The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor, today welcomed an innovative and ground-breaking project designed to engage Indigenous students in far north Queensland in science.
During a visit to Cairns today, Mr O’Connor announced the Australian Government is providing $98,000 to Woree State High School to develop the kit through the ‘Hands On Science’ project.
“The Science Kit will ensure that Indigenous students in rural and remote communities will have the same access to quality science education as students in urban schools,” Mr O’Connor said.
“The kit contains resources and equipment for 40 students to perform ‘Hands on Science’ experiments, including making slime, inflating balloons by producing harmless gases and creating fake snow.
“The materials are complemented by on-line learning resources and curriculum support, including step-by-step video instructions on how to perform the experiments.”
Mr O’Connor said each kit was demonstrated by professional facilitator who guides teachers through the hands-on learning experience.
“There is, of course, a serious side to all the fun. Core science and mathematics outcomes are key part of undertaking and recording the experiments and each activity can be linked to the practical use of science at home and in the workplace,” he said.
“For many Indigenous students the project provides their first opportunity to engage with theoretical and practical science.
“All remote community schools will have a kit by the middle of this year and the teachers in the communities will have the professional development required to give the teaching of science a real boost.”
The project is a partnership between Woree State High School, the Indigenous Student Support Unit of the Queensland Department of Education, Training and the Arts, and James Cook University.
“This project is a wonderful example of the Australian Government’s commitment to closing the gap for Indigenous students’ education outcomes,” Mr O’Connor said.