Million-dollar program to inspire passion for maths and science
The development of a national $1.2million program to encourage greater high school student participation in maths and science is underway at UOW.
Associate Professor Ian Brown and Mr Grant Hughes, from the School of Education, are working with a team of researchers across the country to develop five modules for students in Years 7-12 using authentic, multidisciplinary experiences.
The modules will use cutting edge science and engineering contexts and educational theories, drawing on UOW’s success in sustainable housing, robotics, human health issues and nanotechnology.
Delivered through web-based platforms as well as traditional paper-based methods, the modules will involve hands-on, inquiry-based science and mathematics activities supported by background information and career profiles of recent graduates working in the relevant industries.
The program will first trialled in a number of schools around Australia, including four secondary schools in the Illawarra region, before being rolled out across the country.
Professor Brown said participation by secondary students in science and maths has declined over the last two decades and is now at a record low level.
“Australia desperately needs more science and mathematics teachers,” he said.
“We need quality teachers more than ever to help our students and future leaders solve complex global problems, like climate change.”
Professor Brown said UOW is in a great position to share cutting edge research and developments with schools to improve their programs.
“As a world leader in a number of areas such as sustainability and technology, UOW will play an integral role in the development of innovative teaching and learning units for schools,” he said.
The project, ‘Inspiring Science and Mathematics Education’, includes researchers from Southern Cross University, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and Charles Darwin University, as well as UOW.