Each month we will be featuring a website with useful resources to use in your classroom. If you have any recommendations to add, send us an email!
An Environmental Education framework and awards program promoting learning for a litter free and sustainable Australia.
For the first time ever, Australian schools can take part in the international Eco-Schools program! Already hugely popular on a global scale – over 52,000 Eco-Schools across 68 nations – participants find great encouragement in knowing their local efforts are being reciprocated around the world. 19.5 million students now attend an Eco-School and over 1.4 million teachers work in one – a force to be reckoned with!
This sustainability framework provides just the right balance of structure versus flexibility. The 7-Steps and the awards criteria give structure, yet there are almost unlimited possibilities for Eco-Schools in designing action projects and developing the school curriculum to explore the themes of their projects. View the Video here Eco-Schools Framework VIDEO for a quick overview of the framework.
Schools register online at any time of year, then take manageable steps towards establishing the tried-and-tested Eco-Schools framework.
For only $100 + GST per annum school can take part in this program.
Find an Engaging Australian Scientist!
Would you like to connect with outstanding scientists who are passionate about communicating their science? The Young Tall Poppy Science Awards are run by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS) to honour up-and-coming scientists who combine world-class research with a passionate commitment to communicating science. The awards have been running since 1998 and we now have over 800 Tall Poppy alumni across Australia. You can search for a Tall Poppy Scientist using keywords such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Sciences, Space Science and more by simply typing your keywords into the search bar on the top righthand corner of the website.
If you find a Tall Poppy you’d like to connect with contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you’d like to arrange with that Tall Poppy and we’ll see what we can organise. Please note that our Tall Poppy alumni are all full-time scientists and may not be available for all requests.
War on Waste | Cool Australia
It's always important for us to keep talking and learning about our environment - but now, more than ever, is a time to really focus on what we can collectively do to help solve the issue around waste. War on Waste lessons let you bring the topic of waste management into your classroom by using real-world examples that will empower young people to take action. There are lessons for all year levels across a multitude of subjects that align with the curriculum. Each lesson has a detailed teacher outline that takes you through step by step how to run the activities. Clips from the ABC War on Waste series can also be viewed on the ABC Education website.
You need to sign in to view the teacher resources on Cool Australia. This is free and only requires input of an email address. All the resources are downloadable and can be used in your classroom.
youcubed | Data Science Lessons
This site shares five FREE units for Years 6-10 that introduce students (and teachers) to data science. The units start with an introduction to the concept of data and move to lessons that invite students to explore their own data sets. These lessons teach important content through a pattern-seeking, exploratory approach, and are designed to engage students actively. The culminating unit is a citizen science project that gives students an opportunity to conduct a data inquiry. Visit the website here.
Here are some reasons why I am excited about data science in classrooms:
- It allows students to ask their own questions about real and interesting data sets, learning to explore data, look for patterns and create cool data visualizations.
- As students work with data, they will develop data literacy, and become more able to make sense of data and events in the world, separating fact from fiction.
- Teachers can share local data sets so that students learn to ask questions that help their communities, and feel like an engaged member of the community, using mathematics and science to solve real problems.
I think that these units will really engage students as they also include some interesting data on the unexpected changes in the world. Remember a data science approach is not adding new content to your teaching, it is about interacting with your content in a data science way – that is fun, interesting and creative.
ABC Education has thousands of free educational resources aligned to the Australian Curriculum. The website is packed with hundreds of videos, audio clips and items are accompanied by learning activities, transcripts, citation notes and copyright information. Excellent content for science teachers of all year levels. Visit the ABC Education website here.
The site is easily searchable for year level and topic. Video files can be downloaded to avoid streaming and internet issues in the classroom. Other resources are made for viewing online however can also be printed directly from the website. Each resource also lists ideas for what you might view next.
The Teacher Resources gives you an entire learning plan, combining text, questioning, videos and simulations as well as ideas for assessment.
My latest favourite Teacher Resource takes students through how scientists make evidence based decisions and work collaboratively to solve a problem. Learning how to examine evidence seems even more important than ever at the moment! Try out the resource: Finding Scientific Solutions here.
Explore further than just the Science tab as well! A great follow up to Finding Scientific Solutions is the Teacher Resource Fact vs Opinion vs Analysis which is under Civics and Citizenship here.