GetSET 14 (PDF 1.4 MB)



GetSET 14 (PDF 1.4 MB)
Faculty of Science, Engineering & Technology newsletter
for Science/Maths
Teaching in
Secondary Schools
Congratulations to Gary Anderson (Hellyer College)
and Penny Bester (St Brendan-Shaw College). Their
dedication, achievements and enthusiasm for teaching
have seen them share the Australian Academy of
Technological Sciences and Engineering’s 2008 Prize for
Science/Maths Teaching in Secondary Schools.
Gary and Penny attended the Faculty of Science,
Engineering & Technology’s Research and Teaching
Awards Evening in Hobart in May to be presented with
their prizes by the Dean, Professor Jim Reid. Each
received $1000 and a plaque, and have been invited with
their classes to visit UTAS to tour our research facilities
later in the year.
The Science/Maths Prize, sponsored by the Faculty, is
awarded annually to a Year 9-12 teacher in a Tasmanian
school who is teaching in the areas of mathematics or
environmental, physical and/or life sciences. The winning
• National Science Week
• National Youth Science Forum
• Profile – Dr Prue Loney
• The Castle
•Feature degree
– Environmental Design
• Agricultural Science Camp
entrant is selected for his/her demonstrated
interest in science/maths outside the
classroom, ability to implement new and
innovative ways to inspire students and
extend their understanding of science/
maths, and demonstrated consistency of
best practice in science/maths education.
For more information on the Prize for Science/
Maths Teaching in Secondary Schools contact
the Faculty Office ([email protected]
or phone [03] 6226 2125). Entrants for the
2009 prize should lodge their entries
by November 2008.
2008 Prize
Number 14
August 2008
Winners! Gary Anderson (Hellyer College) with Penny Bester (St Brendan-Shaw College).
The time to celebrate science with your students
is here! National Science Week, Australia’s
annual, nationwide celebration of scientific
achievements and capabilities, is
in its 11th year and will run from
16 – 24 August.
Events and activities will be held
statewide in Tasmania to ensure that
all schools and all students have the
opportunity to be involved.
“National Science Week is a fantastic
opportunity to showcase science
and the people behind it,” said State
Coordinator Jeannie-Marie LeRoi. “This year
we have an exciting range of events happening
around Tasmania, including public talks, open days,
expos, exhibitions, workshops, science films and school
programs – something to interest everyone!”
Here’s a sample of 2008 National Science Week Activities @ UTAS
• Young Tassie Scientists
• A Taste of Agricultural Science
• The Great Big Science Gig
• Simon Pampena, The Angry Mathematician
• UTAS Science Fair
• Tasmanian Science Talent Search
Technology Challenge
• Hands-on, Minds-on Engineering Activities
• Uni Info Days
• Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries
Institute Open Days
• Grote Reber Museum Maths and Physics
To find out what’s happening in your area,
visit the National Science Week website at
Students Explore New Heights
at the National Youth Science Forum
Discovering more about forest life 50
time UTAS had been involved, and for
metres above the ground was just one of
several of the interstate students it was
the activities at the inaugural National
their first time to Tasmania.
Youth Science Forum seminar at UTAS.
With the two-day program focusing
Thirty Year 12 high-achievers from Victoria
on UTAS theme areas, in particular
and around Tasmania travelled to Hobart
Marine and Antarctic Science and
to explore course and career options
Environment, students took part in
in the sciences. The National Youth
on-campus activities, as well as visiting
Science Forum is held in Canberra
CSIRO Marine Research Laboratories,
each year during the summer holidays
the Australian Antarctic Division, the
for outstanding Year 12 students who
Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries
are interested in a career in science
Institute, the Warra Long Term Ecological
and engineering and who are planning
Research Site and the Tahune Airwalk.
tertiary study. Throughout the year,
It was a great opportunity to showcase
special seminars are held in conjunction
the outstanding environment that
with several Australian universities to
UTAS offers!
allow students to experience different
NYSF delegates from across Australia check
out the view from the Tahune Airwalk.
course opportunities. This was the first
Staff Profile – Dr Prue Loney
The Faculty of Science, Engineering & Technology now has a Student
do volunteer science teaching for a month at a school located at the
Adviser, Dr Prue Loney, who is available to assist first-year
gateway to the Okavango Delta in Botswana.”
science students with any issues that may affect their studies
at UTAS. Many students struggle with a number of issues while
studying such as financial problems, academic issues, cultural
issues, future career confusion, personal issues or course relatedissues. Prue is able to give individual assistance to students to
identify where they need to go to get help on these issues, link the
student with the appropriate service, and follow up with the student
to see how they are going.
Prue is well placed to help students within the Faculty, having
Another strong interest of Prue’s is science education and
engaging young students in science. Prue is currently working on her
National Science Week Grant, A Taste of Agricultural Science,
which aims to engage Year 11 & 12 Tasmanian students and the public
in the science behind agriculture. This event will showcase the work
of agricultural scientists through the use of hands-on activities and
tastings of local produce. The event will run at UTAS from 21-22
August and on the Uni Info Day on 24 August. For more information
contact Prue on (03) 6226 2412 or [email protected]
formed excellent links with the staff at UTAS through being a
science graduate herself. Prue completed a Bachelor of Science
at UTAS and continued on to do a PhD on herbivores (possums and
pademelons) through the Schools of Plant Science and Zoology.
