The Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) has published a new teaching resource that seeks to raise awareness of sustainability science among students across Australia. This new book focuses on the theme “Future Earth,” drawing on the vision and goals of the Future Earth programme. It was developed for National Science Week 2017, Australia’s “annual celebration of science and technology,” with support from the the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.
“The theme of this resource recognises that the global Future Earth initiative is an exciting and important opportunity for teachers and their students to become engaged in sustainability science – focusing specific on issues that are unique to Australia and our region,” says Imran Ahmad, Director of Future Earth Australia. “It encourages Australians to take positive actions that make a direct contribution to making the Earth more sustainable.”
This year marks the 20th National Science Week in Australia. This annual campaign focuses on increasing public understanding and appreciation of science, innovation, engineering and technology in Australia. As part of the week, which runs from 12 to 20 August, primary and secondary schools across the country will organise and participate in a range of activities and events.
ASTA selects an annual school theme for these events. The 2017 theme of “Future Earth” will enable students to explore what is involved in creating and maintaining a sustainable planet, Ahmad says.
The new resource book links closely to the Australian Curriculum from foundation, or kindergarten, to year 10 and focuses on real-world, problem-solving exercises. The activities laid out in the book include guiding younger students in making a “biojar” using pond water and aquatic snails. Primary students can build a worm farm, and secondary, or high school, students can complete an exercise that helps them to envision “preferable futures” for the world and Australia.
“Future Earth Australia is extremely pleased to see this important resource for National Science Week produced by ASTA,” Ahmad says. “Future Earth Australia not only contributed to the peer review of the resource book but will also use Future Earth’s vast network to promote this work globally.”
Complementing the new resource are two student journals – one for younger students and another for primary and secondary school students. Students can download these journals online and use them to chronicle their activities during National Science Week