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, Educator 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. 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 Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) in December 2018 at Lilydale Flying School. With a 90% average achieved on the theory, and a few other endorsements completed en route, Zara has become a role model to the aspiring young aviators who attend her sessions.

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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.