CrookED Science Newsletter Term 4 2016
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Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Welcome to the Term 4 CrookED Science newsletter for 2016. 

CrookED Science is a science, technology and STEM education consultancy working with primary and secondary schools, school systems, universities and organisations across Australia.

In this issue: 

1.   STEM Learning Spaces in South Australia

Following on from our feature on STEM in the last newsletter, I was invited in October to facilitate a workshop, Use of Space to Support High Quality STEM Pedagogy, for over 40 teachers and school leaders from schools in the southern suburbs of Adelaide.

At the beginning of the day I shared my experiences of researching, co-designing and submitting 8 successful applications for Science Centres during the Building the Education Revolution to the tune of $15million. Subsequently, we heard from all of the schools present regarding their dreams and designs. Following this we worked in small groups to examine the factors that would affect the quality of STEM education in schools once the spaces were created i.e. 
  • pedagogy
  • cross-curricular opportunities
  • logistics e.g. curriculum, timetabling, leadership
  • furnishing
  • technology inclusions

Many thanks to Seaview High School and Rogan Tinsley for hosting and to Nick Jackson of Wirreanda High School for making it happen.

Should you wish to engage CrookED Science to assist your school or organisation regarding STEM learning spaces, then please contact us.

2.   School Stories: Wahroonga Public School

I was very happy to be invited to work with Wahroonga Public School earlier this term. Known as The Bush School, it was wonderful to visit this exciting school in its beautiful location. Wahroonga Public School is the home of STEAMpunks where, under the guidance of Deputy Principal Debbie Evans, STEM/STEAM enjoys a prominence in the school's learning culture. Over the two days, I ran workshops for Stage 3 students around chemical and physical reactions, with the students performing numerous hands-on experiments.

3.   HSC Physics Distance Learning in Bathurst

During the last holidays, CrookED Science ran revision workshops for schools in Bathurst via video conference from Sydney. Focusing on the option Quanta to Quarks, we ran a 2 hour workshop for Year 12 Physics students from MacKillop and St Stanislaus' Colleges, unpacking past HSC questions and offering exam strategies and advice. Should such exercises be of interest to you please contact us.

4.   Physics and Science Workshops at UNE, Armidale

Only this week I ran two workshops for teachers at the UNE Grass (Growing Regional and Agricultural Students in Science) event in Armidale. The morning session was a first-hand investigation for Year 11 Physics based around Resistivity. As well as extending the current syllabus, this activity will make an excellent depth study in the new Physics syllabus.

The afternoon session was a fun, hands-on approach for Students Designing Circuits with a Purpose in Stage 4 Science. Taking on the role of students, the teachers had a competition to design and make 3D spaces incorporating components in an electric circuit. Check out the video.
Teachers Designing Circuits with a Purpose in Stage 4 Science

5.   Santa Science in Holsworthy

At St Christopher's Primary Holsworthy recently, we presented the Kindergarten with a dilemma - Santa's sleigh was broken and his reindeer were tired; how was he going to get his presents to children in Tasmania? Accordingly, the students had to test materials to see which were most suitable to make a boat for the presents, with yours truly dressed up as Santa! 

6.   ACARA Observe CrookED Science in Bankstown

After being observed during a chance meeting, CrookED Science was recently contacted by ACARA requesting that Dr Rainer Mittelbach, ACARA Science Curriculum Specialist, observe in depth how CrookED Science engage primary students with hands-on scientific inquiry at St Felix Primary, Bankstown. The visit was great success and precipitated a further request to observe how we deliver HSC Physics through a flipped, blended learning model via video conference at Clancy College, West Hoxton later this month.

7.   Science Club Resources

Recently, CrookED Science was asked to review some new, soon-to-be-released resources from Illumin8, the Science Clubs initiative by Inspiring Australia, led by Questacon. Do keep an eye out for them, they look great!

8.   PhD Approved*

My PhD thesis Evaluating the Impact of 1:1 Laptops on High School Science Students and Teachers through the School of Physics at the University of Sydney has been approved (subject to emendations)! After over six years of part-time study it is all but complete. Hopefully everything will be ratified by next term. As a thesis by publication, the first 4 papers are already available:
  1. Seeing eye-to-eye on ICT: Science student and teacher perceptions of laptop use across 14 Australian schools
  2. Bloom-ing Heck! The Activities of Australian Science Teachers and Students Two Years into a 1:1 Laptop Program Across 14 High Schools
  3. An Evaluation of the Impact of 1:1 Laptops on Student Attainment in Senior High School Sciences
  4. Comparison of Technology Use Between Biology and Physics Teachers in a 1:1 Laptop Environment

9.   Booking CrookED Science for 2017

The most popular work we offer at CrookED Science includes:
  • BOSTES accredited professional development workshops and staff development days for K-6 Science & Technology
  • Science & Technology capacity building, planning and modelled lessons in primary schools
  • Incursions for K-6 Science & Technology
  • HSC Physics capacity building and lessons in high schools
  • Online delivery and support for HSC Physics
  • BOSTES accredited professional development workshops for Stage 6 Physics
  • Programming for the new Stage 6 Physics Syllabus
  • STEM projects K-10

If you are interested in CrookED Science working with your school or organisation next year in any of these regards, or something else you have in mind, then please contact us ASAP as availability is limited.
We hope the rest of this term goes well and that you have an enjoyable and relaxing Christmas break! 

Please feel free to forward this email onto interested colleagues.

Kind Regards,

Simon Crook

Copyright © 2016 CrookED Science, All rights reserved.

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