The Stand.

Stories from UOW

Inspired by students, sustainability and a love of learning, Master of Teaching student Jess Masden is preparing herself to teach the next generation.

I believe a good education is the key to creating a happier, healthier and more productive Australia.

Last year, I spent time as a Young Sustainability Ambassador for the United Nations where I visited Illawarra schools to talk about Sustainable Development Goals. After a few months of this, I ended up being invited to attend the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York.

It was here I realised my true love for science communication.

After returning to Australia, I decided to throw my hat in the ring for a NSW Teaching Inspired Scholarship. This was my opportunity to become more serious about teaching science and raising awareness of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

So, without further ado, here are my five reasons why I’ve chosen to now study a Master of Teaching (Secondary) at the University of Wollongong.

1. I love communicating science and encouraging people to be as passionate as I am

In July 2017, I visited Bulli High School to present on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and commence a local project. During this visit, I came to realise just how much I enjoyed working with youth in an academic setting. Not only were the students engaged with my presentation on ocean plastic, the goals set out by the UN and the resources I recommended to them, but they really exceeded my expectations when they also chose to create a video on the issue. They even cleaned up the local creek and beach. By the end of the year, I was just so inspired by them!


View this post on Instagram


Plastic doesn’t break down, it breaks UP. 🌊 I’m just home from the beach and can’t help but think how horrible it would be to swim in water like this, which is over in Hawaii, thanks to currents from the #greatpacificgarbagepatch 😰 Can anyone guess where this plastic originally might have been used? (📸: @sustainablecoastlineshawaii ) . . . . . . . . . #seedsofsustainability #responsibleconsumption #zerowaste #sustainabledevelopmentgoals #reduceyourfootprint #plasticocean #sdg14 #sdg12 #lifebelowwater #plasticocean #plasticfree #zerowasteliving #microplastics #passonplastic #beach #summer #sydney #singleuseplastic #circulareconomy #choosetoreuse #planetorplastic

A post shared by Jess Madsen🌱 SDGs Australia (@jess.sustainable) on

2. I realised how much of a thrill I received from seeing others have a “lightbulb moment”

After establishing my blog in 2015, which began by documenting my farming adventures in South Australia, I came to realise how many people appreciated the posts on our food system and global sustainability. I even had peers from my undergraduate agriculture degree who were appreciative of some of the content. Helping people discover new ways of thinking or learning things they hadn’t considered before gave me a real thrill.

I thrive off seeing other people be empowered to achieve goals they didn't think possible.”

Jess Masden

3. UOW has provided great support

Science and Mathematics teaching are fields which have a very high demand for quality teachers, who are not only passionate about their work but knowledgeable. UOW acknowledges this and supports STEM teachers in gaining knowledge and skills that even fall outside their degree. The university offers programs like UOWx, which has allowed me to attend business seminars, complete my Mental Health First Aid training and take on ICT responsibilities as a digital media ambassador. It has been great to be so involved in university life as a postgraduate student.

Continual learning something any good teacher thrives on.

Jess Masden

4. Wollongong is a great place to live and work

As a triathlete, having the UniActive gym on campus has been great. Wollongong also has world-class pools, well-kept ovals to run around, great running trails and also cycling routes such as Mount Keira and the Royal National Park. Even when I’m cycling for recreation, the bike paths along the beach from WIN Stadium all the way to Thirroul are just awesome.

5. With our growing population, we will always need quality education

In terms of a secure degree, teaching ticks a lot of boxes. It is versatile, allows you to pick up work in any corner of the globe and makes a difference to countless lives. Continual learning is something any good teacher thrives on, and there are endless opportunities for teachers at UOW in learning new skills and keeping up with global issues in order to prepare our younger generation for a future workforce.

The way to enhance any student’s life is to be inspired by good teachers, learn important life skills and be empowered to make the most out of a given situation. My life, both in the workforce and as a member of my community, has equipped me to adore teaching, as I thrive off seeing other people be empowered to achieve the goals they didn’t think were possible.

All credit goes to Master of Teaching (Science) student Jess Madsen. You can read more at her blog here.

You might also like

Future students
June 25, 2019

The things no one tells you about finishing university

For many students, submitting that final assignment and finally finishing university is the motivator that…
Read More