The Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) proudly announces the recipients of the esteemed Ruth Dircks Scholarship for the year 2024. Designed to foster and promote excellence in science education, the Ruth Dircks Scholarship offers a unique opportunity for Australian teachers to enrich their professional development by attending the Annual CONASTA Conference.

Named in honour of Ruth Dircks, a distinguished Life Member and Past President of ASTA, the scholarship embodies her commitment to advancing science education in Australia. Ruth’s legacy continues to inspire educators nationwide, and her generous contribution of the 2002 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools laid the foundation for this esteemed scholarship.

This year, ASTA is thrilled to award the Ruth Dircks Scholarship to Joshua Vardy and Tracy Guan. Each recipient will receive a scholarship worth $1,500, that includes free entry to the CONASTA 71, hosted by the Science Teachers Association of Victoria (STAV) from Sunday 7 to Thursday 11 July 2024. There will also be three runners up, Lesley Gough, Stella Ding, Ashvitha Kannan, who will receive free entry to the conference, each valued at $740.

“Getting out of the state, and discovering new activities/resources … will be helpful … improving the toolbox I can refer to when planning my classes. I believe the more resources and proven strategies I have access to, the more effective my teaching will be.” – Ruth Dircks Scholarship winner Joshua Hardy.

“I would love to learn more about how science teachers around the country are engaging with the newest research and pedagogical techniques that enhance the learning environment for all students. … I will learn new skills, engage with like minded colleagues and leave feeling inspired.” – Ruth Dircks Scholarship winner Tracy Guan.

The Ruth Dircks Scholarship serves as a beacon of support for teachers, facilitating their participation in CONASTA, the premier science education conference in Australia. Through this initiative, ASTA aims to empower educators with invaluable insights, resources, and networking opportunities, ultimately enhancing the quality of science education across the nation.

With the generous support of our member Science Teacher Associations, government entities, industry partners, and stakeholders within the science and education ecosystem, ASTA remains dedicated to nurturing the professional growth of educators. Through a wide array of professional development courses and events, ASTA continues to uphold its commitment to excellence in science education.

Congratulations to Joshua Vardy and Tracy Guan on this well-deserved honor. Their dedication and passion for science education exemplify the spirit of Ruth Dircks, and we look forward to witnessing their continued contributions to the field.

For more information about ASTA and its initiatives, please visit

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Communications Team
Australian Science Teachers Association
0428 219 438

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