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Improvements to Oz-e-science – Chemistry Years 4, 5, 6

Good to Great Schools Australia’s Term 2 Oz-e-science release is all about Chemistry. GGSA has just released Version 2 of Year 4, 5 and 6 Chemistry with exciting new updates. Teachers delivering the program will be able to see how their feedback has led to improvements. Please keep the feedback coming.

GGSA has developed an online Lesson Feedback Survey for teachers to provide feedback at the end of each lesson, which is automatically submitted to GGSA. Other forms of feedback collection include dedicated feedback notes pages after each lesson in the Teaching Guides, face-to-face meetings with teachers, as well as Term Surveys for each teacher to complete at the end of each term. GGSA reviews all curriculum materials each year and considers all feedback collected from that year.

Due to teacher feedback, the lessons are now more concise, there are more examples that clearly reflect the rule of each lesson, the format follows on from the Biology lessons, and they have an updated ‘You Do’ section. The Chemistry unit includes Progress Tests every second lesson.

Year 4 will be exploring the tiniest parts of our universe – atoms – as well as exploring elements and doing an experiment on how one particular element can help keep teeth healthy and strong.

Year 5 will be exploring solids, liquids and gases and how the molecules behave! This unit includes an experiment where students will grow their own crystals.

Year 6 will be learning about the Periodic Table of Elements and how materials can change physically and chemically. Students will conduct a scientific experiment on rusting.

Element Club

Chemistry now includes Element Club.

Element Club is a multi-year-level, collaborative group project focused on a chemical element – a hero element – found in the school’s local community or region and used in a local industry such as mining, agriculture, telecommunications or pharmaceuticals. The hero element could be carbon in coalmining areas, silicone in areas with abundant solar power, or gold in goldmining areas – the possibilities are endless!

The goal of Element Club is for students to hold an end-of-term exposition where they present all they have learned about the hero element and its importance through physical displays and presentations.

Students work in groups, each contributing to different parts of the exposition, exploring the hero element through scientific, discovery, historical and economic lenses. Students can interview family or community members involved in the industry, or who have stories from the past about the hero element and its historical and economic role in the community or region. Students undertake desktop research and bring to bear what they have learned in the science program. A local expert is sought who can bring in their experience and expertise and help convene the Club and provide guidance and expertise on the hero element.

Participation will lead to more engaged students and parents, as Element Club projects are authentic and locally relevant. Students will get first-hand experience in conducting research and in science communication, both of which are highly valuable Science Inquiry skills. Element Club also encourages connections with local industries, which may in turn lead to later job opportunities.

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