i3 Awards Presentation Honours Teacher Excellence

The i-Cubed Awards, a national science competition celebrating inquiry, innovation and ingenuity, of Australian school students, held its awards ceremony on 26 March 2024, recognising the brightest young minds in science and technology.


The i-Cubed Awards also recognises outstanding contributions made by classroom teachers to science education.  This year, we were able to introduce and award the following two judging categories:


ASTA Teacher Award

‘Passionately Curious’ Regional Teacher Award


Teacher finalists are selected from around Australia. A teacher is nominated by each Science Teachers Association (STA), chosen for their excellence in teaching, their support of open-ended student investigations and their suitability to represent their state or territory.

The nominees from each state demonstrated a strong commitment to lifelong learning, encouraging STEM learning beyond the classroom. Of the finalists, the judges selected and announced the winners at a special ASTA ceremony held at the CONASTA 71 National Conference for science educators at Melbourne university, Victoria on 9 July 2024. President Margaret Shepherd congratulated the highly deserving teachers in front of their esteemed peers and congratulated them for their dedication to inspire young people to be passionate about science and technology.


2024 i3 Teacher Award Winners

1st Place: ASTA Teacher Award

Anjali Chandrasekar from Castle Cove Public School, NSW (STANSW) 


Anjali’s career in science began as a wildlife and ecology researcher before becoming a classroom teacher and science coordinator of a primary school. Outside of school, she has been heavily involved in coordinating the STANSW Young Scientists Awards Program, which has made her a strong advocate and specialist in developing inquiry projects that are differentiated and scaffolded for her diverse learners.  Anjali has high expectations for her students and seeks opportunities and challenges to extend them beyond the classroom that develops their scientific knowledge and skills.  She also supports students to be involved in initiatives that allow them to make an impactful contribution to improving their local environment. Anjali is very passionate about science and gives up her time to develop others.  She has so much knowledge and expertise to share which is why she often runs workshops and seminars at conferences or willingly mentors new educators or fellow colleagues.



1st Place: Passionately Curious Regional Teacher Award

Jestin Palakal from MacFarlane Primary School, NT (STANT)


Jestin’s career in science began as a researcher in biotechnology and a university lecturer in botany.  His time in Australia has been devoted to teaching in remote schools in the Northern Territory, developing STEM educational programs that would appeal to the interests and strengths of his students. Jestin is dedicated to creating stimulating, hands-on learning experiences that makes STEM accessible to all his students. He has won several awards and accrued a fair amount of grants that has allowed him to grow an interdisciplinary approach to STEM where his students are solving real problems using digital technologies tools and skills. Jestin is a lifelong learner who is learning to adapt to diverse educational environments which includes integrating Indigenous knowledge and practices in his innovative classroom.  He has certainly made a positive impact in his school community where students believe that STEM is achievable and engaging.


For more information, please visit https://asta.edu.au/programs/asta-i3-awards/





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The Australian Science Teachers Association acknowledges the First Nations peoples of Australia as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and future and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.