Professional learning

In addition to student workshops, we run a variety of workshops, and provide resources for teachers and professionals based on their area of interest. Our professional learning sessions include:

  • practical workshops
  • keynote speakers
  • opportunities for interaction with scientists and researchers

Presenters address current educational and industry context, new initiatives, and global trends. Increase your knowledge and help your students grow by attending one of our professional learning programs.

Download our Professional Learning Programs 2020 summary flyer [PDF 0.1MB]

Make a booking

Cellular life for non-biologists

Dates and locations: Melbourne -  12 June 2020

Duration: Full-day (9:00 am - 3:30 pm)

Cost: $250 (GST inclusive)

2020 Biology Professional Learning Program flyer [PDF 0.2MB]

Cells are common in the science curriculum, fundamental to biological science and essential to our understanding of life; and microscopes give us a window into this wondrous tiny world.

Students come to the study of cells with wide-eyed enthusiasm, only to experience technical difficulties with the microscope and frustration trying to make sense of the bland, inanimate images they encounter, if indeed they see anything at all.

Even teachers trained in biology can struggle to successfully engage students in the topic. The task can be that much harder for the non-biologist.

This workshop is designed for teachers with limited or no formal training in biology. Participants will explore the topic of cells from the basics through to the more complex elements of cell biology.

This full-day session for teachers will deliver activities such as getting the most out of microscopes; preparing slides; size matters; microscopy with unicellular and multicellular organisms; making the most of plant and animal sections and tissues; ideas for incorporating ICT in microscopy.

Engineering the future

Dates and locations: Melbourne

  • 3D printing: 24 July 2020
  • Arduino programming: 20 November 2020

Duration: Full-day (9:00 am - 3:30 pm)

Cost: $250 (GST inclusive)

2020 Engineering Professional Learning Program flyers - 3D printing [PDF 0.2MB] and Arduino programming [PDF 0.2MB]

Engineers are playing an increasingly important role as leaders of innovation and are often tasked with addressing major human, social and economic challenges occurring in our world.

Engineering is a commonly misunderstood profession, particularly by non-engineers. This can be partially attributed to the diverse range of fields, disciplines and industries where engineers work, but it also stems from a lack of visibility and acknowledgement of engineers’ contribution to socio-economic advancement.

Designed for high school teachers with limited or no formal training in engineering, this program will demystify what it means to be a professional engineer and provide the opportunity for teachers of future engineers to engage with industry professionals and academics to enhance the classroom experience.

Participants in this full-day, hands-on program will:

  • Gain a broad understanding of the engineering profession and where the industry is heading

3D printing

  • Obtain both theoretical and hands-on access to 3D printing technologies
  • Learn about 3D print part strength, finishing, joining and optimisation
  • Participate in a guided tour of La Trobe's rapid prototyping facilities, including carbon fibre and SLA printers, laser and waterjet cutting and milling

Arduino programming

  • Receive an introduction to the Arduino programming environment, focusing on the construction and programming of a wearable device
  • Obtain information on software design, technical skills in a laboratory, and fundamental skills in electronics
  • Learn to optimise engineering equipment for use in the classroom

Statistics for non-statisticians

Dates and locations:

  • Melbourne - 20 and 27 February 2020 (program split into two days)
  • Bendigo - 12 and 19 March 2020 (program split into two days)

Duration: Late-afternoon (each day)

Cost: $250 (GST inclusive)

2020 Maths Professional Learning Program flyers:

In the current digital era of science and technology, many decisions are influenced by data and evidence. In spite of this, the statistical literacy of students is often inadequate to allow them to live and operate as educated critical thinkers.

Statistics is as much about conceptual understanding as it is about application. Helping students make sense of statistics, and overcoming their fear of the subject is a great challenge for many mathematics teachers.

This workshop is designed for teachers with limited or no formal training in statistics/data analysis, with a focus on science teachers. It aims to make statistics simple, enjoyable and accessible to students at all levels. The program explores the use of Excel to teach statistics and data analysis in science classes, with particular relevance for VCE Science posters.

This full-day session for non-statistician mathematics teachers will deliver:

  • Easy to understand sessions on: data characteristics; describing and representing data; sampling distributions; hypothesis testing; comparison of means; correlation; predictions, outliers and more
  • Hands-on activities on data analysis using Microsoft Excel
  • Application of statistics in various fields, such as psychology, medicine, biology, and education

Concepts in electricity for non-physicists

Dates and locations: Melbourne - 11 September 2020

Duration: Full-day (9:00 am - 3:30 pm)

Cost: $250 (GST inclusive)

2020 Physics Professional Learning Program flyer [PDF 0.3MB]

Many teachers of science, especially those without a physics background and those teaching outside their primary discipline, feel uncomfortable about teaching topics associated with electricity. Yet electricity is central to modern life and many twenty-first century careers. A solid understanding of basic electricity concepts is fundamental to being a fully scientifically literate citizen.

