Teacher Network


 
 The location and production of classroom resources to support project work in Junior Science education can be a mammoth task; and the greater the preparation, the better theoutcomes. It does not make sense for teachers in different schools to be duplicating their efforts. Hence, one aim of this site is to facilitate access by interested teachers to resources which have been collated and/or developed by others, and also to provide project ideas for teachers. The end result will hopefully be a wealth of assistance for teachers as their students research issues of local, national, and/or international significance such as food (e.g. nutrition and health, manufacture, world hunger, and sustainable agriculture), population growth, air quality and the atmosphere, water resources, human health and disease, energy sources/shortages, land use (e.g. forestry), hazardous substances (e.g. chemical waste and industrial accidents), nuclear reactors, preservation/conservation/extinction of plants and animals, mineral resources, the greenhouse effect, noise pollution, visual pollution, radiation (e.g. nuclear, microwave, from power lines, ultraviolet), recycling and other waste handling, and the monitoring of local hazards.

If you wish to contribute details, to this teacher network, of project work in which you have been involved, I am quite certain that many educators will be grateful; this one certainly will be! I invite you to e-mail us details as per the following headings, plus any further information you feel may be useful to others. Your (possibly edited) contribution will then be added below (and subsequently updated, or removed, by request).

Title of Project

Summary

A brief overview of the project (e.g. aim, methodology, results, conclusions, and/or implications/solutions).

Contact Name and Details

Resources I can Provide

For example, a written report of the project (perhaps on loan only), advice on request, a copy of assessment items/ instruments.

Other Resources I Found Useful

For example, commercial resources (give full details, including where obtainable), suggestions for excursions and guest visitors, a particular literature search strategy, textbook references for useful learning experiences, sources of theme music.
 


Project #1  Condamine River Study

Summary

The aim of this project was to construct an integrated understanding of aspects of the Condamine River, a local landscape feature. Themes included biological assessment (fauna and flora), physical assessment (erosion and vegetation), chemical assessment (pH, salinity, oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorus), turbidity, speed of flow, temperature, cross-sectional profile of the river, origin of the river and changes through time, and catchment area.

Results for speed of water flow, turbidity, cross-sectional area of river, and catchment area were
combined to conclude that, under light flood conditions, the topsoil life in the catchment was
2000 years and that $600 worth of fertilizer was washed down the river every day. Other
conclusions included a number of satisfactory aspects of the river and the need for further
study to determine the reason for fish kills.

Solutions included the re-establishment of native riparian vegetation, the control
of both access of stock to watering points and stock numbers, the provision of riparian buffer
strips, the killing of Lipia, the construction of a model to simulate the use of old tyres to
reduce erosion in waterways, and the need for regular water testing as urban and rural
development continues.

Contact Name and Details

Peter Eastwell  "Willow Downs," M/S 623, Warwick Qld 4370 Australia
Phone & Fax:  07 4667 3786    E-Mail:  willdown@flexi.net.au

Resources I can Provide

A written report of the project, including a multimedia question & answer quiz aimed at increasing awareness about water quality, on loan; advice on request.

Other Resources I Found Useful

Local residents (e.g. Local Government Councillors, members of fish-stocking committee); Waterwatch program coordinator and materials; Department of Natural resources.
 


Project #2
 

Project #3  Queensland Electricity Options

Summary

The aim of this project was to improve our understanding of some of the issues involved in decision-making about the future supply of electricity in Queensland. Themes included energy
efficiencies associated with showering, home design, hot water heating systems, clothes drying, domestic lighting, use of microwaves for heating, cooking vegetables, waterbeds, electric blankets, and daylight saving, together with the attitudes of members of the local community to the efficient use of electricity, the greenhouse effect, and energy from wind.

A major conclusion was that the biggest domestic electricity savings could occur as a result of shorter showers, or conversion to solar water heating, and the installation of ceiling insulation. Other conclusions included that more efficient use of electricity by Queenslanders could easily avoid the immediate need for new (polluting) power stations or an interstate link, that householders will need encouragement to overcome some apathy about using electricity more efficiently, that demand side management strategies were needed, that Australia could contribute significantly to internationally-
suggested levels for the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and that we appear to be at the
crossroads for decision-making about the future provision of electricity in Queensland.

Solutions included greater government monitoring of home design, the building of brick veneer homes with the brick on the inside, a scheme whereby the government could engineer the installation of solar hot water heating in every home at no financial cost, the greater use of energy auditors (accompanied by the creation of employment opportunities for energy engineers also), a number of suggested demand side management solutions, and increased use of photovoltaic cells, wind energy, and bagasse. A working wind energy generator model was constructed.

Contact Name and Details

Peter Eastwell  "Willow Downs," M/S 623, Warwick Qld 4370 Australia
Phone & Fax:  07 4667 3786    E-Mail:  willdown@flexi.net.au

Resources I can Provide

A written report of the project, including a multimedia quiz, on loan; advice on request.

Other Resources I Found Useful

Personnel of power supply & distribution entities; Department of Mines and Energy; search of Courier Mail articles.
Queensland Electricity Industry (n.d.). Powerwise integrated curriculum resource: A teacher's guide (Years 6-7). Brisbane: Author.
Queensland State Government (1994). Queensland's future power. Brisbane: Author.
Department of Primary Industries and Energy (1995). National sustainable energy policy: A discussion paper. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.
Intergovernmental Committee on Ecologically Sustainable development (March, 19970. Future directions for Australia's national strategy. Canberra: Author.