STEM star reminds country children ‘sky is the limit’ winning CEF Alumnus of the Year
Lee Constable works as a television presenter, hosting ‘Scope’ Network 10’s national science TV show for children, where she uses both her science and arts background to research, write and present engaging STEM content in an entertaining way for a young audience, making her “the perfect choice” for the 2019 Alinta Energy – Country Education Foundation (CEF) Alumnus of the Year.
The CEF provides support and grants to help those in country Australia advance their further education. The work of the Foundation may be of interest to those in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector who reside in rural areas and wish to further their education.
After completing her Bachelor of Arts and Science at the Australian National University, Ms Constable was part of the largest ever all-female expedition to Antarctica with 80 women in STEM from all over the world in 2018. She started a youth-run radio show and podcast, ‘SoapBox’, focused on environmental sustainability and social justice; she founded ‘Co-Lab: Science Meets Street Art’ where she assists young scientists to collaborate with street artists to create live murals for the public to watch evolve while learning about the science.
Ms Constable has also recently written a children’s book called How to Save the Whole Stinkin’ Planet, seeking to “use every avenue available to her to educate society on various scientific issues” with passion and a fresh approach to education.
Originally from the country town of Galong, with a population of 224, Ms Constable said that despite now residing in a big city, she remains “very connected to country Australia” and aware of her presence as “one of the few voices [in the public] from rural Australia and from a farming background”.
“It’s important for me to let other country kids know that the sky is the limit and that their unique perspective is valued in ways they may not realise,” she said.
Ms Constable first learnt about the CEF through the local Harden District Education Foundation, when they assisted her with the costs of a high school exchange to Canada. The Harden foundation, aware of Lee’s dedication and potential, then awarded her a grant to undertake her university studies in 2009.
She used the grant to help pay for field trips and hands on experiences, which not only enhanced her learning, but enabled her to bond with her fellow students. She says: “It helped me begin this overwhelming adventure away from the farm and into further study and adulthood without so much financial stress.”
When asked what advice she has for future country students with lots of passion and big dreams, Ms Constable said “Know that it’s okay to take your time figuring out what types of further study you want to do. There may be options and fields out there that you don’t even know exist yet but are right up your alley! Have a good look around and keep your mind open!”
For more information about the range of support CEF offers, please see here.