Prue’s research in this area provided her with the opportunity to do
some volunteer research on a much bigger and aggressive herbivore,
the black rhinoceros in Africa. “My research experience at UTAS,
as well as the contacts that I had made, allowed me to explore
this exciting opportunity. Since the first visit, Africa has become a
passion of mine and I’m returning in September for the fourth time to
Above: Prue in the Masai Mara, Kenya, with the Maasai people. Note the
difference is spelling: the place has only one ‘a’ and the people have two ‘aa’s!
Top: Prue had to get her hands dirty while investigating the diet of
black rhino in Namibia.
Turning Home(lessness)
into a Castle
The School of Architecture & Design has unveiled a housing
complete the first two prototype phases of The Castle. C1 established
prototype for homeless young people. Looking somewhat like a
the project brief and the spatial and structural parameters. C2 is the
cross between a caravan and park cabin, The Castle is capable of
first habitable prototype, designed and constructed on a trailer base by
being deployed from a ‘housing bank’ into domestic backyards or
a team of students and staff in a 15-day summer school.
driveways, helping to alleviate family stress – a major cause of youth
homelessness. Other deployment potentials have been identified, such
as disaster-related emergency housing or as a ‘starter dwelling’.
The Castle is a fully operational, 9 m2 dwelling that optimises space
through the use of sleeping lofts, a fold-down deck, an outrigger
awning and a generous array of apertures. Features also include
“The Castle fills a niche in the housing market for a dwelling
solar panels to provide lights, gas hot water and cooktop, and a
that is mobile, autonomous, lean and capable of becoming a home,”
self-composting toilet.
said Mr Ian Clayton, one of the project organisers.
Your students can build their own Castle (or at least learn the tools of
In collaboration with Youth Futures (a local youth shelter) and
the trade) with a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the School
Studentworks (a ‘high-school alternative’ workshop), staff and students
of Architecture & Design. See page 5 for details. For more information
from the School of Architecture & Design have worked together to
visit the Castle Blogspot at
Students design and build
a model of The Castle.
The completed project.
The Castle interior features a
cooking space and sleeping loft.
Feature Degree:
Bachelor of Environmental Design
The Bachelor of Environmental Design (BEnvDes) is
a pre-professional three-year course taught by the School
of Architecture & Design the Inveresk campus in
Launceston. The course aims to produce graduates whose
creative abilities are developed to a level of competence
necessary to gain admission to the Bachelor of Environmental
Design with Honours, Master of Architecture, and
equivalent courses in the fields of architecture, town planning
and related design areas. Examples of other areas in which
students have continued their studies include: landscape
architecture, design education, building, environmental
studies, urban design and conservation.
Students commencing in 2009 will select one of the three
design specialisations within the BEnvDes: Architecture,
Interior Design or Furniture. All students will complete
studies in design, history and theory, communications,
building/manufacturing and environmental technologies, as
well as completing specialist units related to their chosen
specialisation. Each specialisation will have a strong focus on
environmentally sustainable design – a strength the School is
already well recognised for.
The new course will retain elective units, which are presently
taught in second and third year of the BEnvDes. Electives
include units within the School such as Learning-by-Making,
Building Simulation and Interior Architecture. The
Learning-by-Making program enables students to design and
construct full-scale building projects – check out some of the
funky designs at
learnMaking.html and ask your students how many of the
projects they recognise from around the State!
Students can also apply to do electives outside the School.
To gain entry into the BEnvDes
students need to meet the
University’s general admission
requirements. Applicants are
encouraged to have a broad
academic background and
a demonstrated interest in,
commitment to and aptitude
for design.
Above: BEnvDes students at work in one of four design studios at
the Inveresk campus.
Insert: School of Architecture & Design students helped to design
and construct this Burnie bus stop.
Science Camp
Some of the North-West Coast’s most innovative agricultural
industries were ‘put under the microscope’ in May as part of the
annual Grade 10 Agricultural Science Camp run by the
School of Agricultural Science.
About 25 science students selected from Devonport,
Burnie, Ulverstone, Penguin, Latrobe, Yolla, Rosebery and
King Island high schools discovered first-hand how science
plays a vital role in such activities as world-class tomato
production and potato research.
“The aim of the camp is to give students a broad range
of experiences in the science of agricultural industries,
and at the same time relate this back to their school science
experiences,” School of Agricultural Science education officer Paul
O’Halloran said.
Along with visiting local industries, students participated in various hands-on
laboratory activities, learnt about current agricultural research and met with
industry professionals.
At the camp students discovered how science plays a role in the ‘real world’ and the
many career opportunities available in agricultural science.
“I now know that science can get me a long way,” quipped one happy camper!
For more information contact Paul O’Halloran at the School of Agricultural Science
on 0409 336 721.
Agricultural Science Camp students visited the Brandsema glasshouses at
Turners Beach. The company grows hydroponic tomatoes from seed, for sale in
Tasmania and on the mainland.
For more information about articles
in this edition, or to make your own
comments and suggestions, please
Faculty of Science,
Engineering & Technology
University of Tasmania
Private Bag 50
Hobart TAS 7001
Telephone: (03) 6226 2125
Email: [email protected]
We must not forget that when radium
was discovered no one knew that it
would prove useful in hospitals.
The work was one of pure science.
And this is proof that scientific work
must not be considered from the
point of view of the direct usefulness
of it. It must be done for itself,
for the beauty of science.
Marie Curie, Nobel Laureate, 1867 – 1934