Student Spotlight: Harrison steps into a STEM teaching career.

Student Spotlight

Harrison Rowntree, Bachelor of Teaching with Bachelor of Science

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at the University of Adelaide. The professors who are passionate about their subject made learning an enjoyable experience.”

Harrison Rowntree

Why did you choose your degree?

I was originally in a software engineering degree and really enjoying it but wasn’t looking forward to the style of work lifestyle it offered. I really enjoyed the tutoring I was doing off the side and decided to switch into teaching math, physics and computer science.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Adelaide?

I knew it was big on engineering and computer science so that’s where I started. When I switched into teaching I learned it had a big history in physics and as it was to be the major of my study, it made sense to stay.

Did you move to Adelaide to study, if so where from?

I moved from my family olive farm which is near Coonalpyn in the upper south east of SA.

What do you enjoy about your degree/time at uni?

I really liked the physics lecturers and the friends I made studying physics. It’s a hard subject but the lecturers in the school really know their subject and are passionate about it. The other students are in for the ride too and bonded well together. I have fond memories of 10 people standing around a whiteboard shouting at each other trying to work out the tutorial questions for the week.

Did you come to university from school?

I had a gap year and lived in Stockholm, Sweden as a student in high school. When I came back to Australia and started uni, the biggest shock was the size of classes. This isn’t as bad as it sounds as you get smaller tutorial classes and other services like the Math Learning Centre. I spent heaps of time there in my first year. The people working there are pretty cool.

How has what you’ve learned in your degree impacted your life so far and how do you hope it will help you in your future?

Time management is probably the biggest skill, followed by everything in the computer science subjects. I’ve had to do a bit of work in programming on the side of my studies. There’s also no forgetting the math and physics content that will aid when teaching high school math and physics.

What are your career aspirations after university?

I want to somehow work with the area schools where I am from and get a decent math and physics program going. Each individual school doesn’t have the numbers to get dedicated classes but between them all it might be possible. It would need good technology, good preparation and good execution.

What would you say to a prospective student interested in studying your degree at The University of Adelaide?

It’s a great place to study! Lots of beautiful study spaces. There’s never a shortage of computers. There’s plenty of social stuff going on if you pay attention to what is advertised around you. Just remember that everyone in first year feels the same as you do. If you don’t know anyone, talk to the people in your tutorials and you’ll make friends in no time. Getting lunch at the university bar on a Friday is a great place to get to know your classmates.


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