Queensland's Citizen Science Hub


This page presents teaching materials, at primary, secondary and tertiary levels, particularly (though not exclusively) materials generated by member groups and their individual members.

Copyright considerations

Authors are encouraged to grant access to their work using Creative Commons attribution. A briefing note, Open Educational Resources, and a powerpoint presentation by the QCAA explaining Creative Commons and Open Educational Resources are re-published here, licensed under Creative Commons CC BY 4.0.

Guidelines for content creators

Standards for authors to use when preparing data for use in the classroom are available for K-10 and senior science 11-12 .

Curriculum-linked Resources

The Queensland science syllabuses

The 2019 roll-out of the new Queensland senior secondary syllabuses (available online here) created a demand for original teaching materials, especially materials suitable for assessment of data analysis techniques relevant to Queensland localities. The Queensland Science Network in collaboration with the Department of Education and the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) has launched a project to draw upon datasets held by member societies, including the scientific journals and citizen science reports, and to package these rich sources into a format that teachers can use readily. This Curriculum-linked Resources section presents Queensland-relevant educational resources validated by experienced educators and classified according to locality, year level and curriculum headline.

Australian Greenhouse Calculator

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 […]

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Charting two centuries of transformation in a coastal social-ecological system

The past two centuries of history and loss of shellfish reefs in South-east Queensland have been chronicled in a scientific paper co-authored by Dr Ben Diggles, a member of The Royal Society Of Queensland. View pdf file.

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Oyster recruitment – Marine Science Syllabus

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 […]

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Citizen science school teacher resources

The Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist has published a list of curriculum-linked resources with a citizen-science component. By mid-October 2021, some 32 programs had been listed.

Earthwatch’s curriculum-linked materials

Earthwatch has developed free STEM-related curriculum resources (mapped to the Australian Curriculum via Cool Australia); https://www.earthwatch.org.au/teacher-resources .

Earthwatch has a number of other teacher resources here: https://www.earthwatch.org.au/Pages/Category/teachers  

Field recording sheets for school groups

The free ClimateWatch app allows indicator species sightings and photos to be submitted while anywhere in Australia. Records can also be submitted through the ClimateWatch website where photos can be manually uploaded. For those without smart-devices, survey sheets are available on the website. Some things to remember:

  • Familiarise yourself with species content via climatewatch.org.au/species .
  • ClimateWatch trails have their own recording sheets you may wish to use instead of the app or survey sheets.
  • A computer session can be scheduled after the field activity to enter the data into the ClimateWatch website.

ClimateWatch is a citizen-science experience that can be incorporated into secondary and tertiary school subjects, backyard or school ground explorations, field excursions or camps. Taking part in citizen science that monitors and records plant and animal behaviour is naturally aligned to the Science stream of the national curriculum. ClimateWatch is also a great way to build student capacity in critical and creative thinking, numeracy and ITC skills.

Birds of South-east Queensland – Educational website

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.

Learning about birds focuses on birds commonly seen in various habitats and features 18 birds commonly seen in urban areas.

Teaching About Birds has been designed for primary age students, their teachers and home educators and provides a basic teaching model aligned with objectives in the Australian Science Curriculum for each year level 1-6. Videos have been created to illustrate the curriculum focus for each year level. Examples are the video about the Australian White Ibis https://vimeo.com/336966421 for Year 5 students investigating how animals adapt to environments; and the video https://vimeo.com/394819136 for Year 6 students studying the extraordinary migratory shorebirds that migrate to the other end of the globe to breed but that live, at least for part of each year, at our urban backdoor in Moreton Bay. 

General Educational Materials Library

This section is a general repository of materials suitable for adapting to classroom use. Most have been generated by member groups of the Queensland Science Network. First, a two-page brief by The Royal Society of Queensland explaining scientific method and the robustness of scientists’ conclusions about climate.

Earth School

A series of 30 exercises for students is available on the TED site Earth School. The exercises, called “Quests”, encourage students globally to “celebrate, explore and connect with nature”. A certificate is emailed upon completion of the 30 exercises.

