Science education will be a contributing factor to our society’s prosperity in the future (Tytler, 2007). According to Masters (2009), for more than a decade, students’ interested in taking science courses have gradually declined. This scholarship was designed to help lift the image and interest of science through prospective teachers enrolled in a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast and practicing teachers on the Sunshine Coast who have been mentors to these students. Outstanding and highly recommended students and teachers applied and were interviewed. A student and two teachers were selected to attend Space Camp to be immersed in Space science for two weeks. Their first week consisted of learning and training. Their second week consisted of teaching and observing. The trio were able to practice the science concepts and reinforce their learning. The cycle of preconceptions and misconceptions can be broken through effective instruction and learning (Alt, 1994; Dickerson, 2003; Ben-zvi-Assaraf and Orion, 2005). As an outcome, we expect to increase knowledge, teaching strategies and confidence to teach the space and earth sciences. Learning is a personal process (Rennie & Johnston, 2004) and learning is contextualised, particularly through motivation, expectations, prior knowledge and experience (Falk & Dierking, 2000). The first scholarship recipients have returned to share their stories, their successes and the influences this experience is having on their teaching. They will identify collaborative plans with peers and Education Queensland schools across the region.
2011 Learning & Teaching Week: The Learning Journey, Sunshine Coast, Australia 19-23 September 2011