Impact of Funding Decision Felt in Science Education

Article excerpt

THE Federal Government recently announced the discontinuation of funding to two major elements of its science education program in schools a Primary Connections and Science by Doing.

The Toowoomba Catholic Education Office said this announcement had serious repercussions as 50 per cent of Australian primary schools were using these programs as a cornerstone for delivering cost-effective, robust and practical science skills to primary and teenage students.

The Primary Connections and Science by Doing programs developed by The Australian Academy of Science were highly regarded by scientists, industry and educational practitioners alike.

Australian 15-year-old science students have performed well against international standards however results have aflat-lineda, and the challenge lies in the number of students studying science subjects in high school.

With the number dropping significantly over the past 10 years the challenge is to expose younger students to engaging, quality, hands-on science which will encourage them to choose science throughout school and into their professional life.

The Toowoomba Catholic Education Office, which is responsible for 32 Catholic schools throughout Toowoomba and South West Queensland, has undertaken research in its schools to determine the most effective strategies to support and build the science capability of students.

Director of the Toowoomba Catholic Education Office, John Borserio said, aThe Toowoomba Diocesan Science Education Strategy has incorporated Primary Connections and Science by Doing as a vehicle to support science teaching and learning throughout the region. …