UniServe Science News Volume 18 October 2001


National Science Week 2001

Managing Australia's Biodiversity, an Internet WebQuest on Biodiversity, was created by UniServe Science for National Science Week 2001 the theme for which was Exploring Diversity. The aim of the WebQuest is to produce a set of recommendations regarding the use of Australia's native animal species and present the recommendations in written, electronic or oral format to other members of the class or school. While working through the WebQuest, students access background information as well as some controversial views regarding the conservation and use of many Australian native animal species.

A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the Internet.
(Bernie Dodge, 1997, Some Thoughts About WebQuests

The WebQuest provides the students with many web-based resources and an attempt has been made to provide alternate views on issues where appropriate. It is important that the students read 'Sustaining Australia's Land' by Professor Michael Archer before embarking on their research. A link is provided for this. The remaining links are categorised into general background information, then links that relate to specific issues within the overall debate.

The web-based resources can be supplemented with books, CD-ROMs, videos and student generated materials such as interviews and surveys.

The material has been designed for use with students from Stage 3 (upper Primary) to Stage 5 (lower Secondary). In particular, the WebQuest addresses the content contained in the NSW Science Stages 4-5 Syllabus, page 30, 5.10 (c) and (d) [i.e. describe some impacts of human activities on ecosystems and discuss strategies used to balance human activities and needs in ecosystems with conserving, protecting and maintaining the quality of the environment] and some of the optional content associated with that topic.

Although designed in association with National Science Week 2001, the WebQuest will remain on the UniServe Science web site for future use. Any comments are welcome.

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UniServe Science News Volume 18 October 2001

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