In the mid 1980s, the then Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC), through its program Earthworm, sought to acknowledge the importance of encouraging young Australians, both primary and secondary age school students, to take an interest in their local environment. For a time, Earthworm ran a lew key awards program with the same name.
 
Although the Program proved successful to a degree, it was decided, in consultation with the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) to approach the Federal Government for support. ASTA, the professional association representing teachers of science in primary and secondary schools around Australia, and run largely by the volunteer efforts of its members, saw the program, in an expanded form, as providing an opportunity to develop the scientific and reasoning skills of students, and to give a scientific perspective to the identification of environmental issues as well as emphasising the involvement of local communities in sustaining the environment.
 
ASTA believes that the Earthworm Environmental Awards program continues to provide a unique catalyst to students and schools around Australia to participate in innovative, collaborative projects which address key environmental issues, develop their scientific learning and reasoning skills and enhance their ability to work in a team role.
 
The practicality of the program is evident in the sheer breadth of initiatives it encourages. It makes participation possible for any student, from those involved in distance education, members of a small rural school, or students at a large metropolitan college in a concrete jungle, whether attending government or nongovernment schools.
 
A key factor in the ongoing success of the program over and above continued governmental support has been the preparedness of a wide diversity of industry and organisational sponsors to continue to lend their name and support in kind to the program.
 
ASTA believes that the Earthworm Environmental Awards program plays a unique role in environmental education in creating a broader public awareness of environmental issues, largely through the voluntary efforts of its members around Australia; the enthusiasm the challenge of participation in the program generates in students; and the partnerships established with industry, government and the education sector.
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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The scientist as an environmentalist, ASTA's Earthwork Environmental Program

Belinda Lamb  

In the mid 1980s, the then Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC), through its program Earthworm, sought to acknowledge the importance of encouraging young Australians, both primary and secondary age school students, to take an interest in their local environment. For a time, Earthworm ran a lew key awards program with the same name.
 
Although the Program proved successful to a degree, it was decided, in consultation with the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) to approach the Federal Government for support. ASTA, the professional association representing teachers of science in primary and secondary schools around Australia, and run largely by the volunteer efforts of its members, saw the program, in an expanded form, as providing an opportunity to develop the scientific and reasoning skills of students, and to give a scientific perspective to the identification of environmental issues as well as emphasising the involvement of local communities in sustaining the environment.
 
ASTA believes that the Earthworm Environmental Awards program continues to provide a unique catalyst to students and schools around Australia to participate in innovative, collaborative projects which address key environmental issues, develop their scientific learning and reasoning skills and enhance their ability to work in a team role.
 
The practicality of the program is evident in the sheer breadth of initiatives it encourages. It makes participation possible for any student, from those involved in distance education, members of a small rural school, or students at a large metropolitan college in a concrete jungle, whether attending government or nongovernment schools.
 
A key factor in the ongoing success of the program over and above continued governmental support has been the preparedness of a wide diversity of industry and organisational sponsors to continue to lend their name and support in kind to the program.
 
ASTA believes that the Earthworm Environmental Awards program plays a unique role in environmental education in creating a broader public awareness of environmental issues, largely through the voluntary efforts of its members around Australia; the enthusiasm the challenge of participation in the program generates in students; and the partnerships established with industry, government and the education sector.

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