Each month we will be featuring a website with useful resources to use in your classroom. If you have any recommendations to add, send us an email!
South Australian Country Fire Service
Are your students bushfire ready?
The South Australian Country Fire Service has developed NEW curriculum linked lesson plans, teacher guides, and resources, as a part of the Child and Youth Bushfire Education Program, a Disaster Resilience Education initiative by the South Australian Country Fire Service. These education resources follow a child centred, teacher facilitated mode of learning drawing on the current research and practice in Australia around disaster resilience education, as illustrated by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience.
Visit cfs.sa.gov.au/education and check under For Teachers to access a growing number of lessons and education resources and get your students and education site bushfire ready now. Check under For Students for Research projects and FAQs.
South Australia Space Industry Centre – Educational Resources
South Australia’s space industry is entering an exciting period of growth and development. With real career opportunities starting to evolve for our future workforce, the South Australian Space Industry Centre is committed to encouraging young people with a passion for space to pursue their goals. On this website are a range of educational resources and programs available to help inform, encourage and support the next generation of South Australian leaders. View the website here.
National Science Week
There are a lots of ways you can get your students, class, year level, school and community involved in National Science Week. Your participation can be as simple as a display in the school library, a Brain Break quiz event or as complex as a whole-school science fair. See all the events being held in SA here: https://www.scienceweek.net.au/your-state/sa/
The school theme for National Science Week in 2022 is Glass: More than meets the eye. It is based on the UN International Year of Glass. The Glass: More than meets the eye teacher resource book (11.5 MB, pdf) has lesson plans, activities, demonstrations, Indigenous and historical perspectives and curriculum links for teachers of classes from Foundation to Year 10.
Wipe Out Waste (WOW)
Wipe out Waste (WOW) is a South Australian initiative, funded by Green Industries SA and delivered by KESAB environmental solutions, that encourages a whole school or site approach to waste reduction.
WOW’s Resources provide a great introduction to the world of waste and recycling for students of all levels. WOW also has many activities to help reduce material to landfill. Take a look and see which activities you can try at your site!
Department for Education (Plink)
The Department for Education SA have produced a series of resources to help bridge any gap between the Australian Curriculum and the classroom. These resources include Scope and sequence documents (R to 10 for 7 learning areas) and Units of work (English, Maths, Science and HASS – years 5 to 9).
All teachers from each of the three sectors have access to these wonderful resources via the Department for Education Plink: https://www.plink.sa.edu.au
For those that have not accessed the Plink before you will need to create an account and then you can access the resources.
This month we would like to highlight the Year 7 Unit of Work: Renewables and Non-renewables.
This unit contains Teaching and Learning activities, teaching tips and assessment advice. The unit comes complete with student handouts for activities and is fully aligned to the Australian Curriculum.
OzHarvest / FEAST
KESAB is partnering with OzHarvest to deliver the FEAST program to South Australian schools.
FEAST (Food Education and Sustainability Training) is OzHarvest’s curriculum-aligned education program inspiring kids to eat healthy, waste less and become change-makers in their community. Like any good FEAST, it’s designed to be fun, engaging and filled with good food!
The Year 5 and Year 6 education program runs for 10 weeks and teaches students about food waste, sustainability and nutrition using hands-on cooking activities in the classroom with fully equipped kitchen kits provided by OzHarvest (no kitchen required).
Good news! OzHarvest has funding available for eligible schools to sign up to FEAST at no cost. This gives schools unlimited access to all educational resources, professional development training, kitchen kit, frying pans and ongoing support. Register your school to find out more www.ozharvest.org/feast
CSIRO Education and Outreach - Sustainable Futures
Sustainable Futures schools education program, a CSIRO initiative which encourages schools to understand the science behind sustainability.
Combining the latest science and education pedagogy, the program encourages positive actions that make a direct contribution to a more sustainable future.
Teachers that register at CSIRO Education and Outreach – Sustainable Futures, will find a link to a fabulous resource; Oceans by Bruce Mapstone, along with other resources including the other books in the Science and Solutions for Australia series, Biodiversity, Water and Climate Change. There is also a teacher resource which can be used along with or independently of the book.
CSIRO - Biodiversity
CSIRO are working to halt the decline in Australia's biodiversity. Their goal is to build better understanding of our species and ecosystems for better management.
