Australian Office of Nanotechnology Offering Teacher Professional Development to Assist Teachers Utilise AccessNano

The Australian Office of Nanotechnology (Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research) is offering Teacher Professional Development to assist Australia teachers utilise the innovative nanotechnology resource AccessNano.

Offering one-day workshops or 1-3 hour seminar sessions in all states and territories, the program will provide theory, practical advice, hands-on demonstrations and integrated techniques for teachers looking for an accessible, modular and exciting new approach to boost their teaching of science and technology.

For full-day sessions, AccessNano Teacher Professional Development will offer the following components:

  • Introductory session on nanotechnology, it's uses, principles and, social issues
  • Guest speakers from nanotechnology academia and industry
  • Introductory session on AccessNano
  • Run though and demonstration of AccessNano modules
  • Discussion of where to source and how best to use nanotechnology resources

Session

Format

Date

Venue

Booking Contact

NT: Darwin

workshop

April 17-18

Darwin High School

08 8999 4385

ACT: Canberra

workshop

April 20

CSIRO Green Machine

02 6246 5296

SA: Adelaide

seminar

April 21

SASTA Conference

visit www.sasta.asn.au

NSW: Sydney

workshop

April 23

CSIRO Science Education Centre

02 9490 8482

WA: Northam

seminar

May 23

CONSTAWA Conference

08 9244 1987

VIC: Melbourne

workshop

May 27

CSIRO Science Education Centre

03 9252 6387

QLD: Townsville

seminar

May 30

CONSTAQ Conference

TAS: Launceston

seminar

7 July

CONASTA Conference

visit www.cdesign.com.au/conasta58

Teachers will be provided with a folder containing modules, lists of resources and other printed notes as well as a certificate confirming their attendance at the session.

Conference seminars will offer a taste of AccessNano and provide enough guidance for teachers to commence using this resource.

What is AccessNano?
AccessNano is an Australian government initiative funded through the Australian Office of Nanotechnology, under the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, and produced by foresight and science communications consultancy Bridge8 Pty Ltd. It is an innovative and cutting-edge nanotechnology teaching package that can be used to introduce nanotechnology into schools and get students interested in science.

AccessNano provides an accessible, self-contained and standardised modular approach to teaching nanotechnology. It has a national focus and is curriculum-matched across the states and territories, and includes scope for regular web-based upgrades and teacher support.

While AccessNano has been developed through close collaboration of the development team with nanotechnology experts, it's the involvement of science teachers such as Dr Amanda Clarke and Mrs Francesca Calati that makes it so relevant to the classroom environment. Renowned in Australian science teaching circles through her initiation of the SHINE nanotechnology teaching program, and officially recognised through winning the 2007 Prime Minister's Prize for Excellence in Teaching Science in Secondary Schools, Francesca offers enthusiasm, experience and practical guidance for using AccessNano in your classroom.

"AccessNano modules provide accessible, cutting-edge nanotechnology content which is self-contained and ready-to-use in Australian classrooms for Years 7-11. AccessNano Teacher Professional workshops will provide teachers with the background, confidence and tools to ensure that each module can be easily incorporated into the current science curriculum." Francesca Calati, La Trobe University

Why teach nanotechnology?
Recent statistics have painted a grim picture for the future of science study in Australian high schools, with the Australian Council for Educational Research reporting that participation in science has almost halved since the mid 1970s. In 1976, 55% of Year 12 students studied biology, 29% chemistry and 28% physics, while today only around 25% study biology, 18% chemistry and 15% physics. The lack of interest in science study foreshadows skills deficits in science, engineering and technology professions and is a critical issue our communities.

One way of addressing this problem is to update school science with cutting edge technologies and recent examples of Australian research. That nanotechnology is cross-disciplinary, modern and fast-moving makes it the perfect candidate to generate excitement and interest about science for students.

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