ASC-WA goes wild at Perth Zoo

Wayne Walters, Perth Zoo’s Acting Education Manager, organised an action-packed program for the ASCers, with attendees taking part in the same education and communication activities used with school, community and corporate groups.

Upon arriving, Wayne and Education Officer Claire Gaskin guided ASC members through an African Painted Dog scenario, in which two teams were required to navigate their way across a grid whilst avoiding some of the dangers the dogs face in real life.

This first activity was an engaging introduction to communication and education at Perth Zoo, in which a range of tools and approaches are used to encourage visitors to connect with animal ‘ambassadors’.

From a science communication perspective, Perth Zoo not only works to raise awareness of issues such as conservation and sustainability, but also encourages visitors to change their own daily behaviour to address these issues. Often these actions are simple, but can conflict with existing attitudes. To illustrate these concepts in action, Wayne
explained one of the Zoo’s current campaigns – encouraging people to choose recycled toilet paper.

The group was then immersed in a selection of the Education Team’s ‘educational experiences’, which are designed to allow hands-on experiences around the Zoo’s own programs and operations. For example, one group of ASCers was put to work solving the problem of finding enough termites to feed the Zoo’s numbats.

It was an entertaining and engaging showcase of the many educational programs offered at the Zoo. However, the final part of the visit was the most special, in which Wayne led the party through the Zoo’s African Safari section after dark.

Many of the animals viewed were particularly active and ASCers were fortunate enough to witness the Southern White Rhinoceroses from less than a metre away, and to hear the lions ‘singing’.

ASC-WA must thank WA Secretary, Miriam Sullivan for organising the visit and Claire Gaskin from Perth Zoo for assisting with the educational activities. A special thanks to Wayne Walters for organising an excellent program and sharing Perth Zoo’s approach to communication and education.

Sarah Lau
ASC National Secretary

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WA seminar: UWA Science Communication Seminar 23 October 2009

This week we have two students, Sunita Pradhan and Andrew Mills, who will be presenting a summary based on a detailed literature reviews completed for the unit COMM7402 Specialist Research Topics.

Sunita has been teaching high school science and maths for about 5 years, before coming to Perth to do a Masters of Science Communication and Education.  Her talk is entitled: ‘The Role of Excursion in School Science’.

Sunita will be talking about what formal and informal learning is and how  informal learning from excursions help students in learning science.  She has looked at how the excursion helps in the progress in students’ learning,
attitudes towards science learning and social outcomes, and the teacher’s role in facilitating learning outside the school and what are the constraints faced while implementing this.

Andrew Mills will be taking a detailed look at the communication between GPs and Alternative Medicine Specialists. Specifically the values and attitudes of GPs (General Practitioners), Complementary Medicine Therapists and
patients and the impacts of acceptance of complementary and alternative  medicine.

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THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

WHO: COMM7402 Literature Review Students: Sunita Pradhan and Andrew Mills

WHEN: Friday October 23, 2009 at 4pm

WHERE: The University of Western Australia, Crawley campus Centre for Learning Technology; Ground floor Physics building, near Fairway entrance #1. Enter via ramp between Physics and Geology, go down stairs to basement.

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COMING UP

The schedule of upcoming seminars and events can also be found on the UWA Science Communication blog: http://uwasciencecomm.blogspot.com

(Please note that some events later in the semester are still tentative but will be finalised closer to the event date)

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Stephanie Watts
On behalf of the Science Communication Seminar Coordinators
Email: uwasciencecomm [at] gmail.com
http://uwasciencecomm.blogspot.com

Science communication qualifications at UWA

The University of Western Australia UWA has been offering science communication qualifications since 2002.

Courses cover a broad range of topics including writing, presenting, performing, media, creating displays, consulting and practical work experience.

Campus: Perth

Offerings: Undergraduate and Postgraduate

Most courses can be undertaken in a flexible part time format to fit around work or other commitments. Students may enrol in the following programs:

Undergraduate Bachelor of Science (with a major in Science Communication)

Bachelor of Science Honours Degree Bachelor of Science (Science Communication)

Postgraduate Graduate Certificate in Science Communication

Graduate Diploma in Science Communication

Master of Science Communication and Education (Graduates are qualified to teach science in high school or work in any science-related organisation that has an education mandate. People who have completed a Graduate Diploma of Education or equivalent can apply for up to one year of credit towards this degree.)

Master of Science Communication (by research and coursework)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

For more information: http://www.science.uwa.edu.au/science_communication

Contact: Associate Professor Nancy Longnecker, Program Coordinator | nancy.longnecker [at] uwa.edu.au | +61 8 6488 3926