Lee Brentzell - Round 1, 2018 Champion

A parent making pathways for digital education in schools

Lee Brentzell is an engineer, parent and STEM ambassador, supporting children to explore the fascinating, challenging and rewarding areas of digital technologies.

Lee established a successful coding and technology program in a cluster of seven Brisbane schools. The ‘MicroMakers’ program is a six-week introductory course for Year 4 and 5 students and due to its success was quickly followed by an intermediate course including a hackathon and industry and parent mentors. These free programs are now offered every term after school. Striving to achieve gender balance in all her courses, Lee can proudly say that attendance of girls in the last year has exceeded 60%, and continues to grow.

Due to the momentum of the coding course, the school librarian started lunchtime CodeClubs for both juniors and seniors, and have waitlists of students wanting to attend. Fellow teachers have also built the confidence to run their own classes.

Lee voluntarily chairs a STEAM Sub Committee of 9 like-minded parents at Bulimba State School. In 2017, an inaugural STEAM Expo was developed by the group with 245 children participating in workshops learning to code, build rockets and robots, create movies, and much more. Lee realised it was just as important to bring the parents and teachers along in the exciting digital journey and has since instigated professional development opportunities for teachers and provided educational resources to parents to learn alongside their children.

Some of the ways Lee is helping kids and their parents to become tech-ready include:

  • establishing a working group consisting of school principals, local business leaders and her local MP to identify community needs and opportunities that will increase digital technology take up in her local area
  • running parent information sessions about coding, technology, cyber-safety and how to access useful resources
  • sharing her experience of creating a successful school STEM program with teachers, principals and educators from other schools
  • sourcing opportunities for her school to build on the technology education program
  • facilitating day tours of operating coal mine for students and parents to see the transferability of their digital skills in the workplace.

Lee was recognised as a BHP Inclusion and Diversity Champion as a result of her work encouraging gender diversity in the resources sector. In 2018, she was highly commended for Queensland Resources Council’s the ‘Gender Diversity Champion in Queensland Resources’ awards for women.

Lee was first recognised as a Community Digital Champion in 2016. As a continuing Champion, she plans to put her energy into technology education by:

  • delivering ‘Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow’ program for Bulimba State School in 2018
  • offering the ‘Micromakers I and II’, robotics, lego and 3D design and printing courses as extracurricular activities until they are incorporated into the school curriculum
  • coordinating the 2018 STEAM expo


Lee is nominated by: Hon Di Farmer MP, Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence


A parent making pathways for digital education in schools

Lee Brentzell is an engineer, parent and STEM ambassador, supporting children to explore the fascinating, challenging and rewarding areas of digital technologies.

Lee established a successful coding and technology program in a cluster of seven Brisbane schools. The ‘MicroMakers’ program is a six-week introductory course for Year 4 and 5 students and due to its success was quickly followed by an intermediate course including a hackathon and industry and parent mentors. These free programs are now offered every term after school. Striving to achieve gender balance in all her courses, Lee can proudly say that attendance of girls in the last year has exceeded 60%, and continues to grow.

Due to the momentum of the coding course, the school librarian started lunchtime CodeClubs for both juniors and seniors, and have waitlists of students wanting to attend. Fellow teachers have also built the confidence to run their own classes.

Lee voluntarily chairs a STEAM Sub Committee of 9 like-minded parents at Bulimba State School. In 2017, an inaugural STEAM Expo was developed by the group with 245 children participating in workshops learning to code, build rockets and robots, create movies, and much more. Lee realised it was just as important to bring the parents and teachers along in the exciting digital journey and has since instigated professional development opportunities for teachers and provided educational resources to parents to learn alongside their children.

Some of the ways Lee is helping kids and their parents to become tech-ready include:

  • establishing a working group consisting of school principals, local business leaders and her local MP to identify community needs and opportunities that will increase digital technology take up in her local area
  • running parent information sessions about coding, technology, cyber-safety and how to access useful resources
  • sharing her experience of creating a successful school STEM program with teachers, principals and educators from other schools
  • sourcing opportunities for her school to build on the technology education program
  • facilitating day tours of operating coal mine for students and parents to see the transferability of their digital skills in the workplace.

Lee was recognised as a BHP Inclusion and Diversity Champion as a result of her work encouraging gender diversity in the resources sector. In 2018, she was highly commended for Queensland Resources Council’s the ‘Gender Diversity Champion in Queensland Resources’ awards for women.

Lee was first recognised as a Community Digital Champion in 2016. As a continuing Champion, she plans to put her energy into technology education by:

  • delivering ‘Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow’ program for Bulimba State School in 2018
  • offering the ‘Micromakers I and II’, robotics, lego and 3D design and printing courses as extracurricular activities until they are incorporated into the school curriculum
  • coordinating the 2018 STEAM expo


Lee is nominated by: Hon Di Farmer MP, Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence