I have some good news, as well as sad tidings, for our regular QMTS readers; the 70 blogs written to date have received over 18,000 views since it was launched in June 2011. There are hundreds of science blogs out there in cyberspace to read so our writers are really pleased with this outcome. It is interesting to note that, whilst the majority of readers live in Australia, a significant number have accessed and read this science blog from overseas.
Perhaps you have been wondering why this blog has ceased to be a weekly dispatch? Sadly, as a result of state budget cuts the QM seconded teacher program ended in December 2012. QM would like to thank Education Queensland for their generous support over many years which enabled four of the brightest and the best teachers to extend their skills and professional development at the museum. Seconded teachers and QMTS blog writers Paul and Letitia have returned to the classroom and Narinda and Marcel are now working at Education Queensland as C2C curriculum writers. The regularity and nature of the content of this blog is likely to change over the course of this year. The ‘blog quill’ has been handed over to the QM learning officers who will continue to support schools and families who are visiting the QM and Sciencentre. We hope that further blog articles will eventuate that highlight what’s going on at the museum that celebrate the world of science, exhibitions and research.
Just as jet planes left a vapour trail on a clear day after they flew over the Brisbane River during daytime practice runs for the River Fire finale, the seconded teachers also left a visible trail behind them following their recent departure. This is in the form of several new Australian Curriculum linked learning resources which we hope that teachers will take time to investigate. This link will take you through to Queensland Museum Learning Resources; click on Australian Curriculum under the ‘Categories’ menu and you’ll see all the resources developed.
These new resources include:
- Two PowerPoints designed for middle to upper primary children, highlight what our paleontologists and technical officers do ‘behind the scenes’ when new dinosaur bones are discovered. The two PowerPoints are prefixed with the title ‘I am a Scientist’.
- ‘Rainy Day Rosie’ is a delightful digital story for younger P-2 learners to develop their understanding of the importance of water for all living things. The central character is Rosie, an inquisitive Rainbow Lorikeet.
- ‘The Three Dinosaurs’ is another story designed for young learners that is a digital fairy tale. It is based on the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff and uses Australian dinosaurs as the main characters. The story also includes factual information about the dinosaurs based upon recent research and discoveries.
- Additionally you’ll find ‘Squawks in the Night’ and ‘Animals that Grow Up in Families’ – programs that were written and developed in 2012 which are well worth investigating. Word of mouth recommendations to fellow teachers count a lot so if you find these programs to be of value, please spread the word.
A second vapour trail and good piece of news is that Education Services Australia (ESA) has recognised the high quality of the learning resources developed at the Queensland Museum. Several of the resources outlined in past QMTS blogs have been flagged by ESA as being useful for teachers to use nationally as the Australian Curriculum begins to roll out across all states and territories. Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island resources for example provide a unique and well-informed perspective on science as they were created by an aboriginal curator and educator working collaboratively with other museum experts. The national collection of recommended learning resources can be accessed through Scootle by all government, Catholic and independent schools who have registered.
On that positive note I too am signing off from my leadership role of the team and wish all readers an early Happy Easter, and to teachers everywhere, all the best for the rest of the term.