Young Einsteins at Virginia

Virginia Primary School has been fortunate enough to recently become a part of the national Scientists in Schools Program, educating children with exposure to science in society.The program gives science teachers and students’ new ideas and fresh perspectives in the science-teaching field. 

Adelaide University Scientist Graeme Cook was paired to the school through the program established in 2007. 

Mr Cook has visited the school twice and given talks to two classes learning about animal rights.Students are currently preparing speeches on the subject. Graeme spoke to the students about animal rights versus animal welfare, which has given them a balanced view of issues involved.Science teacher Cathy Lock said they are still learning about the program but everyone involved are enjoying it so far. 

“Graeme has been in to talk to two of the classes about animal welfare, as they are preparing debates on this subject as part of the science program.”

Mrs Lock said they are looking forward to seeing what the future can bring for the school.“We are very excited to be part of the program, we have been waiting a number of years for a partnership, and hope to build a long lasting relationship that will benefit our students.”

Topics such as Earth and Space, Living Things, Energy and Force, Chemistry Matter, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology and Working Scientifically with scientific methodology, experiment design and fieldwork are covered and based on the national education framework. 

The program was established with the intentions of giving students exposure to a science role model for career inspiration in society, learning more about the roles of science in society whilst exploring science being studied in their community and discovering the ‘real’ science behind their own curriculum. Not only do students benefit, but teachers do as well by having the opportunity about the latest science research in their area of interest, and to create links with scientists and science organisations for teaching and learning inspiration.Future involvements could see class excursions to science workplaces, as well as collaborating with Mr Cook for professional development. 

The Scientists in Schools organising team provides all the support to all teachers, who are partnered with a scientist with teaching and learning materials. 

Mr Cook has worked at the zoo conducting research with animals, including bears and primates and is currently research manager for Pork CRC at the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy campus.

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