Tag Archives: science engagement

Motor races and science labs fuel interest in science

Each year in early July, when its 700 students are on holiday, Townsville State High School becomes the headquarters for a V8 Supercars race.

Sarah Chapman and student. Credit: Nicole Waters

But before and after the race, Sarah Chapman’s Year 11 science students are hard at work, slopping their way through the nearby mangroves and wading into the neighbouring estuary. The data they collect is then used by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to manage the impact of the race on local estuaries. “The students are really taken by the idea that they are finding out things nobody else knows,” Sarah says.

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Citizen science: eyes in the skies and on the seas

Australian citizen scientists are helping to catch shooting stars in the vast skies of outback Australia and to track the impact of climate change on species in our warming oceans.

Kevin Wilson recorded a Red Emperor 300 km further south than previously recorded. Credit: Kevin Wilson

Curtin University’s Fireballs in the Sky project invites people to use a smartphone app to record and submit the time, location, trajectory and appearance of meteors they spot.

By triangulating these reports with observations from an array of cameras in remote Western and South Australia, scientists can try to determine where the meteorite may have come from and where it landed.

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Camping and puppets top science teaching prize

Brooke Topelberg’s students are so keen on science that her lunch-time science club has a waiting list.

2011 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools winner, Brooke Topelberg with students. Credit: Prime Minister's Science Prizes/Bearcage
2011 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools winner, Brooke Topelberg, with students. Credit: Prime Minister’s Science Prizes/Bearcage

And Jane Wright has been taking high school girls to explore science in the bush for over 25 years.

Both of these passionate professionals have been awarded a Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching.
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