Division of Natural Sciences

Title of application Project leader/contact
Support for Teachers from Rural and Low Socioeconomic High Schools to Attend the Science Teachers Workshop 2012 Lucy Buxton - synopsis (PDF)
Ecological Research for Primary Students in Nature’s Classroom: Bringing the University to the Community Dieter Hochuli
Kickstart on the Road Tom Gordon
Assessment of Student Needs in a Large First Year Cohort: Towards a More Inclusive Curriculum in Psychology Marianna Szabo - synopsis (PDF)
Widening Participation in the Faculty of Veterinary Science Melanie Collier - synopsis (PDF)
Informing Curriculum Development to Support Widening Participation in the Faculty of Veterinary Science Corinna Klupiec
Targeted Extension to Understand and Develop Aspirations for Tertiary Education in Natural Resource Management among Students from Rural and Regional Areas Stephen Cattle
Widening Student Participation in Human Cellular Physiology Stuart Fraser
Student Diversity: What do we know about our students and how does it affect our teaching? Meloni Muir

Assessment of student needs in a large first year Psychology cohort

Caleb Owens and Marianna Szabo
Collect detailed data from first year psychology students on student diversity, intentions, needs, expectations, academic skills, readiness, course contents, and challenges. The feedback will be used in semester 2 to inform changes to be curriculum and resources.

Ecological research for primary students in nature’s classroom: Bringing the University to the community

Associate Professor Dieter Hochuli
This project endeavours to bring the university to the community through an innovative program of environmental education linking university research and teaching to the K-6 primary curriculum. Developing materials permitting children to undertake research assessing biodiversity in their local environments, the work generates valuable data on ecological integrity for local bushland.

Informing curriculum development to support widening participation in the Faculty of Veterinary Science

Dr Corinna Klupiec
This project examines the influence of students’ educational and socio-demographic backgrounds on their experience of learning in the undergraduate degrees offered by the Faculty of Veterinary Science. Data will be collected via quantitative surveys and interviews.

Kickstart on the Road

Tom Gordon
The School of Physics Kickstart outreach program is a very successful set of workshops for NSW HSC students, delivered at the university by physics undergraduate, honours and PhD students, and postdoctoral researchers. Kickstart on the Road will involve three 2-3 day workshops in the regional NSW centres of Armidale, Dubbo and Wagga Wagga.

Support for teachers from rural and low socioeconomic high schools to attend the Science Teachers’ Workshop 2012

Lucy Buxton
The Science Teachers’ Workshop is a series of professional development courses designed to assist teachers in specific aspects of HSC syllabus, offer opportunities to hear about latest research related to the syllabus, and a chance for teachers to get hands-on experience with tools and techniques not necessarily available in their schools. This project provides financial support for up to 10 teachers from rural or low socioeconomic status schools to attend the Science Teachers’ workshop in 2012.

Targeted extension to understand and develop aspirations for tertiary education in natural resource management among students from rural and regional areas

Dr Andrew Merchant
A systematic program designed to increase low socioeconomic, rural and regional students’ aspirations and participation in tertiary education. Academic staff will be encouraged to ‘adopt a school’ and, together with student ambassadors, make at least two visits to the school to carry out extension activities. At the end of the year-long project, students from the adopted schools will be invited to the USyd campus for a one-day familiarisation program.

Widening participation in the Faculty of Veterinary Science

Dr Melanie Collier
The Faculty of Veterinary Science seeks to engage in-person and through Connected Classroom technology with the school communities from the Camden (Macarthur) area, low SES schools and schools from rural areas to increase study in HSC science subjects and to prepare students for participation in higher education in the science area.

Widening Student Participation in Human Cellular Physiology

Dr Stuart Fraser
Renewal of the curricula in two units of study through 100% student inclusion in assessment design and implementation. Inclusion will be achieved by: real-time student-lecturer feedback using an audience response system; student-driven assessment and peer-assessment.

Student Diversity: What do we know about our students and how does it affect our teaching?

Meloni Muir
The project will investigate staff knowledge of their students' diversity and how that information impacts on their teaching practices. A new online scale to measure university-wide academic staff awareness of student diversity will be developed. Business and Science staff will receive summaries of student diversity data extracted from FlexSYS at the beginning of each semester. At the end of each semester, staff will be asked to complete an online questionnaire to assess if, and how they used this information in their teaching and curriculum design.