The Team

Meet the Sci-Fly Team... Taking STEM Education to the skies!

Zara Dennis.JPGDr. Zara Dennis - Founder and Program Development

Sci-Fly STEM Outreach is the unique and inspirational creation of Dr Zara Dennis. A Scientist, Teacher and Pilot, Zara grew up in the UK where she completed her honours degree in Physics before moving to Australia in 2008 to complete her PhD. Conducting electromagnetic mapping across northern Victoria, Zara was quickly introduced to the vastness of Australia. It was during her thesis examination period however, that Zara discovered her enthusiasm for teaching and often-quoted “infectious love” for Science. She worked full-time as a high-school Science teacher for three years, introducing as many hands-on activities as possible to her classes, including VCE Physics. Her enthusiasm and ingenuity in STEM teaching subsequently received recognition from the University of Melbourne in 2015, when Zara became one of the inaugural winners of the Growing Teacher Tall Poppies Awards. Never one to stop learning herself however, in 2015 Zara started pursuing a long held ambition - learning to fly. Achieving her Private Pilot Licence (PPL) mid-2016 at Lilydale Flying School, this was the final piece of the puzzle in making Sci-Fly STEM Outreach a reality.

 


Tam Augostin.JPGTammy Augostin - WAI Australia National President

A commercial pilot at Panorama Airways, Tammy Augostin has extensive experience in aerial survey operations, and is the first woman to hold the L39 Albatros jet rating in Australia. Tammy is involved with various aviation groups and has held several positions on national and state committees, including her current role as National President for WAI. She has also led many initiatives, including the Women Pilot’s Relay around Australia in 2015, raising awareness for women pilots and over $26,000 for Cancer research, as well as launching the Women of Aviation Week (WOAW) in 2013 to the Australian aviation industry to raise awareness and increase the percentage of women’s roles within Aviation fields. She has been awarded various scholarships and awards for her efforts, and has also written an educational book for women considering aviation as a hobby or career titled ‘Why Not Think Aviation.’ Tammy was nominated as a finalist for the Aviation Aerospace Awards 2016 for her outstanding contribution to the Aviation and Aerospace sectors, and is a frequent speaker at functions promoting women in Aviation and career days at local schools.

 


Eroia Barone-Nugent.jpg

Dr Eroia Barone-Nugent - GTP Program Director

The pedagogical framework of Sci-Fly STEM Outreach is built upon the Growing Tall Poppies formula, established in 2008 by Dr Eroia Barone-Nugent. Eroia is an Honorary Senior Fellow in the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the College of Science Health & Engineering at La Trobe University. An education program leader and innovator, the goal of her program is to increase the number of students, especially girls, studying science and particularly physics to year 12. She has been the NAB Schools First State Winner 2009; BHP Billiton Science Teacher Victoria 2010; Prime Minister’s Highly Commended Science Teacher 2011 & 2012 & Eureka Prize for Science Teaching Finalist 2012. In 2009 Eroia was also named as 'A Victorian Who Inspired Us' for her contribution to science education.

 


Scott Jessett.JPGScott Jessett - Outreach Pilot and Classroom Assistant

As the youngest member of the team Scott is a fantastic role model to students, himself only a few years older than our target audience. Scott achieved his Commercial Pilots Licence in July 2017 at 19 years old, after starting flying at Lilydale Flying School in June 2013. At just 15 his first solo flight was in December 2013 (he could fly a plane on his own, but his Mum still had to pick him up to drive home), going on to complete the GFPT in July 2014. He started work on his PPL in the same year and gained it in early 2015. Scott is the first in his family to undertake pilot training, and his passion for aviation oozes when sharing this and teaching younger students.