CONASTA 50Anne Fernandez and Kaye Placing
CONASTA, the annual conference of the Australian Science Teachers Association, was held at The University of Sydney and was attended by 400 Australian and international science teachers, educators, and communicators. The theme for CONASTA 50 (held in July 2001) was Enriching Science Education - a golden opportunity.
UniServe Science was involved with four presentations during the five-day conference. See detail under News Items in this newsletter.
Other sessions attended
Public Forum - Turning kids on to science: Making the clever country a reality - interesting discussion with many attendees sharing similar problems:
Keynote - The Tasmanian Thylacine by Michael Archer - very entertaining and thought provoking.
The Unusual Environment and its Remarkable Inhabitants of Southeast Australia by Pat Vickers Rich - excellent presentation of fascinating material.
Using blackboard.com to construct a course web site by Richard Kent - hands-on workshop to demonstrate how the free site-hosted facility offered by blackboard is being used by a senior chemistry teacher to disseminate information to his students.
Dr Who and Auntie Who? - Agricultural crops and olive oil under scrutiny - by David Lamb and Paul Prenzler from Charles Sturt University. This presentation was to highlight the everyday aspects of science and scientific research. The presentation by David Lamb on remote sensing was interesting and particularly useful as one example he used was the monitoring of salinity problems.
Improving Investigations by Kathy Saunders - based on the ASE - King's Science Investigations in Schools (AKSIS) project (King's College London), this workshop identified and demonstrated a number of teaching strategies to support students as they carry out investigations. Particularly impressive was one that helped the student identify the independent and dependent variables and the controls in investigations concerned with observing and exploring relations between variables or factors.
Quality Teacher Program, Science Project 5.4 - Supporting Stage 6 Science - by Estelle Lewis. This project has Federal funding to produce teaching units for the new syllabus. These units might be as specific as a single dot point or more comprehensive. There will be four units for each syllabus - one unit in each syllabus must focus on:
Running Down: Water in a changing land - by Mary White. Covered many aspects of the problems being experienced in Australia with past, present and future water management.
UniServe Science News Volume 18 October 2001
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