Winning teacher is an inspiration

Marianne Hill in the classroom
Marianne Hill in the classroom
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AN inspirational physics teacher has been given top marks for her work with young people.

Marianne Hill, who teaches her subject at Sunderland College won the runner-up prize in the Wise (Women Into Science, Engineering and Construction) Advisor Awards.

Marianne was presented with her certificate by the Princess Royal during an awards ceremony at London’s Institute of Engineering and Technology.

Wise celebrates those who inspire young women into the field of science, technology, engineering and maths and Marianne was nominated for the award by academics at the University of Sunderland, where she has been studying for a doctorate qualification.

Marianne, a curriculum leader for science, mathematics and psychology at Sunderland College’s sixth form campuses, was commended for her motivational work addressing the gender imbalance.

Professor Peter Smith, who nominated Marianne, said: “I don’t believe that I have met anyone as passionate about physics and why girls should study physics as Marianne Hill.

“She has truly devoted her life to her students and to expanding the horizons of the girls who study with her.”

Marianne, who lives in Sunderland, graduated with a degree in physics at Durham University in the 1980s, before completing a Masters in astrophysics in 1992.

She said: “I have always tried to do the best for my students so I am thrilled that my work has been recognised by Wise.”

Marianne says she saw a huge jump in the number of students who applied to study physics this term, especially the number of girls, who went from none to eight in the class.

Asked what influenced her own decision to study physics, Marianne said: “I was interested in physics and astronomy at school, but became more determined to study physics after my careers teacher said that it was a difficult subject and not for girls. That convinced me that I had to do it.

“I love physics simply because it applies maths to solving real-life problems and explains everything from the smallest particle to the largest galaxy and everything in between.”

Angela O’Donoghue, principal of Sunderland College, said: “Marianne’s passion for her subject area has instilled a real sense of enthusiasm and ambition in her students. She is an invaluable member of Sunderland College’s teaching team and we are incredibly proud that her commitment has been recognised by Wise.”

Twitter: @SunEchoSchools