Putting Science back on the agenda…
The past decade has seen a substantial decline in economic commitment and educational engagement regarding the sciences within Australia. The proportion of Year 12 students taking physics, chemistry and biology has fallen by almost a third in the past 10 years, whilst simultaneously the national R&D spending has declined.
The lack of attention received by science has left Australia in a cyclical dilemma whereby a shortage of quality science teachers is impacting upon student engagement, interest and academic performance. Much of this stems back to what seems to be a national disinterest in science – something of deep concern to the prosperity of our nation.
It appears that we have forgotten the fundamental role that science plays in our everyday lives. Just think… the cars and trains that get students to school, the energy that lights up their classrooms, their tablets and PCs, the uniforms they wear, the food they eat; these were all developed and improved through scientific discovery. As educators, we have a responsibility to ensure that students realise the possibilities of scientific discovery and understand the importance of science as a subject area, and as an endeavour.
Teachers need to be the avenue through which students uncover the thrill and excitement of science; and today’s science classroom offers a myriad of opportunities to do so. Web-based learning environments provide students with immersive, virtual reality experiences, which allow them to truly engage in scientific discovery. Students may not be able to grow a forest in the school lab, but in a virtual world they can create an entire biosphere or make chemical compounds with real life results. The opportunities are endless.
Student engagement depends on inspired teaching and inspiring resources. Not only to convey complex principles but to instil a lasting passion for science. The more young minds are switched onto the possibilities of scientific discovery, the more we can look forward to a prosperous future of science in Australia. That is why here at 3P Learning we are committed to delivering powerful resources that are highly engaging, targeted and effective – to connect the world in learning and instil a love of learning in teachers and students.