Researcher leaves the laboratory to teach next generation of scientists

April 19, 2018

Award winning educators: Luke Diepeveen (Right) with some of the other students who were successful at the School of Education Awards night.

An experienced cancer researcher will be using his passion for biology to inspire the next generation of scientists after swapping the research laboratory for the classroom.

Recent Murdoch University education graduate Dr Luke Diepeveen discovered an enthusiasm for teaching while giving demonstrations to undergrads at the Harry Perkins Institute where he researched liver cancer for more than five years.

Dr Diepeveen subsequently excelled while studying for a Graduate Diploma of Education at Murdoch last year and was recently honoured in three categories at the School of Education Awards.

“When I was completing my PhD in biochemistry, I found I really enjoyed giving the demonstrations and being able to pass on my knowledge of science,” Dr Diepeveen said.

“I decided that becoming a teacher would allow me to fulfil what I feel is the primary responsibility of scientists – to improve the scientific literacy of the next generation so they can make informed decisions regarding their environment and the world around them.”

Among the honours won by Dr Diepeveen was the Australian College of Educators prize for demonstrating ‘high performance during a teacher education program internship’.

He also took out the WA Secondary School Executives Association prize for Best Academic Performance, as well as the School of Education prize for Excellence in Secondary Teaching.

He is now teaching science at Churchlands Senior High School alongside his mother, who also works in the same department.

“You could say teaching runs in our family and my new career will allow me to combine this with my interest in science,” Dr Diepeveen said.

“Now that I am a qualified teacher, it is my hope that I will be able pass on my enthusiasm to secondary students and improve STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) literacy in the younger generation.”

Dr Diepeveen also expressed his gratitude to Murdoch where he re-qualified for his new career, as well as those who made donations to the various awards presented on the evening.

“The numerous prizes and scholarships that are awarded by Murdoch University each year greatly assist students and inspire them in their academic pursuits,” he said.

“To have been able to attend Murdoch University and pursue my passion in teaching science has been an extremely beneficial experience and the many supportive staff and fellow students that I have met, have inspired me to be the best teacher I can be.”


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Comments (One response)

ANDREW TAGGART April 24, 2018

A great night. Luke is a great story and one that emphasises that really bright students have a wonderful future ahead of them as STEM teachers.
With the recent release of our student teacher graduates excelling in their numeracy and literacy assessments we can be assured that EDU@MU is in great shape.

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