A Swimmingly Wonderful Junior School Excursion

Thank you to Sophie Apperly for this week’s post about the Junior School excursion to the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium.

As part of the Junior School’s Geography Inquiry Unit – “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” the Year 1 and Year 2 students ventured into the city for lunch by the Yarra at Batman Park and then to the ‘Save our Seas’ program at the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium. Continue reading


Mad About Science comes to our senses

Things got noisy and tasty (what?!) at a recent Prep incursion. Sophie Apperly tells us more –

prep-1The Preps explored the five senses of hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste when Matt from Mad About Science visited Kew Primary for a Biological Science incursion. The Junior School Hall was abuzz with activity and excitement as the Preps completed a number of experiments and tests using their ears, eyes, hands, nose and tongue. Continue reading

Middle School Biologists @ Melbourne’s Beautiful Botanic Gardens

The Year 3/4 classes visited the Royal Botanic Gardens last week (thankfully it was the one gloriously sunny day in the middle of an otherwise wet, cold week). When I asked my Year 3 daughter what she thought they’d be doing on the excursion she went into great detail describing the scientific drawings they’d been practicing. And I had to say that I was a bit jealous because when I was at (high) school, one of my favourite things in biology were the species transects and quadrants we’d do on field-trips – in year 3/4 terms, it’s a ‘bug census’. However, whether you’re in Year 3/4 or 11/12, the principle is the same – a defined space, paper and pencil, magnifying glass and observant eyes!

I always enjoyed the exercise because I liked the sorting, taxonomy and list making. My daughter said that she was “…leaving the counting to someone else…” and instead was going to “…spend the day drawing bugs….”. Either way, it sounded like the best day.

Indi, Ishana and Emma from 3/4J tell us a bit more about the excursion –

bot-gardens-1On October 6th Year 3/4s went on an excursion to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Continue reading

Apps that are out there

Me, “I got a lacunosus while you were at school today.”
Edward (grade 5), “No!…. Really?…. Let me see the picture.”

cloudspotter-appDon’t know what we’re talking about? Clouds. Edward and I have turned cloud-spotting into a competitive sport, all with the aid of the marvelously addictive Cloudspotter app. Continue reading

Ace science books for kids

http://www.iainclaridge.co.uk/blog/11638I recently read some conference notes by John Womersley (a guy involved in science and technology communication) that really resonated with me. He said that “…astronomy is a ‘gateway drug’ to get young people interested in science.” It’s true – almost all kids go through a space phase. Some even go beyond sticking glow-in-the-dark stars on their ceiling and start getting up at the crack of dawn for specific astronomical events and checking out career pathways at NASA*.

I’d add microscopes to Womersley’s ‘gateway’ list, basically for their all-round coolness (who doesn’t want to look at their own spit under a microscope?). I’d also add dinosaurs for their early-introduction-to-evolutionary-biology-appeal.

In my life BC (Before Children), much of my work entailed science communication and to this day, I’m drawn to anything that takes a complex scientific concept and explains it in a simple way. Having kids gave me further reason to seek out the best in science communication, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite science books for kids (grown-ups will love them as well). Continue reading