This website hosts some of the best teaching resources for Biodiversity, including The Atlas of Living Australia
The Atlas of Living Australia is Australia’s national biodiversity database. It provides free, online access to information about Australia's amazing biodiversity. It supports research, environmental monitoring, conservation planning, education, and biosecurity activities, and is a great way to learn more about the biodiversity in your area.
The ALA provides free Australian Curriculum aligned, flexible and easy to use Classroom Activities, for R-12 educators wanting to incorporate use of this valuable tool in the classroom. Step-by-step user guides are also provided. Visit the website here.
Download the Biodiversity book - Biodiversity: Science and Solutions for Australia provides the latest scientific knowledge on Australia’s biodiversity. The book describes the unique features of Australia’s species and focuses on solutions for the future. Available for free download in multiple formats.
Insect Investigators have worked with educators at the South Australian Museum to create a teacher resource that you can use to explore insect biodiversity with your class!
- Free download
- Linked with the Australian Curriculum for years 4-7
- Adaptable for any other year level
- Lesson plans
- Insect glossary
You can find even more insect resources, including videos and identification guides, on the website.
Whether or not you are running a Malaise trap as part of Insect Investigators 2022, you can use all these resources to bring some six-legged learning into the classroom.
Green Adelaide Nature Education
Build young people's knowledge about the natural world and strengthen pro-environmental behaviour.
These nature education resources are aligned with the Australian Curriculum and Belonging, Being and Becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework, and provide hands-on nature activities and programs that engage students, their families and communities.
There are a range of downloadable teaching tools covering animals, plants and environments to support teaching about Adelaide's environment.
Visit the website here.
Glass: More than meets the eye
2022 is the International Year of Glass and to celebrate this, the school theme for National Science Week in 2022 is Glass: More than meets the eye. We thought we would get you started with some excellent resources and activities about wonderful glass!
Through four different activity sheets, students and teachers have the opportunity to experience the Glass Age through a set of YouTube videos featuring popular TV-hosts, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman. After watching the videos, students express their understanding of the role of glass and share their ideas about using glass in a broad range of applications and innovations.
Coasts for Kids YouTube series
Coasts for Kids is a collaborative experience between children and their parents, coastal scientists, community artists, teachers, animators and coastal managers.
The series is aimed at kids aged 6 and over. It includes important concepts in coastal processes and coastal evolution in Episodes 1, 2 and 3, followed up by analyses of how people affect the coast in Episode 4 and what can we do about it in Episode 5.
Project Live UniSA
Established in 2014, Project LIVE is a cross-disciplinary initiative at the University of South Australia focused on creating virtual and augmented reality experiences that bridge the research-teaching nexus. They use immersive visualisation technologies to tell stories, share experiences and change thinking, enabling access to new perspectives and new insights that were previously beyond reach. Follow the links on the PROJECTS page to discover the range of topics brought to life by the Project LIVE team. Major projects have their own dedicated project pages, whereas others are grouped by discipline area.
Our favourite project is ‘Beyond the Ice’ which takes you on a journey revealing Hallett Cove's deep geological secrets by completing a series of tasks around its remarkable geosites. You will discover fantastic folds and the spectacular Sugarloaf, uncover the mystery of the missing gaps in time, fossick for fossils and much more. As you progress through the tour, you might just add to your virtual pet rock collection and unlock some scenic drone flights as well!
BEST Evidence Science Teaching
Best Evidence Science Teaching (BEST) is a large collection of free resources for secondary school science. The resources have been developed from the best available research evidence on common misunderstandings in science, effective diagnostic questioning and formative assessment, constructivist approaches to building understanding, and effective sequencing of key concepts.
To download the resources you will need to register your email on the website. (It’s Free!).
RiAus Education - STEM Packs
The STEM Careers Packs aim to make students aware of the wide variety of STEM careers. They help students understand the importance of scientific knowledge, how science influences society, and how society influences science (i.e. Science as a Human Endeavour).
These are a FREE resource. Register on the website just using your email address and start downloading these jam packed classroom resources!
All tasks in these pack are mapped to Science as a Human Endeavour as well as the Core Capabilities from the Australian National Curriculum.
