Page 3 - SASTA Newsletter February 2018
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February 2018 SASTA
From the President
A warm welcome to all teaching science in 2018! What a busy start to this year of teaching the new Australian Curriculum Year 12 science subjects, and the focused preparations being made to commence teaching the new curriculum in South Australian schools are being
made with their usual standard of excellence.
The Australian Science Teachers Association held its residential STEM X Academy at the Australian National University in Canberra during the second week of January for over 70 teachers from around Australia. About half the attendees taught in primary schools around Australia, while the other teachers taught in middle and senior secondary sectors, and separate programs had been developed for each group that occasionally overlapped, and led to some energetic networking! The STEM X Academy aims to empower teachers to incite a STEM-capability revolution, and is run by ASTA, Questacon, and the CSIRO. The course
of teacher professional development in developing STEM inquiry and student learning from thinking ‘outside the square’ has been designed around the concept that “STEM is key not only to our economic prosperity but also to our environmental, social and cultural wellbeing, and it is teachers who are crucial to advancing STEM capability in Australia’s classrooms”.
2018 SASTA Awards
There are many great teachers out there that SASTA would like to acknowledge, but often they don’t get nominated for Awards because teaching is a very busy job and people don’t get the time to  ll in nomination forms. Start thinking now! Alert your Principal. There are a number of Awards for SASTA members.
SASTA offers its members an award for excellent contribution to science education or teaching or both. The SASTA Medal is awarded to an individual who has made a signi cant contribution to SASTA and has been active in science education.
Credit Union SA / SASTA Outstanding Teacher Award for junior primary, primary, middle years and senior years teaching
The Outstanding Teacher Awards’ recognise teachers’ contributions to the education of students in science.
As one of the privileged cohort attending the STEM X Academy this year, I can thoroughly recommend its relevant and engaging hands-on program, with one attendee describing the week as the best teacher professional development they had ever attended. Applications for attending the STEM X Academy will be on the ASTA website later this year, and are well worth watching out for.
A personal highlight for me was the evening spent at the Mount Stromlo Observatory, where Professor Ben Greene described how he was eradicating space junk by laser targeting, and the always fascinating Brad Tucker took us through the history of the cosmos and Australia’s role in enhancing our understanding of that. Professor Brian Schmidt’s Nobel Prize medal and certi cate are on display there, and some of us were privileged to hold a 30kg satellite worth an amount expressed in seven  gures. Their work continues despite being burned out in the 2003 bush res, and is an inspiring example of Australian ingenuity and resilience which underlies the application of STEM approaches to problem solving.
I wish you all well in your own STEM adventures this year with your students!
Vanessa Fay
Helen Castle Memorial Scholarship
This Scholarship is in memory of Helen Castle, a dedicated and enthusiastic science teacher who tragically died during the Eyre Peninsula bush  res in 2005. The Scholarship is designed to assist country science teachers attend the SASTA Annual Conference and gain professional development to assist themselves and other country teachers to maintain a high standard of science teaching in country areas. Two (2) scholarships of $500 will be awarded to enable country based science teachers to attend the SASTA Annual Conference on Monday 16 & Tuesday 17 April 2018.
Nomination forms are available at
Nominations close Friday 2 March 2018 at 4.00 pm
SASTA • February 2018 3

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