aig_pagebanner02_students_2

Pioneering WA Geoscience teacher named Western Australia local hero

Perth geoscientist Suzy Urbaniak has been recognised as the Western Australia local hero in this year’s Australian of the Year awards Ms Urbaniak pioneered taking geoscience out of the classroom into a hands-on, in-the-field experience – particularly for remote area schools.

The ‘Local Hero’ award acknowledges extraordinary contributions made by Australians in their local community – with Ms Urbaniak currently making significant inroads into science education in WA’s Pilbara region.

Suzy Urbaniak, Western Australia Local Hero in this year’s Australian of the TYear Awards. Image by scienceinpublic.com.au

Ms Urbaniak previously received the 2016 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools for her work in establishing and fostering a teaching program known as the Centre of Resources Excellence (CoRE).

CoRE encourages students to be equipped with the right skills and knowledge to take on a variety of career pathways in science and engineering so that the classroom is treated more as a workplace where students can focus on evolving as young scientists.

The program has also had the additional benefit of further empowering science educators on outcomes that can be achieved by adopting a different approach to a fundamental and necessary skillset for future generations, industry and technologies which will be increasingly reliant on modern-era science breakthroughs and developments.

Ms Urbaniak said that CoRE is all about turning a classroom into a room full of young scientists, rather than students learning from textbooks.

“School and university textbooks teach theory but hands-on experience enables a student to get a real sense of inquiry, investigation and solution outcomes by better connecting the classroom environment directly with what is happening in the real world,” Ms Urbaniak said.

“Critically, the future Australian science and engineering workforce is sitting in our classrooms today.  

“CoRE is a philosophy, not just another STEM* program (* A term referring collectively to the teaching of the disciplines within its umbrella – science, technology, engineering and mathematics).  

“Education is not about passing tests – life is not an exam.

“The current education system is no longer working satisfactorily. There is an urgent need to change our education system because the future is already here. 

“At the end of the working life of the preschool class of 2020, these students will be seeing the beginning of the 22nd century. 

“But right now, industry, parents, students and teachers are demanding change.  

“0ur current 19th century model for education is not ready for that future as we have not yet prepared our educators, schools and communities to support these young people to thrive, not just survive that future.”

Ms Urbaniak said the CoRE learning philosophy mapped a practical pathway for real-world learning and practical solutions to this national challenge.

“Young people the world over are finding their voice, and are calling for our current teaching ranks to join them and be braver in navigating a rapidly changing world, rather than be paralysed by inaction,” she said.

“As educators, it is up to us to build future skills, attitudes and attributes in our students focused on practical real-world learning and to embrace creativity and challenges to fixed learning methodologies.”

The AGC’s Past-President, Dr Bill Shaw, said today Ms Urbaniak’s nomination had drawn attention to the need for those bedding down Australia’s future national education curricula to ensure the inclusion of good basic science in all future policy settings.

“Science and technology will empower societal growth in what will inevitably be an even more rapidly changing world in the future,” Dr Shaw said.

“Taking science learning into a more enriched, hands-on and self-responsible environment will attract more students to these exciting professions and help ensure Australia has the skillsets to play a major if not leading role in what will be increasingly seamless global industries, careers and professions.

The Australian Geoscience Council was amongst a number of prominent Australian scientists, learned and professional associations and institutes who congratulated Ms Urbaniak for her much deserved recognition through this latest award.

Ms Urbaniak is an AIG member and past chair of the Institute’s Western Australia branch.

Yarrabubba crater in WA outback world’s oldest recognised impact structure

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2020-01-22/wa-crater-yarrabubba-meteorite-impact-worlds-oldest/11881786?fbclid=IwAR0RqpqvZFb5cXfMQc3fN0Prp2Iqo2Bk4F5GscQhGgBJ_RuR0CsYbONXJPk

Around 2 billion years ago when Earth was covered in ice, a meteorite slammed into what is now outback Western Australia.

The impact left a 70-kilometre-wide scar on the land known as Yarrabubba impact crater.

“The age we’ve got for the Yarrabubba impact structure makes it the oldest impact structure on the planet,” said Chris Kirkland, a geologist at Curtin University. Read more

AIG News 138 is available now!


Now all AIG Members and Non Members can enjoy our FREE AIG Newsletter in digital format, including all previous editions. Please click here to see our archive of AIG News.

The latest edition of AIG News, the Australian Institute of Geoscientists member newsletter is now available in full colour and digital format and best of all FREE for all readers!


NEW! View the latest AIG News in NEW Flipbook view!

Or download the PDF below:
PDF For web: AIG News 138: Download as Single Pages PDF
PDF For web: AIG News 138: Download as Double Page Spread PDF
PDF For print: AIG News 138: Download as Single Pages PDF
PDF For print: AIG News 138: Download as Double Page Spread PDF


Inside this latest issue…

From Your President; Institute News; Snippets; SA, TAS, NSW Branch News; Membership Updates; Education News; Student Report: The Ninetyeast Ridge volcanic hotspot track: ages, origin and geodynamic implications; Using Implicit Modelling to Assess Geological Uncertainty; AEGC 2019; Machine Learning; VIC Conference 2019; AIG Journal: MAPCIS; Vic Family Day; AIG at GESSSQ 2019; Lithium Pegmatites: Drip Tectonics, Sanukitoids and the History Of Granite; Mining Geology 2019; Tips & Tricks for Geologists; Exploration Radio; Headphones on: learning about geology and mining through a podcast; Gradual improvement in geoscientist employment during Q3, 2019; Core Skills 2019: Brisbane Exploration Data Centre; Ok Tedi Bulletin; Geological adventures around South America; Are we getting enough ‘T’ into our geoscientists?; Part 2: What the Industry Wants – Results from the 2018 AIG National Graduate Group Geoscience Survey; Advances In Exploration Geochemistry Seminar; Events Calendar; AIG Council & AIG News and more…


AIG News is optimised to be read with Adobe Reader. Versions are available for printing (with Adobe Reader version 4.1.3 or later) or either reading on-line or downloading for reading off-line with your laptop or tablet (with Adobe Reader version 6.1.5 or later). Both versions have been tested and are compatible with Apple Preview and iBooks for Mac and iPad users.

If you experience any difficulty accessing and reading AIG News using the Adobe Reader versions listed here technical support is available.

We hope that you enjoy the latest AIG News and welcome your feedback.