[ASC-media] Deputy PM goes back to school for science and literacy

Richard Bray richybray at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 24 02:16:49 CEST 2008

Australian Academy of Science
Media Release
24 April 2008
Deputy PM goes back to school for science and literacy
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, Ms Julia Gillard, today launched the latest unit of a world-class primary school program linking science with literacy.
The Primary Connections: Linking science with literacy program is an innovative approach to teaching and learning that incorporates the teaching of science into the teaching of literacy in Australian primary schools. 
The Minister acknowledged the importance of science and students’ development of scientific skills, like asking questions and knowing how to find answers.
Primary Connections builds on students’ natural curiosity to nurture their sense of wonder and develop their passion for exploring how the world works. This is achieved through a professional learning program supported by quality curriculum resources that promote a hands-on approach to science.
The program was initiated by the Australian Academy of Science and is carried out through a partnership between the Academy and the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).
Primary Connections is used in over 2500 schools across the nation and has produced ten units to date. Through observing small animals, the recently published unit, Schoolyard safari, looks at how animals move, feed and protect themselves. The diversity of animals and the adaptations that help them survive are also explored.
Speaking at the event, President of the Australian Academy of Science Professor Kurt Lambeck said:
‘The Academy is concerned about education at all levels and if we had a motto about this it would be: If Australia gets education right then everything else will succeed, if we get it wrong then nothing else matters.  
‘To make sure that we get it right, we have embarked on the Primary Connections program…’
Professor Lambeck encouraged the Mossfiel Primary School students to embrace science saying: 
‘By carrying out experiments, writing about them and discussing them among yourselves you will gain a better understanding about what occurs around you and perhaps become a scientist yourself. I hope so, because science remains fun and it is important!’
Former Australian of the Year and former President of the Academy Sir Gustav Nossal also spoke saying: ‘the Academy of Science has a long and proud record in primary school science education.’
Further information on Primary Connections:www.science.org.au/primaryconnections
Media contact - Australian Academy of Science: 
Richard Bray, Ph: 02 6201 9452, 0416 331 821, richard.bray at science.org.au
Images are available by speaking to the media contact.
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