UniServe Science News Volume 17 November 2000


From the Director

Mary Peat
Director, UniServe Science

This is the last newsletter for 2000 and is a little on the 'light' side, indicative of the very busy lives we are all leading at present. UniServe Science News Volume 17 consists of a teaching development report, software reviews, a WebByte, a conference report and some news of UniServe Science's international activities. From The University of Adelaide, Carolyn Leach and Anthony Pietsch report on their development of an individual-based simulation system for population genetics. Two software reviews are included. GeoSkills - an introduction to spatial data is an excellent CD-ROM on the earth and its spatial features, and Genetics: Patterns of Inheritance is another CD-ROM that creates a virtual laboratory in which the student can make a variety of Mendelian crosses with pea plants. The WebByte is on scientific computing in Physics at The University of Sydney and there is a report on the Moving On-line Conference held in August. The team at UniServe Science was invited to Thailand in November to teach a 2-day workshop on IT and web teaching in science and engineering. We were there for a week and during that time also had discussions about setting up a clearinghouse in Thailand for tertiary science and also about the urgent need for educational research into science teaching. Ian Johnston has enlarged on these activities in this issue.

What of the future? In 2001 we will be hosting national annual workshops on science teaching and the first year experience and we will continue to produce our national and international newsletters. As you are probably aware we are no longer nationally funded and we will be devoting more time to matters that affect The University of Sydney and the secondary school sector in NSW.

One consequence is that we have decided to publish this newsletter on-line and not in print format. Many of you have suggested this to us in the past and it seems to be a reasonable option for both our national and international publications in the future.

Thank you for your continued support of our joint activities and best wishes for 2001.

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UniServe Science News Volume 17 November 2000

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