Creative Education

As a marine scientist, artist and author/illustrator I use my skills and experience to work with kids, students, youth, teachers, educators and professionals to offer what I term ‘Creative Education‘, specifically creative environmental education. I literally ‘draw upon’ my research, professional experiences and the Australian Curriculum to provide visual stories and advice into STEM/STEAM/ & ESTEAM-related learning and activities — where I enthusiastically put the “A” into STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTs and Mathematics) and share how I live a life of ESTEAM (Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics)!

I use the art of marine science and storytelling with a range of creative thinking and learning approaches in classrooms to engage with as many students as possible. I like to create marine science-stories that help the students to think in colour and use their imagination, as “Logic will get you from A to B, Imagination will take your everywhere” (Albert Einstein)! From my experiences in the classroom its important to give students the opportunity to “Just IMAGINE!!“, which gives them a sense of curiosity, creativity and critical thinking.

You can ‘sea’ more of my creative environmental education, communication and mentoring initiatives and activities via the following pages:

Dr Suzie Starfish

I have always been drawn to the ocean and through my alter ego Dr Suzie Starfish I share the art of marine science and storytelling using information and illustration to inspire the imagination. Dr Suzie Starfish visits schools, kindy’s and libraries and holds workshops to promote the art and science of our Living Oceans and has just written and illustrated her first kids picture book about The Great Barrier Reef!


I strongly believe that our children are our future ocean stewards so through my “Living Oceans” and “School of Fish” Programs Dr Suzie Starfish aims to bring the wonders of the ocean indoors, into classrooms and into the hearts and minds of readers — through my Creative Environmental Education. My hands-on approach to learning is based on encouraging, empowering and engaging students through Creativity, Curiosity, Critical Thinking, to Think in Colour and Care as shown by my Starfish below.

I have been visiting schools, kindy’s and libraries and holding workshops for children as Dr Suzie Starfish over the past four years and during this time I have seen first hand the positive impact Creative Education has on students. I believe that for students to think creatively and critically (which are the skills for the 21st Century) we need to give students the:

  • time and space to be creative
  • courage to make mistakes and take risks
  • right environment to create and share stories
  • permission to have fun in their learning (…yes that includes Maths, just see Mr Woo!).

Further information about my ocean programs can be viewed via Schools and my Workshops.

“That Reef dress”!

As my alter ego Dr Suzie Starfish I really love visiting schools, particularly as I get to dress up to showcase all of the wonders of the ocean. Due to the increasing popularity of ‘that Reef dress’ I have been asked to profile it for everyone to ‘sea’! My mum helped me to make the Reef dress which I pair with a Dory fascinator, whale shark leggings (made from recycled plastics thank you very much!) and my ocean-blue star shoes! Sometimes though I think the dress might be more exciting to the students than my creative science…! :0


 Follow Dr Suzie Starfish’s marine art-science storytelling here.

*Please note: I have the current Working with Children Blue Cards for both Queensland and Western Australia and all artworks and images are Copyright © 2018 Dr Sue Pillans

to find out how you can have Dr Suzie Starfish visit you.


Working with Schools I’m so fortunate to get the opportunity to work with schools, kindy’s and libraries using my Creative Environmental Education. Through my alter ego Dr Suzie Starfish I bring the Living Oceans into the classroom/indoors and use the art of science and creative thinking to engage the students with the wonders of our underwater world. … Continue reading Schools


Engaging with people of all ages in the wonders of our oceans through visual storytelling is one of my biggest joys. I communicate my deep love of the ocean through the art of marine science and storytelling workshops, as outlined below: Creative STEAM activities about the ocean (art, storytelling, creating stories) Science Communication (How to … Continue reading Workshops

Sketchnote your Science

Sketchnotes in Schools: I use sketchnotes to help students and teachers to visualise SCIENCE. Sketchnotes are visual notes created from a mixture of hand-drawn words and pictures which can include visual elements of typography, shapes and lines. Drawing is thinking so this technique helps to make learning and science visual. Because…“When you draw you remember … Continue reading Sketchnote your Science

Art of STEM

Using the art of science As a scientist, artist and author/illustrator I am living a life of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTs and Mathematics) BUT I also run my own small business, so as an Entrepreneur I am proudly living my life with ESTEAM (Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics)! By using the art of science … Continue reading Art of STEM

A life of ESTEAM

Living life with ESTEAM After a diverse career in marine research, Government and University I am now living my dreams and living my life with ESTEAM, literally: Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics. I am passionate about creative education, sharing my professional experiences and helping others to turn something they love into something they live. I believe that the connections we make … Continue reading A life of ESTEAM

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