Earthwatch is a global environmental charity aiming to create a society that lives in balance with nature by empowering people to save the natural world.
Earthwatch engage teachers in real-world research, to expand their knowledge and confidence in teaching environmental issues,(See Bush Blitz Teach Live and Backyard Species Discovery) and provide education resources that help to embed citizen science programs into core learning. Earthwatch provides free project and lesson plans for teachers, ranging from Year 1 Schoolyard Safaris to Citizen Science for Years 7 and 8. See Teacher Resources here.
Huge library of resources for FREE, including science experiments, podcasts and STEM teaching articles.
Over 100 Free science experiments and project ideas using simple, low cost materials that teach science easily.
- Contains over 150 experiments that can be easily completed with household items
- The information is easy-to-access and divided into various categories
- Experiment pages contain helpful instructions, explanations and photos.
Junior Landcare – Learning Centre
Are you looking for some great activities to celebrate National Science Week (theme Food: Different by design. ) in your school?
Junior Landcare Learning Centre have made it easy and FUN for you to get students involved in environmental sustainability activities at school, at home or in your community.
- 30-minute activities with curriculum and framework links
- Step-by-step instructions with background information
- Videos that explain why the learning activity is important before students get started
- Educator notes and activity sheets
- Extension activities and reference lists for further information
- Did you know? section with useful tips
- Share your experiences with the online Junior Landcare community.
Cool Australia – Snappy Science
These Snappy Science resources have been created to boost science education in primary schools across Australia. Each lesson is designed to support teachers with the scientific knowledge, ideas and resources to stimulate a sense of wonder and curiosity in their students. Many of the big issues that Australian society will face in the future are around technology, energy, resources and climate change. All of these require students to engage with science – but most of all to enjoy science! These Snappy Science resources can also be used to engage families in fun science and learning for life. You can download a student friendly version of each activity and you can also check out the Snappy Science Digital Library.
Each activity details the links to the General capabilities, Australian Curriculum content description, time required, resources required, safety advice and keywords. Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines their resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.
Access to the resources is free through signing up via an email account.
PBS Learning Media
PBS have curated FREE resources for teachers of science (visit the website here). Explore natural phenomena and scientific practices with a huge range of high quality resources curated from partners such as NASA and the Smithsonian Institute.
The content collection is available in a variety of formats, including videos and interactives, documents and in-depth lesson plans. Educators can browse content and filter by year level, subject and special collections.
Just a note when playing the videos or using some of the images etc., this is an American site so some of the content may need editing. For example, the unit on weather may not reflect an Australian experience.
Time to give Primary Connections another look!
The Academy’s award-winning primary school science education program, Primary Connections, has launched its new website. It features lots of brand new, and updated resources and professional learning to support teachers to implement and assess inquiry science in the classroom.
Primary Connections offers a suite of units across Foundation to Year 6 that fully align to all strands of the Australian Curriculum: Science. All the curriculum units are now available as a free download on the program’s new website. In addition, there are supplementary resources such as assessment tasks, equipment lists, e-Resource sheets, resources for classroom displays and detailed science background information. Primary Connections also offer excellent teacher professional learning.
Inspiring South Australia
Inspiring South Australia is about connecting the community with science and improving science literacy. Together with their partners and supporters, they work to engage diverse audiences in both regional and metropolitan communities.
The Inspiring South Australia website is great for keeping up to date about science events throughout the state, including Science at the Fringe, National Science Week grants and activities and significant science and science communication awards and South Australian awardees. Teachers looking to inspire their students with stories that showcase science happening locally in SA will find the regularly updated news page a really useful resource.
CSIRO - Teacher Developed Resources
Are you looking for teaching resources inspired by CSIRO research? Teacher participants from their Teacher Researcher in Partnership Program (TRiPP) and Educator on Board (EoB) programs have developed educational resources based on their experiences working with CSIRO researchers. Follow the links below to access.
A range of education resources developed by the Teacher Researcher in Partnership alumni are available for free download. These educational resources are based on the research experiences of the alumni during their partnership and are designed to support teaching and learning across a range of subject areas.
A range of marine education resources developed by the Educator on Board alumni are available for free download. These educational resources are based on the research experiences of the alumni during their voyage and provide a marine based context to support teaching and learning in schools.