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Pastoral Lands Information Hub

From 2007 South West NRM, the regional catchment body for the Mulga Lands of South-west Queensland, launched a “Mulga Lands Information Hub“,  a repository of reports, journal articles, books and other materials about the Mulga Lands specifically although much of the material is referable to the pastoral zone generally. A significant proportion of the material […]

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Cranky Uncle climate game

Australian Dr John Cook has developed a game, Cranky Uncle, to explain global warming and climate denialism. The game is promoted on the site www.skepticalscience.com as a teaching tool, for secondary and tertiary levels. The game is accompanied by a book and a Teachers’ Guide. The website has a wealth of material on climate change […]

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Clicks, bonks and dripping taps: Listen to the calls of 6 frogs out and about this summer

By Jodi Rowley Curator, Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Biology, Australian Museum Australia has 240 known species of frog, almost all of which are found nowhere else in the world. Some species are flourishing, like the Striped Marsh Frog. But others have declined dramatically since the 1980s, and four have become extinct. Croaks, whistles, bleats and […]

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Online guide to weeds

A useful index to materials to help with the identification of weeds was published by Moreton Bay Regional Council in its Voluntary Conservation Programs Update Newsletter of May 2020. Thanks to Council for permission to republish this index here. Click on the image above to bring up a PDF that contains the hotlinks to the […]

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Climate Data

The Queensland Government’s Long Paddock website has provided climate and pasture information to the grazing community since 1995. The site provides access to rainfall and pasture outlooks and decision-support tools to support land management decision-making and planning for landholders, educators, consultants and extension officers. The SILO site, a component of the Long Paddock, is a […]

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Algal bloom Pumicestone Passage

Algal blooms were evident in the lower Pumicestone Passage and on Bribie Island beaches late in October 2019.  This media report aims to dispel some myths that these phenomena are “natural” events without human influence. A potential solution (constructed wetlands to alleviate stormwater impacts) is flagged. Sewage is also a major contributor to phosphorus pollution […]

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Ron Turner – Cooloola, Lighthouses and Ranger Service

Ron Turner, former Ranger-in-Charge at Cooloola National Park, with wife Yvonne, has written some thoroughly readable memoirs of his experiences. Take for example the charming e-book Living at a Lighthouse, chronicling sojourns at Bustard Head and Double Island Point lighthouses on Queensland’s central-south coast. This is available under Creative Commons BY 4.0 by generous permission […]

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Go Extinct! game

Royal Society of Queensland member Ariel Marcy has made available her free science game design platform, DIY Go Extinct! Students can create one-of-a-kind Go Extinct! games featuring evolutionary trees of Australian marsupials, megafauna, flowers, dinosaurs, venomous snakes, and citizens of the Great Barrier Reef! (available now at www.steamgalaxy.com/design-your-own-game/). The platform, supported by grants from the […]

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Spiders in Woodfordia

In 2019, the BioDiscovery Project continued a survey of biodiversity at the Woodfordia property, site of the annual Woodford Folk Festival. Spider expert Robert Whyte, a member of the Royal Society of Queensland, has supplied this fascinating report of the survey (5.8MB) and the stunning photographs. Report of field work at Woodfordia site

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Reading Australia

The Copyright Agency’s Reading Australia portal by March 2021 was presenting 224 freely-available resources to assist with the teaching of books by Australian writers. Originally launched in 2013 to showcase Australia’s rich literary heritage and encourage more people to read Australian literature, Reading Australia has become a valuable asset for teachers looking to introduce homegrown […]

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Wet Rocks – Groundwater education for teachers

Wet Rocks is an initiative of the Teacher Earth Science Education Programme: Groundwater Education Resources for Teachers Wet Rocks is a valuable resource for both learning and teaching about groundwater. Relevant to the Australian Curriculum, Wet Rocks introduces study of groundwater and its place in the water cycle, how it is formed, its importance as […]

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STEM Education – Activities and resources

The website of the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist https://www.chiefscientist.qld.gov.au/stem-education/activities-resources references a wide range of STEM activities and resources.

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STAR Portal

Arising indirectly from a brainstorming session convened by the Royal Society of Queensland in July 2015, the Office of the Chief Scientist of Australia developed a national web portal to offer access to a range of authoritative materials and programs. The STAR portal went live late in June 2017.

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Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia is a not for profit company that operates and manages a web portal called Primezone. Primezone provides teachers, parents and students, with an Australian Curriculum-driven range of high-quality, vetted educational resources relevant to primary industries, from Foundation to Year 12. Visit Primezone at www.primezone.edu.au

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Queensland STEM Education Network

Funding for the Queensland STEM Education Network expired at the end of March 2018. At this time the website remains alive, with a number of valuable resources including posters and a glossary of terms. QSEN is (or has been) a consortium of Queensland universities providing a range of high quality programs and initiatives designed to […]

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