Queensland's Citizen Science Hub

Curriculum Resources

The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia’s program collaboration taking the social sciences into schools is now live.

The project, the first under a new partnership with the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD), represents a collaboration between MoAD’s education experts and the Academy’s communication team. Working together, and using the Academy’s Seriously Social podcast and videos as the basis of evidence-based content, the Academy has developed its first group of engaging, professionally-produced resources for Australian secondary schools to teach the social sciences.

Each term the Academy intends to launch four themed modules for secondary school teachers to mix and match in class. Each themed module contains:

·         A professionally produced podcast episode (20-25 mins)

·         An engaging video (2-4 mins)

·         A provocation worksheet for students to use – this can be used with either resource.

Term 2 school resource topics include forecasting (features Fellow Rob Hyndman); how to spot an expert (features Fellow Ken Henry); memory (features Fellow Amanda Barnier) and monarchies (features Fellow Dennis Altman).

All educational resources are housed on the new “Learn” page of the Seriously Social website. Please check them out and share them widely with your secondary school networks.

If you have contacts for networks of teachers online or offline, please let the Academy’s communication team know – it wishes to build this audience. Email bonnie.johnson@socialsciences.org.au).

The Queensland Department of Agriculture’s Hermitage Research Facility (HRF) Schools Plant Science Competition (SPSC) offers engaging ways for students to gain understanding and skills in key areas identified within the Australian science curriculum. Encouraging the next generation of people who will be involved in agricultural/science careers is crucial to how we will face the future and is a key purpose of the competition.

The theme for the 2022 HRF Schools Plant Science Competition is ‘Native Foods’.

Entries in our competition are also eligible for entry in state or territory Science Teachers Association Science Contests (for Queenslanders, the STAQ Science Contest) and the national BHP Foundation Science & Engineering Awards.

This year, we again join forces with QuestaGame to provide students with further opportunities to engage in real-world science. Through QuestaGame’s outdoor mobile gaming app, students’ insect, weed, plant disease and animal pest sightings are shared with CSIRO’s Atlas of Living Australia and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility – the world’s premier collection of biodiversity records. Student involvement also helps researchers understand how we can better manage and protect biodiversity in a changing world. This is citizen science at its best! Further details on the Department’s website.

Continue reading

A website about some of the local birds of South-East Queensland  www.ourlocalbirds.com lets us look into some of their amazing lives via a unique and exciting range of video and still images as well as text and audio. The website has two principal sections: Learning about birds and Teaching about birds and was created by the Bird Education Group of Birds Queensland and Birdlife Southern Queensland. Continue reading

The Australian Greenhouse Calculator helps explore how a person’s lifestyle contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. We all enjoy the benefits of modern technology such as heating and lighting, but we can take actions to reduce production of greenhouse gases and help combat climate change.

Use the AGC to explore how to live more sustainably. By changing behaviour and selecting energy-efficient options, people can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in ways that do not compromise comfort and quality of life.

The calculator website includes “Teacher ideas” linked to the Australian curriculum.

We thank Alan Pears AM, primary developer of the calculator’s algorithm, for drawing this to QSN’s attention.


A downloadable Data Test – Oysters based on experiments aimed at restoring shellfish reefs has been prepared for use in classes in biology and marine science under Queensland’s 2019 senior secondary syllabus. The module has been prepared by Mr Michael Howe, Maths/Science/Marine Teacher at Bribie Island State High School. The original data sets were included in a scientific paper by Royal Society of Queensland Member and marine scientist Dr Ben Diggles entitled “Annual pattern of settlement of Sydney Rock oyster spat in Pumicestone Passage“ . Supplementary data and a spreadsheet with spatfall field data referred to in the article and charts with data on Leaf oysters and a Time series are also available.

Subsequently, in September 2019,  Dr Diggles provided an Invertebrate Report with the following explanation:

“I attach a copy of the 9-month invertebrate report. Not too much happening by way of growth or recruitment of shellfish on the reefs in the middle of winter, except for some honeycomb oyster settlement. But the spat settlement data comparing the cage reef vs the patch reef from the 2017 deployment are telling, as they show that anchor damage to the patch reefs lowers their profile and reduces their effectiveness for attracting spat.

Healthy Land and Water have commissioned some underwater drone footage of the trial reefs which is available at https://youtu.be/N1ZKITKE7SA. Again, note the anchor damage to the smaller patch reef deployed in 2017. Fortunately the cages, the biodegradable BESE reefs and the larger patch reefs deployed in 2018, while still vulnerable to anchor damage, are proving to be more robust, the latter probably due to their larger size and the larger besser brick fence modules surrounding them.”

For a background instructional video on why all this work is being done in Australia, refer to the video at  https://youtu.be/Dn8dZrWK7fM, available at the website https://www.shellfishrestoration.org.au/ . This is the national website allied with the local Moreton Bay site http://restorepumicestonepassage.org/ .

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