Anne Forbes

Dr, Senior Lecturer, STEM Education, Deputy Director Professional Learning and Engagement: International

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1988 …2023

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Personal profile


Anne Forbes (BSc, BEd, MScAgr, PhD) has a wide range of science-related experiences including being a Plant Pathology researcher, primary school science teacher, and currently, a university researcher and educator in primary school science and STEM education in the Macquarie School of Education She teaches in a range of units in pre-service teacher education and conducts accredited in-service teacher professional learning to enthuse, inform and inspire learning and teaching through primary science and STEM education.

Anne describes her role as 'finding effective ways to open doors to the world of science and STEM for young learners and their teachers'. A recent highlight was being part of the winning author team for the text STEM Education in the Primary School: A Teacher’s Toolkit that won the 2021 EPAA Award for 'Outstanding Tertiary/VET Resource'. She has just completed a companion publication titled Science Education in the Primary School: A Teacher's Toolkit (2023), also published by Cambridge University Press. Anne has led and contributed to the development of a Coursera course for teachers to learn about Artificial Intelligence and has been invited to comment on international issues such as how to get more girls and young women into STEM.

Anne has been invited to share her research internationally as a keynote speaker, and to share her ideas about STEM education with parents, teachers and principals as an invited speaker.


MyScience@MQ: In 2006 Anne co-developed the underpinning Educational Model for MyScience, an award-winning program that aims to stimulate interest and enhance the capacity of primary science teachers and their students in conducting authentic scientific investigations. Preliminary research into the program indicated benefits across the educational spectrum: for primary students and their teachers, secondary students and their science teachers and pre-service primary and secondary science teachers, where learning occurs because of participation in a community of science practice.

STEM Education textbook: Anne is the lead author for a 'state-of-the-art' text for Australian primary teachers titled STEM Education in the Primary School: A teacher's tookit. The book was published in January 2021 and recently won the 'Outstanding Tertiary Resource' for the 2021 Educational Publishing Australa Awards.

Science Education textbook: Anne is the sole author for the Australian text title Primary Science Education: A teacher's tookit. The book was published in June 2023.  

IBM Global Artifical Intelligence Currciulum Framework

In 2018, Macquarie University’s then Department of Educational Studies (DES) collaborated with key international stakeholders to develop IBM Corporation's Global Artificial Intelligence (AI) Curriculum Framework for students and teachers in primary and secondary schools. Designed to develop future-oriented knowledge, skills and values, the framework enables participation and contribution as engaged and responsible citizens in the 21st century economy and society.

In 2019, with Anne as the 'Academic Lead', a suite of online and face-to-face professional learning courses  for Australian teachers were developed, implemented and evaluated.  

In 2020, based on the resources developed in 2019, the online Coursera course Artificial Intelligence (AI) Education for Teachers was launched.

In 2021, the IBM EdTech Youth Challenge provides support to teachers who wish to guide student teams to propose AI solutions to local issues caused by Climate Change.  


Anne teaches in the Early Childhood and Primary education programs, and contributes to units relating to Science and Design Technology education. She currently convenes and/or participates in: EDTE2520, EDTE4550, EDST2110, EDST3110, EDST4110, EDST4160.

Anne uses a learner-centred approach in her teaching to design and deliver resources and ideas, which means identifying key elements of ‘what needs to be known or understood’ and presenting them in ways that allow learners to ‘join the dots’.  She believes in, and practices the art of teaching, as being about creating inviting spaces into which learners will step and engage with presented ideas.   


2003      BHP Billiton: National BHP Billiton Award for Primary Science Teaching

2000      Streamwatch, NSW: Outstanding Streamwatch Educator award for K-12 teaching


Anne was an Associate Editor for a Speical Issue on STEM Education in the journal Early Education and Development, published in 2021.

She is a reviewer for the International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education journal.

Anne regularly presents professional development workshops about science and design technology education.

Anne was awarded the following in recognition of her contributions to a variety of Professional Teaching Associations:

2015      Professional Teachers’ Council of NSW: Exceptional Service Award 

2010      Science Teachers' Association of NSW: Distinguished Service Award

2006      Professional Teachers’ Council of NSW: Outstanding Professional Service Award 

Education/Academic qualification

Primary Science Education, PhD, MyScience: Communities of Practice around the Teaching and Learning of Primary Science, Southern Cross University

Award Date: 12 Sept 2014

Primary Education, BEd, University of Technology Sydney

Award Date: 16 Apr 1998

Plant Pathology, MScAgr, Studies on Fusarium Species in the Sections Arthrosporiella, Discolor, Gibbosum and Roseum, University of Sydney

Award Date: 8 Oct 1985

Biological Sciences, BSc, University of Birmingham

Award Date: 7 Jul 1978


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