Award for high school science education resources

19 May 2008

Kaye Placing knows what science teachers want. Having originally been a high school science teacher, Kaye now works at the University of Sydney in UniServe Science, providing online, print and workshop resources for science teachers. Her work over the past ten years has won her a Distinguished Service Award from the Science Teachers Association of NSW, presented at their annual conference in December 2007.

Kaye Placing
Kaye Placing

Helping science teachers provide their students with effective, interesting and syllabus specific resources is central to Kaye's work.

"Integrating computer technology in the science classroom is a particular focus for me - there are so many tools that teachers can make use of to help them demonstrate and illustrate scientific concepts to their students," said Kaye. "We're really lucky in this era of computers to have such wonderful opportunities to make science exciting in the classroom."

The Science Teachers Association of NSW award recognises Kaye's contribution to science education and her work for the association. For years, Kaye looked after the association's website and desktop publishing of the association's Science Education News and Science Matters publications, as well as being a regular contributor to 'Ideas for the classroom' in Science Education News. She is also a regular presenter of teacher workshops at the annual Science Teachers Association of NSW conferences, providing hands on opportunities for teachers to try out activities that they can bring back to the science classroom.

"In response to the new Stage 6 (HSC) science syllabuses introduced in 2000, the Science Teachers Association of NSW organised discipline meetings for the pooling and exchange of resources," said Kaye. "UniServe Science was involved in all of these collaborative groups developing resources to assist teachers with the new syllabuses. These were really important resources at a crucial time when there were no other resources for science teachers on the new system."

UniServe Science has a broader role, providing resources and support for science educators at the tertiary and secondary level, as well as specifically for the Faculties of Science at the University of Sydney.

"The high school science resources available on the UniServe Science website have evolved from our interaction with science teachers and our involvement with the Science Teachers Association of NSW," said Kaye. "We aim to address teachers' needs and fill the gaps where resources are needed."

Her experience as a high school science teacher and a stint as the education officer for the now closed Geological and Mining Museum, as well as her tertiary science teaching experience, hold Kaye in good stead to provide excellent resources to support science teaching in the classroom.

Check out the UniServe Science education resources.

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