Anju Bajaj: From Top Level Research to the Classroom

Some footage used in this video was filmed prior to the pandemic and may not depict social distancing measures.

Transcription – Anju Bajaj – 2021 Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence

[Close up of a woman in an interview setting. Music playing.]

"I always say that shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars."

[Fade to white with a medium shot of woman, smiling, on the right side of the screen, with the following words appearing, line by line, on the left: Anju Bajaj, Holy Cross School, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Cut to close-up of Anju in the interview setting. Music playing with voice over.]

"So, the number one factor that contribute to students' or child success in my opinion is the relationship. Then how you really build relationship directly, not only with the students, with their family and with their community."

[Cut to photo, with voice over. Photo: Anju and students looking at an eye in science class.]

"So, this relationship will improve their attendance, then it will again solve many discipline issues."

[Cut to Anju in the interview setting.]

"And it can again solve the conflict among the students too."

[Cut to black and then up to Anju in the interview setting.]

"In my teaching technique, I use a 10 to 2 method. For every ten minutes of instruction I allow two minutes to process and respond to the instruction. So at the end, students they use 3,2,1 method. Student they record everything they learned, they write about two interesting things and they write the one question they still might have for the subject matter. So in this way we allow students – like I allow the students time to share their findings with their classmate and that makes learning more common thing and is like interactive activities."

[Cut to black and then up to Anju in the interview setting.]

"So this Bison Regional science fair I accommodate, I'm the founder of this one."

[Cut to photo, with voice over. Photo: Anju and student with a model.]

"They do science projects, like in quality-based science projects they do it, and scientific skills they do it, and they learn and share their findings then they participate in Canada-wide science fair."

[Cut to Anju in the interview setting.]

"So, from Canada-wide science fair they earn the spot to go to international science fair. So, in fact one of my students is now short-listed candidate for the international science fair. So I see the impact is high because he's participating himself, he's learning, at the same time he's mentoring little kids too."

[Cut to black and then up to Anju in the interview setting.]

"If someone is thinking to nominate an educator, any educator for Prime Minister's Award,"

[Cut to photo, with voice over. Photos: Anju and student holding a book, Anju holding a turtle.]

"I will say do it as soon as possible. There are wonderful educators around the country. They are doing awesome job in this pandemic time. Just go nominate them…"

[Cut to Anju in the interview setting.]

"and show them you care. It is good for the whole educational community."

[Music ends. Fade to black, with the Government of Canada FIP and then the Canada Wordmark appearing in white.]

Year: 2021 — Province: Manitoba
Certificate of Excellence Recipient

Holy Cross School
Grades 1, 2, 7 and 8 – health education, physical education, science, social studies
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Quote

“Anju is a STEM leader in every sense of the term. Through numerous engaging, hands-on learning opportunities in and outside the classroom, she fosters students’ intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development and cultivates their leadership abilities.”

Colleague

Teaching Approach

Anju is more than a teacher. She is a consultant, public speaker, and lifelong learner. Dr. Bajaj is a practicing research scientist in cell pathophysiology at the St. Boniface Research Center. For Anju, education should be participatory. She often uses a flipped classroom model to pre-teach materials where students discover new content from online videos or electronic resources before the lesson. She encourages students to ask questions, seek answers, set goals, and perform self and peer assessments.

In the Classroom

Among her teaching techniques, Anju uses the 10:2 method. For every 10 minutes of instruction she allows students 2 minutes to process and respond to the instruction. At the end of a lesson, she has students use the 3-2-1 method of summarizing. Students record three things they learned - two interesting things and one question they have about the subject matter. This method allows students time to share their findings with a classmate and make learning a more communal and interactive activity.

Anju is really an original thinker. She believes that infusing arts into STEM is important. This is the way to make STEM cool and attractive for kids. Her work with the art teacher to demonstrate the theory of light and optical illusions is not only visually spectacular, but scientifically fascinating and filled with open-ended curiosity.

Outstanding Achievements

Anju’s initiatives and involvement have been recognised with various awards including the Science Teacher of the Year award – Science Teachers Association of Manitoba, the Global Educator Award – Manitoba Council for International Cooperation, the Outstanding Science Educator award – Bioscience Association of Manitoba, the Teacher Appreciation Award – Manitoba Schools Science Symposium, the K12 Ed Tech Educator of the Year Award -  Mind Share Learning, and Excellence in Education Award - Manitoba Education and Training.

Anju is very much about innovative and exemplary teaching practices. One of her many activities is with the Kids’ New Horizons Program. This is a collaborative science program with the scientists and caregivers from St. Boniface Hospital, Cancer Care Manitoba, Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, and the University of Manitoba. It is designed to support health and science literacy for students. It focuses on connecting STEM learning in the classroom to current research and daily work done at the science research facilities. Students participate in lab-based activities, seminars, science expos and research presentations.

In her recent collaboration with the Horizon Project she supported students in remote First Nations communities to access quality learning materials. STEM Activity kits provide them the opportunities to do STEM at home with limited adult supervision and limited technology. She also worked with the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council on a project toolkit - Inspiring First Nation Communities Towards STEM Opportunities – a project funded by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.

Get in touch!

Holy Cross School
300 Dubuc Street
Winnipeg, MB  R2H 1E4
204-237-4936
Email: hcsoffice@holycrossschool.mb.ca