‘Science in a Box’ arrives in the Namoi

09 September, 2005

Federal Member for Gwydir John Anderson today announced that three schools at Wee Waa and Narrabri Public will benefit from a $108,000 Federal Government grant to promote science in the classroom.

‘Narrabri Public School, Narrabri West Public School, and Wee Waa Public School, are three of eight schools in a NSW cluster of schools that will focus on enhancing the professional development of science teachers, and expanding classroom resources’, Mr Anderson said.

‘A key feature of the project will be the development and delivery of a portable science kit – ‘Science in a Box’ that includes materials, teachers’ notes, students’ workbooks, and a quarterly newsletter with articles about science in the news, book reviews, and websites.

The ‘Science in a Box’ resource will comprise three segments: Physical Phenomena, Earth and Its Surroundings and Living Things and the Cotton Catchment Communities Cooperative Research Centre will provide expert advice for the ‘Living Things’ strand of the syllabus.

Guy Roth, Chief Executive, Cotton CRC said ‘we wanted to encourage interest in science in the local schools and were fortunate to make contact with Primary Science Matters.

Mr Anderson said that the Cotton CRC has undertaken many activities with High schools and looks forward to the Primary school project which they are hoping to expand to other schools in cotton communities.

‘It is envisaged that after trials of the materials and the associated professional development in the cluster schools, the project will be able to be modified for potential use in any primary school in Australia’, Mr Anderson said.

The grant is part of a $9 million first round initiative of the Federal Government’s $33.7 million program to revitalise mathematics and science in Australian classrooms and promote innovation in schools.

Initially, 103 school clusters, comprising 623 schools and partner organisations will receive grants of between $20,000 and $120,000 to develop new approaches to science, technology and mathematics education.

The initiative will ultimately employ around 1,300 teacher associates (university students, researchers and other specialists in these fields), to provide project support, excite student interest and act as role models.