Narooma High School science teacher Gayle Allison has been awarded a scholarship for her outstanding work in education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
Only nine scholarships were awarded across Australia including just two in NSW.
It was the first year the Toyota Community Trust STEM Teachers Scholarships were awarded.
The scholarship is supported by the Public Education Foundation.
The scholarship gives Ms Allison $10,000 for professional development courses in STEM-related subjects.
Focus on robotics, 3D printing
Ms Allison had to submit a detailed application about what she has done in her career, as well as about the school and the community.
"I spoke about the Robotics team and their ongoing development and how useful it would be to have further training to help the school given we are relatively remote," she said.
"I am looking primarily to robotics and 3D printing."
The school will be getting a resin printer this year.
She would like to attend the huge EduTECH conference held annually in Melbourne.
"The idea is to further my knowledge to support our primary schools and also the RoboRebels," she said.
Ms Allison runs a Linkages program at the school.
She takes some of her students to the primary schools in Bodalla, Narooma, Tilba, Bermagui and Cobargo to talk about the activities and projects they are working on.
"Last year we had a robotics competition between Bermagui, Tilba and Narooma.
"We are trying to do that annually during Science Week," Ms Allison said.
New RoboRebel recruits
Ms Allison has mentored the RoboRebels for several years.
Some team members who travelled to Texas last year to compete in the world championships have left the school to pursue their studies or start careers.
"Some of the new team competed in last year's FIRST Tech Challenge and we have recruited quite a few members this year which is fantastic," she said.
They will compete at the FIRST Southern Cross Regional in Sydney's Hawkesbury on March 15-17.
"For the first time since COVID a lot of international teams are coming so that will be a big competition."
Gifted teacher, advisor
Last year Ms Allison was year advisor to the students preparing for their HSC exams.
They did very well with nine Distinguished Achievers.
Engineering student Harrison McKee said they could not have achieved what they had "without the work of our own Gayle Force".
Ms Allison said the scholarship is great for the school.
"It means I get up-to-date training so that I am a step ahead in expanding everyone's knowledge."