Skip to main content
Start of main content

Student stories

Axel's connecting kids with the fun side of science

This article appears in: Education, Science
Teacher Axel with chemistry class

Axel knows first-hand the impact a great teacher can have on your future. He was inspired by many of his own high school teachers to pursue a career in education. Not only is Axel now forging a career as a chemistry teacher in his hometown of Darwin, but he’s also sharing his passion for STEM with the rest of the planet through his TikTok videos.

“Teaching has always been fun to me, so I figured I should get a degree and get paid to do what I enjoy,” says Axel.

Axel chose a Bachelor of Secondary Education on campus at Charles Darwin University, with a double major in chemistry and biology.

CDU was the local choice, and I liked the idea of staying local. The opportunity of teaching placements were local schools that I was very fond of.

“The skills I learned at CDU helped prepare me for my line of work, especially the placement programs.”

As well as feeling prepared for the workplace, Axel appreciated the connections he built through studying education at CDU.

“The staff I built relationships with are always keen to lend a hand, whether it be equipment, advice or support with a project.”

Recognition on paper and online

Science teacher student Axel

A little “passion project” he began during the uni holidays became a rare feat of academic success.

Axel has been playing around with Tesla coils as an alternative way to perform a common high school science demonstration. After emailing photos to one of his lecturers to clarify some concepts, Axel was encouraged to write a paper and submit it.

He spent the next year experimenting, researching and writing in his spare time.

Axel’s research paper titled ‘An Alternative to the Flame Test: Using Inexpensive Tesla Coils to Produce the Emission Spectra of Metal Salts’ was published in the international peer-reviewed Journal of Chemical Education, an achievement not often attempted by such a young student.

He also took to social media to showcase his experiment, with over 168,000 views on TikTok.

Making science exciting for everyone

Axel wants you to forget what you associate with studying chemistry in high school.

“A lot of the time science gets swept under the rug as heaps of maths and tests,” he says.

I like making it more hands-on, showing kids the dangerous side, the fun side, the explosive side of science. That’s what I’m passionate about.

By making science as exciting as he can at the high school level, Axel hopes to connect a new generation of young people with the idea of a career in STEM.

In the future, Axel dreams of introducing the wonders of science to more students around Australia, no matter where they’re from.

“I’d like to do nationwide reach with science engagement, go travelling and do science expos and stuff like that.”

“I would like to do some remote community teaching with science too, to get science out there in the Indigenous community. I think that would be really beneficial.”

For now, he’s simply enjoying the transition from inspired student to inspiring teacher.

Do you see yourself with a career in science or education – or a combination of both, like Axel? Explore courses at Charles Darwin University now.

Explore 300+ courses

Certificates, diplomas and degrees

Related Articles

Back to top