PrimaryConnections 'SCHOOLYARD SAFARI' LAUNCH
Professor Kurt Lambeck's welcome
24 April 2008
Kurt Lambeck, President of the Australian Academy of Science.
Thank you Maureen Price, Principal Mossfiel Primary.
I am very pleased to be here amongst the students of Mossfiel and their teachers and parents. For you together are the reason we are here. My apologies, Minister, if I appear to be putting them ahead of you on this occasion but we are all delighted that you have been able to participate in today's launch. I also appreciate that so many other important guests have been able to attend this event. It demonstrates the importance that we all attach to primary school education.
The Academy is concerned about education at all levels and if we had a motto about this it would be: 'If Australia gets education right then everything else will succeed. If we get it wrong then nothing else matters.' To make sure that we get it right we have embarked on the PrimaryConnections program as a follow on from our earlier, if now somewhat dated, Primary Investigations program. The national PrimaryConnections program was initiated by the Academy and has been funded by the Australian Government, by the state governments, by the teachers and by teacher-training institutions.
PrimaryConnections, very briefly, tries to make science understandable, at the same time to make it fun, such that you understand what occurs around you. Why do things move? How do plants grow? Why can micro-organisms be both harmful and beneficial? By carrying out experiments, writing about them and discussing them amongst yourselves you will gain a better understanding about what occurs around you and perhaps become a scientist yourselves. I hope so because science remains fun and it is important!
A significant part of the PrimaryConnections is the curriculum resource provided that will prepare your teachers to guide you through the hands-on approach to science. We have produced ten units so far and these are now being used in over 2500 schools across the country. Additional subjects are planned such that you will be exposed to a very broad science experience by the time you leave primary school.
The unit to be launched today is 'Schoolyard Safari' which uncovers all sorts of things that you can find when you look.
It is with very great pleasure that I ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education to launch