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Teachers learn how to make science fun

Boyne Island State School teachers Janet Pope, Mirrin Rashleigh and Bridget Haines discovered the ecology around mangroves at the Science Education Experience program for National Science Week, at CQUniversity Gladstone Marina campus.
Boyne Island State School teachers Janet Pope, Mirrin Rashleigh and Bridget Haines discovered the ecology around mangroves at the Science Education Experience program for National Science Week, at CQUniversity Gladstone Marina campus. Mara Pattison-Sowden

IT TURNS out that finding fun in science isn't just for the little kids.

Teachers and student teachers from across central Queensland spent the weekend dressing up in costumes to learn about mangrove life, doing a beach clean up on Curtis Island and watching lab experiments go "pop".

The National Science Week program based at CQUniversity with several off-site excursions, allowed teachers to see what organisations such as Queensland Alumina Ltd, the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority, Boyne Island Environmental Education Centre and Gladstone Industry Leadership Group programs linked with the curriculum, could enable students to further their knowledge.

Boyne Island State School teacher Mirrin Rashleigh was encouraged with the connections she made with local organisations.

"I want to increase the local knowledge in the class but I wasn't aware of some of these programs available to us," she said.

Catherine Rooney, a teacher at St John the Baptist School, agreed.

"They can hit so many areas of our curriculum," she said. "I had Skye out this year for my students and she was really good."

Boyne Island teacher Bridget Haines said she and Ms Rashleigh were trying to encourage their classes to grow a vegetable patch, but nothing was growing.

"One of the modules they do is soil testing, so we can get that checked out while the kids learn something new," she said. "It's current, relevant and local, using their own experts."

Kelly Smith from the Fitzroy Basin Association said science wasn't just about being in a lab.

"It's not just for Einsteins," she said. "We wanted to connect the experts in the field with the educators so they don't have to feel like they have to be the experts."

She said there were programs available locally in Boyne, Tannum and Gladstone that they wanted to promote to schools.

"The conservation volunteers are based here at the uni and always need help," she said. "I don't think people realise the diversity we have here in our region."

They work on projects such as tree planting, erosion control, and the health of the local environment.

OUR FAUNA

Some of the animals unique to CQ include:

Snubfin dolphin, which is only found in our waters

Fitzroy River turtle, a freshwater turtle that breathes through its bottom

Birds from Siberia that stop only in Yeppoon every year during migration

Topics:  gladstone, science, science week



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