Project Officer | Lower Baka Academy of STEM Excellence

Ellen is the STEM Project Officer for the newly established Lower Baaka Academy of STEM Excellence and comes to the role with a passion for embedding STEM processes into the English curriculum, as well as engaging girls in STEM. Ellen has been an English educator in the Hunter Valley for the last seven years. In 2023, Ellen decided to experience teaching in the primary sector, and moved to the rural town of Wentworth NSW on rural experience, to teach music at Wentworth Public School.  Ellen was awarded ‘Best School Program’ in the Hunter Education Week Awards in 2022, for her mentorship of female students through “The Orbispace Initiative”. With her cross-curricula skills, Ellen will be collaborating with Coomealla High School, as well as Wentworth and Dareton Public School, to engage all students in the unique STEM experiences that working on Barkindji country provides. 


Ben Moore

STEM Project Officer | Newcastle Academy of STEM Excellence

Ben Moore is the STEM Project Officer for the Newcastle Academy of STEM Excellence and a dedicated TAS Teacher at the Hunter School of the Performing Arts for over 5 years. Ben graduated from the University of Newcastle in 2016 with a Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary)/Technology and has since honed his skills as an educator, emphasising curiosity and enthusiasm as key components of his teaching philosophy. His passion for developing and delivering inquiry-based learning opportunities allows him to equip students with the STEM-related skills and soft skills required for a successful future in any career path. In his newly appointed capacity of STEM Project Officer, he aims to bridge the gap between the local STEM industries and educational institutions in the region. Ben's overarching goal as a STEM Project Officer is to create meaningful opportunities for students in the local area, preparing them for the future and nurturing the next generation of STEM professionals.


Anna Kemp

STEM Project Officer | Crookwell Academy of STEM Excellence

Anna is the STEM Project Officer for the Crookwell Academy of STEM Excellence. She has been a primary school teacher in the Upper Lachlan for the past 15 years before taking on this role. Anna has Bachelors of Sports Science, Sports Management and Primary Education from University of Canberra. Her passion for building and awareness for STEM opportunities and careers to inspire her students enabled her to develop and build many industry connections through the agriculture industry, a main industry of the Upper Lachlan. Anna has utilised her primary background to link literacy with STEM to make STEM more accessible to primary school teachers.