Taking place from 17-18 June at Macquarie University, the event includes a lineup of inspirational keynote speakers, immersive workshops and networking opportunities set to elevate teaching strategies and equip teachers with hands-on toolkits to implement in classrooms and labs.

With a raft of syllabus changes taking place in the near future, as well as changing digital technologies, advances in science, and evolving workforce, the conference is designed to support teachers to navigate the new syllabus environment while engaging students in science-focused activities that reflect the real world and curriculum.

With the theme of ‘Hands-On Science’, the conference includes a dedicated primary school stream and four specially designed streams: Hands-On pracs, 7-10 syllabus, early-stage teachers, experienced teachers.

The two-day conference equates to seven hours of NESA-accredited professional development, while the one-day primary teachers stream equates to 3.5 hours of NESA-accredited professional development.

From CSIRO inquiry learning and genetic technologies to designing lesson plans and exploring invertebrates, it’s a unique opportunity to connect with fellow science educators and enhance teaching skills via hands-on, informative workshops.

The event will feature a tour of Macquarie University’s Medicinal Plant and Bush Tucker Garden where medicines will be extracted from native plants and tested for their antioxidant properties. This workshop will provide the foundation and classroom resources for lessons suitable for K-12.

Registrations close soon on June 3, 2024, teachers can register on the STANSW website and read the full program here.

Keynote Speakers

Professor Lucy Marshall - Executive Dean, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University

Discover, Create, Innovate: Teaching hands-on science: Lucy is a water resources engineer, with expertise in hydrologic modeling, environmental model optimization, and quantification of uncertainty in water resources analysis. She has a special interest in understanding how environmental observations can be used to quantify uncertainty in systems undergoing change. Her research has spanned the development of new models in the most heavily instrumented watershed in the United States to making flood predictions in ungauged catchments across Australia.

Professor Joanne Jamie - Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemist, School of Natural Sciences, Macquarie University

Indigenous-Academic Collaborations Enabling Impactful Learning and Teaching: Respectfully incorporating Indigenous knowledge and ways of learning into secondary and higher education studies, while challenging, can be incredibly rewarding and beneficial for all involved. As a natural product and medicinal chemist at Macquarie University, Joanne has collaborated with Aboriginal knowledge custodians for over 20 years, together they have increased recognition of the importance of Aboriginal knowledge through co-authored publications and public events. With Elders, she established the National Indigenous Science Education Program (NISEP), which uses Western and Indigenous science and technology to enhance educational outcomes for Indigenous youth.

Frank Milic - Teaching & Learning Coach, Sydney Catholic Schools

Overview of the NEW 7-10 Science Syllabus: Answering key questions teachers and middle leaders have regarding the planning and implementation of the new syllabus from 2026 onwards. Frank Milic has over 17 years' experience as a head Science teacher in secondary schools.

Workshop Spotlights

Hands-On Pracs Stream Workshops:

  • Increase engagement in STEM via Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives
  • Engaging and effective practicals to teach key physics concepts
  • Genetic Technologies for Stage 5 Depth Studies

New 7-10 Syllabus Workshops:

  • Energy in the new 7-10 Science Syllabus
  • Designing lesson plans for school-based citizen science
  • Doing data science with astronomy
  • Creating a module of work and new syllabus practicals in EES across Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science and Data Science

Early Career Workshops

  • Supporting early career science teachers
  • Backyard buddies - exploring invertebrates at Taronga Zoo and in your playground
  • Using CSIROs real-world science in inquiry learning to increase student engagement

Experienced Teacher Stream Workshops

  • Harnessing the power of the technology in the science classroom
  • Diversifying depth studies in your classroom using a game-based data collection approach
  • Practicals that promote thinking