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CrookED Science Newsletter Term 3 2016
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Dear Friends and Colleagues,
 
Welcome to the Term 3 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

As people will be aware, there is a massive push for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) across Australia, particularly in education. At CrookED Science, we are passionate about STEM+X i.e. that STEM is a collaborative exercise, adapted to local contexts and blended with other subjects where appropriate.

Recently, CrookED Science has been invited to work with schools to help develop their STEM programs and culture to be more than just extra-curricular activities and clubs. Some of this work has been to assist schools preparing for the USyd STEM Academy, ASTA STEM X Academy and also creating STEM-based programs of inquiry for gifted and talented students.

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

2.   ABC Splash STEM Teacher Talk

Recently, I was invited to be interviewed by the ABC for the STEM Teacher Talks program on ABC Splash. The interview, conducted by Annabel Astbury, involved answering various questions from teachers across Australia with a particular emphasis on teaching Science in schools in a hands-on, engaging fashion. Click on the image to watch the talk.

3.   STEMpunk Quiz

Another great STEM initiative happening is the STEMpunk Quiz. This fun quiz about STEM is being run monthly by Tom Gordon and the STEMpunk crew at the Wayward Brewery, Annandale. Modelled on the Rockwiz format with two teams and lots of friendly banter, the teams and audience have to answer questions in four rounds: one for each of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.
 
In July, I was lucky enough to be on one of the teams. Catch the podcast and hear me getting a bit overenthusiastic answering a question involving the children’s TV program Octonauts (37:24 mark).
 

4.   SydSciFest TeachMeet

In August, we had the second Sydney Science Festival alongside National Science Week. A particular highlight was the SydSciFest TeachMeet. Building on the success of the 2015 inaugural SydSciFest TeachMeet run by CrookED Science at USyd, this year’s event raised the bar still further. Hosted at the Australian Museum, Vatché Ansourian (DET) and Catherine Beehag (AusMus) organised this fun, cross-sectorial, K-12 science event of teachers sharing their wisdom, in collaboration with Margaret Shepherd (SCS), Philippa Miller (AIS) and CrookED Science.

(SydSciFest TeachMeet organisers making ice cream using liquid nitrogen).

5.   School Stories: St Felix and La Salle, Bankstown

Every term we hope to bring you good news stories of CrookED Science's collaboration with schools.

Perhaps the highlight of this term occurred when we took Year 5 from St Felix Bankstown to La Salle College next door to access their excellent labs and use their microscopes to examine the features of living things. By sheer serendipity, the Year 11 Biology class at La Salle, taught by Gino Valore, happened to be learning how to make their own microscope slides. In an act of spontaneous primary/secondary school collaboration, Gino and the Year 11s taught the Year 5s how to make their own onion skin slides to ultimately see plant cells. It is a testament to the teaching and learning cultures of both schools that such positive acts occur so seamlessly.
 

6.   CrookED Science on Tour

Recent months have found CrookED Science on the road quite a bit. Since last term’s newsletter, we have worked with Stage 3 primary teachers around Working Scientifically & Technologically in Mudgee and Orange, NSW; Y12 Physics teachers and students also in Mudgee and Orange; K-10 teachers in Beagle Bay, WA, on Science Inquiry Skills; and are also lining up some video conferences with regional high schools for HSC Physics. If you are a regional or remote school looking for support around Science, Technology, Physics and/or STEM please do contact us.

(Panoramic view of the library at SHS Beagle Bay during PD workshop. Bizarrely, there are 3 of me...)

7.   Recent Publications


This term I have had several articles published:

ABC SPLASH republished the articles Five challenges for science in Australian primary schools (originally published in The Conversation) and Five ways to win with the new K-6 Science and Technology syllabus (originally published in Science Education News).

The main paper of my PhD thesis, An Evaluation of the Impact of 1:1 Laptops on Student Attainment in Senior High School Sciences, has been made available for free by the publishers of the International Journal of Science Education.

Finally, just this month I co-authored a paper, Developing an aligned system-wide strategic plan: the critical role of collaboration, with Dr Mark Turkington and Simon Ghantous, which appeared in the journal Australian Educational Leader. (This is only available to subscribers of AEL).

8.   Booking CrookED Science for Term 4 and 2017


There are only a few dates still available to book in Term 4. 2017 is already filling up too with bookings for:

- BOSTES accredited professional development workshops and staff development days for K-6 Science & Technology
- Science & Technology capacity building and 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 HSC Physics
- STEM projects K-10

If you are interested in CrookED Science working with your school or organisation next term or next year, please contact us ASAP as availability is limited.

9.   Good Luck Year 12!


Best of luck to all of the Year 12 Physics students and teachers we have worked with this year from SCS Southern Region, CEO Bathurst and CSO Lismore with the HSC examinations, particularly those from Clancy and La Salle colleges whose students we have worked with intensely for 2 years via flipped videos, video conferences and holiday workshops.
 

Via snorgtees.com
We hope Term 3 has gone well for you, enjoy the break! 

Please feel free to forward this email onto interested colleagues.

Kind Regards,

Simon Crook
crookedscience.com

 
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