An Environmental Education framework and awards program promoting learning for a litter free and sustainable Australia.
For the first time ever, Australian schools can take part in the international Eco-Schools program! Already hugely popular on a global scale – over 52,000 Eco-Schools across 68 nations – participants find great encouragement in knowing their local efforts are being reciprocated around the world. 19.5 million students now attend an Eco-School and over 1.4 million teachers work in one – a force to be reckoned with!
This sustainability framework provides just the right balance of structure versus flexibility. The 7-Steps and the awards criteria give structure, yet there are almost unlimited possibilities for Eco-Schools in designing action projects and developing the school curriculum to explore the themes of their projects. View the Video here Eco-Schools Framework VIDEO for a quick overview of the framework.
Schools register online at any time of year, then take manageable steps towards establishing the tried-and-tested Eco-Schools framework.
For only $100 + GST per annum school can take part in this program.
Find an Engaging Australian Scientist!
Would you like to connect with outstanding scientists who are passionate about communicating their science? The Young Tall Poppy Science Awards are run by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS) to honour up-and-coming scientists who combine world-class research with a passionate commitment to communicating science. The awards have been running since 1998 and we now have over 800 Tall Poppy alumni across Australia. You can search for a Tall Poppy Scientist using keywords such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Sciences, Space Science and more by simply typing your keywords into the search bar on the top righthand corner of the website.
If you find a Tall Poppy you’d like to connect with contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you’d like to arrange with that Tall Poppy and we’ll see what we can organise. Please note that our Tall Poppy alumni are all full-time scientists and may not be available for all requests.
War on Waste | Cool Australia
It's always important for us to keep talking and learning about our environment - but now, more than ever, is a time to really focus on what we can collectively do to help solve the issue around waste. War on Waste lessons let you bring the topic of waste management into your classroom by using real-world examples that will empower young people to take action. There are lessons for all year levels across a multitude of subjects that align with the curriculum. Each lesson has a detailed teacher outline that takes you through step by step how to run the activities. Clips from the ABC War on Waste series can also be viewed on the ABC Education website.
You need to sign in to view the teacher resources on Cool Australia. This is free and only requires input of an email address. All the resources are downloadable and can be used in your classroom.
youcubed | Data Science Lessons
This site shares five FREE units for Years 6-10 that introduce students (and teachers) to data science. The units start with an introduction to the concept of data and move to lessons that invite students to explore their own data sets. These lessons teach important content through a pattern-seeking, exploratory approach, and are designed to engage students actively. The culminating unit is a citizen science project that gives students an opportunity to conduct a data inquiry. Visit the website here.
Here are some reasons why I am excited about data science in classrooms:
- It allows students to ask their own questions about real and interesting data sets, learning to explore data, look for patterns and create cool data visualizations.
- As students work with data, they will develop data literacy, and become more able to make sense of data and events in the world, separating fact from fiction.
- Teachers can share local data sets so that students learn to ask questions that help their communities, and feel like an engaged member of the community, using mathematics and science to solve real problems.
I think that these units will really engage students as they also include some interesting data on the unexpected changes in the world. Remember a data science approach is not adding new content to your teaching, it is about interacting with your content in a data science way – that is fun, interesting and creative.
ABC Education has thousands of free educational resources aligned to the Australian Curriculum. The website is packed with hundreds of videos, audio clips and items are accompanied by learning activities, transcripts, citation notes and copyright information. Excellent content for science teachers of all year levels. Visit the ABC Education website here.
The site is easily searchable for year level and topic. Video files can be downloaded to avoid streaming and internet issues in the classroom. Other resources are made for viewing online however can also be printed directly from the website. Each resource also lists ideas for what you might view next.
The Teacher Resources gives you an entire learning plan, combining text, questioning, videos and simulations as well as ideas for assessment.
My latest favourite Teacher Resource takes students through how scientists make evidence based decisions and work collaboratively to solve a problem. Learning how to examine evidence seems even more important than ever at the moment! Try out the resource: Finding Scientific Solutions here.
Explore further than just the Science tab as well! A great follow up to Finding Scientific Solutions is the Teacher Resource Fact vs Opinion vs Analysis which is under Civics and Citizenship here.