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Exploring Habitable Worlds – Online STEM Workshop

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Praxical Workshops give you the opportunity to learn science by doing science. Register here for our Exploring Habitable Worlds workshop.

About this Event

Praxical is a new learning initiative to create online workshops where everyone can actively engage in the scientific process.

For National Science Week this year Praxical is collaborating with the Australian Centre for Astrobiology. Together we are creating a 1 hour fully online, self-led workshop about the search for life on other planets. During the workshop you will get the opportunity to engage in the scientific data and skills used by astrobiologists and astronomers to search for life in the universe.

In this workshop, you’ll learn what scientists tools scientists use when looking for alien worlds and use a NASA JPL planet simulator to explore how planet and star characteristics affect the planetary conditions needed for life. You will also explore planets that break these rules, and how scientists search for “life as we don't know it”.

During National Science Week, we will be organising a “Zoom a Scientist” seminar, where your students can ask questions directly to the scientists behind the research!

Participants will use Project-Based Learning (PBL) to experience first-hand the rigour of the scientific process, analysing their own data and creating their own scientific conclusions by engaging in the scientific method. These PBL workshops create meaningful and authentic learning opportunities with high challenge and high support.

This workshop is suitable for audiences in Year 9 or 10, or for anyone who has left school and is interested in re-engaging in science. If you are an individual interested in doing this workshop, click here. If you are a teacher or student, stay on this page.

The workshops will be launched on the 15th of August, and will be accessible indefinitely, so you can come back and use it for years to come. The workshop will run for approximately 1 hour (details below).

Interested in another workshop?

Check out our workshops on Monitoring Air Pollution, where you will interpret 22 years of data to determine the effects of air pollution, or Conserving Endangered Species, where you an online mapping tool to learn how ecologists pick which bushland to protect.

Teachers

The workshops are separated into modules, with the whole workshop being able to be completed in approximately one sitting, or it can be broken up and done over a longer timeframe.

This praxical workshop will provide a unique learning experience for your students. In particular:

  • Praxical workshops are syllabus-directed, taking the NSW syllabus and the Australian curriculum into consideration (see next page for the key learning outcomes for each workshop).
  • The workshops are compartmentalised into four stand-alone modules, with each module building on previous skills and content. Modules can be set as independent learning tasks or explored in a class setting, allowing you to manage student learning and deliver content and activities on a flexible timetable.
  • The workshops are designed to gradually release responsibility from the teacher to the student as the modules progress by inviting students to explore increasingly advanced content application while facilitating the development of critical thinking skills.
  • Praxical workshops provide clear, scaffolded instructions, allowing students to engage in as much assistance as they personally require. Ranging from simple objectives (for independent learners) to step-by-step guides and how-to videos, these workshops are differentiated for every learner.
  • The workshops also include interviews with the scientists behind the data, allowing students to experience a relatable, diverse range of scientists, and learn about the path that led the scientists to a career in research.

If you have any questions about this workshop or how it could be best implemented in your classroom, please contact l.steller@unsw.edu.au.

This initiative is supported by Inspiring Australia as part of National Science Week

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