Primary Connections produces new Rising Salt unit and student journals

Former Governor General Michael Jeffery (centre), Executive Director of Primary Connections David Kellock (right) and CEO of the Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia Ben Stockwin with students at Wanniassa Hills Primary School in Canberra.

A new primary school curriculum unit about the many challenges faced by Australian farmers was launched in June by Former Governor General Major General Michael Jeffery AC at Wanniassa Hills Primary School in Canberra.

‘Rising Salt’, created by the Academy’s primary school program Primary Connections, will help Year 6 students understand issues such as rising salinity, farm management and the impact of changing weather patterns on farmers’ ability to produce food.

Students are encouraged to discover recent innovations in farming practices through practical, hands-on activities that involve examining plant growth and health. The unit includes a technology focus, as students are asked to plan and design an irrigation system or water trough to decrease water loss.

The new unit was largely funded and supported by the Primary Industries Education Foundation of Australia.

Primary Connections has also published student science journals that allow students to record all their work for each unit, lesson by lesson. The journals support the teaching of corresponding curriculum units as well as students’ literacy skills, with trials showing increased student motivation to record their thinking and take greater pride in their work.

© 2022 Australian Academy of Science

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