Schools can be powerful vehicles for raising the awareness and understanding of science not just in their students, but also in their wider communities. This awareness raising is critical in gaining parental and community support for a school’s activities, particularly in rural and isolated settings.

For the past three years, the ‘Science in Schools Research Project’ (Si SRP) has operated across Victoria, Australia in 224 primary and secondary schools with 98 000 students and over 2000 teachers. From this research, conducted by a consortium from Deakin University on behalf of the Department of Education and Training, has come the ‘School Innovation in Science’ (SIS) program, which focuses on improving teaching and learning in science classrooms. In 2003, ‘School Innovation in Science’ will be available to another 100 schools statewide.

In many cases, the schools’ involvement in the project has acted as a catalyst, providing ways to raise awareness of the importance of science, technology and innovation in industry and the community.

This discussion paper outlines the context in which ‘School Innovation in Science’ operates. Three case studies provide information about the activities of schools located in the Goulburn North-Eastern Region of the Department of Education and Training. These examples highlight the important role schools play in communicating science to the broader community within the Victorian Education System.

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School Innovation in Science - the development, education and public communication of science in Victorian schools

Jane Harvey   Regional Science Project Officer, Goulburn North-Eastern Region, Department of Education and Training

Schools can be powerful vehicles for raising the awareness and understanding of science not just in their students, but also in their wider communities. This awareness raising is critical in gaining parental and community support for a school’s activities, particularly in rural and isolated settings.

For the past three years, the ‘Science in Schools Research Project’ (Si SRP) has operated across Victoria, Australia in 224 primary and secondary schools with 98 000 students and over 2000 teachers. From this research, conducted by a consortium from Deakin University on behalf of the Department of Education and Training, has come the ‘School Innovation in Science’ (SIS) program, which focuses on improving teaching and learning in science classrooms. In 2003, ‘School Innovation in Science’ will be available to another 100 schools statewide.

In many cases, the schools’ involvement in the project has acted as a catalyst, providing ways to raise awareness of the importance of science, technology and innovation in industry and the community.

This discussion paper outlines the context in which ‘School Innovation in Science’ operates. Three case studies provide information about the activities of schools located in the Goulburn North-Eastern Region of the Department of Education and Training. These examples highlight the important role schools play in communicating science to the broader community within the Victorian Education System.

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