Education and Arts

MyScience, promoting science learning through participation

Dr Anne Forbes is the driving force behind the successful MyScience school initiative. Introduced in 2006 MyScience is an award-winning program that engages people with science knowledge from outside the school to support the teaching of science in primary schools. The program aims to stimulate interest and enhance capacities of primary school science teachers and their students in conducting authentic scientific investigations. Primary students are mentored to conduct their own curiosity-driven investigations.

Dr Forbes co-developed the educational model underpinning MyScience with Gerry McCloughan from the NSW Department of Education and Communities to fulfil a goal of improving primary school science education and encourage students to take an interest in science and technology.

There has been strong interest in the MyScience model from the educational sectors and local school communities. Primary schools in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria have taken up the program and are enjoying the benefits. Follow the links below to read about the experience from a mentor's and a schools' perspective.

Recently Dr Forbes completed a PhD, which involved researching participants' views of their involvement in MyScience. She identified key factors for the development of successful communities of practice, where learning occurs through participation. Research findings also identified numerous benefits to participants, primary teachers, primary students and mentors.

Her findings have since been published in the journal Research in Science Education entitled: "Because we weren't actually teaching them, we thought they weren't learning: Primary teacher perspectives from the MyScience initiative", and "Knowing and learning about science in primary school communities of science practice: The views of participating scientists in the MyScience initiative" and you can access them here.  

If you are interested in finding out more about MyScience and how it is improving learning in science across the full educational continuum (primary-secondary-tertiary) for both students and teachers then contact Dr Forbes directly by email anne.forbes@acu.edu.au. The MyScience website also www.myscience.com.au contains additional information and resources.