Science Talent Search

SCIENCE TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION OF VICTORIA SCIENCE TALENT SEARCH: THE SKEPTICS ARE INVOLVED!

The STAV annually invites all Victorian school children to participate in the Science Talent Search. Students may enter in a variety of categories over six age groups from Junior Primary to Senior Secondary.

The philosophy behind STS is to encourage all participants, and to reward large numbers of the more deserving entries with modest bursaries, rather than adopt a “winner take all” stance.

For 2003, the fifty-second STS, the theme was “Freshwater“. This year the theme is “Out of This World

Because of the nature of the STS bursary system, about sixty children benefited from Skeptics’ support in 2003, with amounts ranging from $25 to $50.

Vic Skeptics’ Christopher Short (himself a former STS bursary winner) and Ken Greatorex attended the STS awards in 2003 and were fortunate enough to meet and interview some of “our” students. We were surprised to discover that Australian Skeptics Inc was their third major sponsor for 2003 in money terms, behind only the State Government and Latrobe University. This commitment is on-going, and has increased for 2004.

https://i2.wp.com/members.optusnet.com.au/~kengreatorex/mypic26.jpg Devrim Van Dijk, Balwyn High School ; Junior; “Managing Water on Mars“; Creative Essay ( with Christopher Short, Ken Greatorex of Vic Skeptics.)

https://i1.wp.com/members.optusnet.com.au/~kengreatorex/mypic27.jpg Stuart Gay, McKinnon Secondary College; Junior; “Action of Soaps and Detergents” Wall Chart

https://i2.wp.com/members.optusnet.com.au/~kengreatorex/mypic28.jpg Eleanor Coleman and Amy-Rose Fraser , Strathcona GGS; Primary; “Ponds Alive” Game.

https://i2.wp.com/members.optusnet.com.au/~kengreatorex/mypic29.jpg Sarah Douglas, Mt Waverly Secondary College; Intermediate; Games; “Compoundability Game

We’d like to thank STAV for staging the event and allowing us to participate; the Skeptics Foundation for appreciating the value of STS to Science education and the fostering of original and critical thought in Victorian children; and the kids who got involved.

NOTE: Vic Skeptics and Education

Vic Skeptics have undertaken a number of initiatives in recent years which could be described as “overtly Educational“, including The Great Australian Science Show, Science teachers’ conferences, attempting (with limited success) to maintain a Teacher Resource web page, the Science Talent Search and advertising in Science teacher’s publications. Several of our members have spoken to and conducted activities with school groups, and one of our guest Public Speakers last year addressed Science Education in Victoria. We distribute work sheets on Skeptical issues with mail-outs of Science Teachers’ Association periodicals, and run stalls at Teachers’ conferences. We demonstrated the Bed of Nails at a Psychology Teachers’ Conferences early in 2004 at STAV’s request.

Ken Greatorex

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