Professor Brian Schmidt with Shelley Peers,
Project Director, PrimaryConnections
Nobel Laureate, Professor Brian Schmidt, donates $100,000 to PrimaryConnections
In 2003 a proposal initiated by the Australian Academy of Science and titled the Primary Science and Literacy Project argued for the development of an innovative program for Australian primary schools to improve learning outcomes in both literacy and science. The outcome was a sophisticated professional learning program supported by rich curriculum resources to improve both the quality and quantity of primary science teaching.
Eight years later we are still making a difference and have recently welcomed Nobel Laureate Professor Brian Schmidt’s generous donation of $100,000 to our program, PrimaryConnections: Linking science with literacy. We would like to thank Professor Schmidt and all our supporters for believing in us.
"...this is an incredibly powerful way to teach students. For someone who’s barely taught science in quite a long teaching career, I’m now so excited about science. I just can’t get enough of it. I can’t speak highly enough of this way of teaching and learning." – Robyn Strangward, Executive Teacher, ACT
PrimaryConnections is committed to teaching and learning which aims to enhance primary school teachers’ confidence and competence for teaching science.
To enquire about making a donation to the PrimaryConnections program, please contact Shelley Peers on +61 2 9386 4544 or email@example.com
Kiara’s gift inspires young students to think creatively about Science
Six students from St Therese’s Primary School, Mascot
are winners of the 2009 Eureka Prize for Science and Innovation for an inspiring documentary about the human body following the journey of one of the school’s own student’s heart transplant.
Kiara Lloyd and five classmates created a DVD on the topic of the circulation system using the journey of Kiara’s own recent heart transplant as inspiration.
The students’ goal was to produce an informative, entertaining and child-centred film to raise awareness
of the need for organ donations.
The students from Years 3 to 6 researched, wrote, produced and acted in the film which was entered in the national competition sponsored by the University of
Sydney and the Australian Museum.
School Principal Geoff Carey said the Science competition gave the students a greater understanding of their world and that the school uses the Australian Academy of Science “PrimaryConnections” program as the basis for its Science and Technology curriculum.
“Our school is immensely proud of the ‘Kiara’s Gift’ team,” he said. “They felt like VIPs at the awards presentation, where they met Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Dr Adam Spencer.”
The University of Sydney sponsors the prestigious Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize to encourage students with a passion for Science and for communicating ideas.
The students were awarded $1000 for first prize which they have decided to donate to the Heart Foundation.
You have produced a fantastic resource and we are all proud to advertise
it and incorporate it in our professional delivery to all our ALS
(Aboriginal Literacy Strategy) Staff. I congratulate you on a fantastic job.
Patricia Konigsberg, Manager, Aboriginal Literacy Strategy and ABC of Two-Way
Literacy and Learning, Department of Education and Training, Western Australia
This is just a quick note to pass along to the PrimaryConnections team at the Academy.
Last week I had the pleasure of giving a series of presentations to Grade 2 students at Serpell Primary School in Templestowe, Melbourne. This was arranged under the auspices of the AIP&S Young Tall Poppy Science program (of which I am a part), however the school initially contacted the Tall Poppy program in order to follow up the excellent work they had done under the PrimaryConnections program. I was very impressed with the ways in which science had been introduced to the younger children, and the capacity and enthusiasm the students had shown for the work. It was truly inspiring to see the students asking insightful and thoughtful questions and learning the tools for approaching science through hands-on activities. The Grade 2 group at Serpell is a great testament to the PrimaryConnections program and to the commitment and enthusiasm of the teaching staff at the school. Many congratulations to the PrimaryConnections team and to the school. I look forward to seeing how the students progress and hope that the program will continue into the future.
Dr Sandra McLaren
Research Fellow and Lecturer
School of Earth Sciences
University of Melbourne
They (the Indigenous perspectives curriculum links) look great. There is enough information for anyone to do the lessons. If I were in a classroom I would use these ideas.
Geoffrey Penny, Coordinator, Aboriginal Education Swan District Education Office, Western Australia
PrimaryConnections unit: Push-pull
This article was first published in the 'Ideas for science and technology K-6' section of the Science Matters newsletter (March 2008) published by the Science Teachers Association of NSW.
I would like to encourage all teachers to try this unit (and other PrimaryConnections units) as it is easy to use and a complete teaching and learning resource. I found my students were completely involved and so interested in the science that they began their own investigations at home. Their use of scientific language improved and their ability to produce an accurate and labelled scientific drawing developed as the unit progressed.