This predominantly hands-on workshop will deal with electricity and magnetism concepts found throughout the Victorian Curriculum, including those relating to energy changes in electrical systems.

Beginning with the basic theory of charge and electric force, participants will be guided through a series of laboratory activities on current and electricity; including DC circuits and electric sensors, AC and household wiring, and battery technology.

Participants will not only investigate electricity by means of activities they can use in their own classrooms, but also explore curriculum and pedagogical approaches to optimise student learning.

This full-day session for teachers will deliver:

  • Activities relating to static electricity, electric circuits (DC) including electric force, potential energy; batteries and power supplies, current, voltage and resistance in series and parallel circuits; electric sensors; electric current (AC) and household wiring
  • The opportunity to see La Trobe’s astronomy dome; atomic force microscopy (AFM) lab; data visualisation lab, and Far Labs - a virtual laboratory network
  • Hear short talks from scientists to gain insight into current research

Neuroanatomy for VCE Psychology teachers

Dates and locations: Melbourne - 13 November 2020

Duration: Full-day (9:00 am - 4:30 pm)

Cost: $250 (GST inclusive)

2020 Psychology Professional Learning Program flyer [PDF 0.2MB]

The VCE Psychology curriculum relies on a working knowledge of brain structure, function and anatomy; however this can often be the most challenging and complex topic to teach. Even for experienced teachers, the language of neuroscience can be intimidating!

This hands-on professional learning workshop is designed for psychology teachers, as well as school laboratory technicians, to help unravel the secrets of the brain. Participants will explore the history of the brain and will be guided through a brain dissection to examine the anatomy of the mammalian brain.

This full-day session of lectures and workshops explores the basic structure and function of the central nervous system, focusing on VCE Area of Study 1: How does the brain function?

Highlights of the day include:

  • A lecture on the history of the brain: from the brain versus heart debate to current neuroimaging
  • A hands-on neuroanatomy workshop including a sheep brain dissection
  • A practical workshop demonstrating how the brain makes memories and how diseases of the memory, such as Alzheimer’s disease, affect the brain
  • A mini lecture on Long-Term Potentiation (LTP)

Qualitative and quantitative chemistry techniques

Dates and locations: Melbourne - 25 November 2020

Duration: Full-day (9:00 am - 3:30 pm)

Cost: $250 (GST inclusive)

2020 Chemistry Professional Learning Program flyer [PDF 0.2MB]

Practical work plays a vital role in teaching any area of chemistry, helping to engage students while building understanding of core chemistry principles. However teachers who do not have a strong background in chemistry can struggle with the basic techniques that can bring the subject to life.

This hands-on workshop is designed to enhance the skills and confidence of middle-years science teachers whose major discipline is not chemistry. The techniques covered in the program can be easily adapted to any number of chemical-based situations. New skills will enable participants to increase the scope of classroom demonstrations and investigations to reinforce the importance and relevance of science in everyday life.

This full-day session will give participants the opportunity to:

  • Use titration to quantitatively determine the vitamin C content of fruit juice
  • Prepare and purify aspirin and compare it to the commercially available product
  • Use Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) to separate and identify components in a mixture of common chemical substances
  • Solve a crime using classical chemical reactions to identify a white powder found at a crime scene

Cosmetics chemistry

Dates and locations: Melbourne - 22 June 2020

Duration: Full-day (9:00 am - 3:30 pm)

Cost: $250 (GST inclusive)

2020 Cosmetics Chemistry Professional Learning Program flyer [PDF 0.2MB]

Cosmetics have been used to alter or enhance appearance and odour since earliest history. Most cosmetics include combinations of some of water, emulsifier, preservative, thickener, emollient, pH stabilisers, fragrance and colour.

In recent years, there has been increasing concern about the chemicals used in cosmetics, but how does the consumer make decisions when confronted with so many choices?

This hand-on workshop, aimed at middle-years science teachers, helps to unpack the chemistry of cosmetics while introducing participants to simple, classroom-transferable laboratory techniques for cosmetics production.

This full-day session includes:

  • An overview of the cosmetics industry
  • Discussion of the science of cosmetics
  • Formulation and production of haircare products: shampoo and conditioner
  • Formulation and production of body care products: body wash and moisturising cream

Teaching JAVA with Oracle Academy

Dates and locations: Melbourne - 8 May 2020

Duration: Full-day (9:00 am - 3:30 pm)

Cost: $250 (GST inclusive)

Oracle Academy gives students hands-on experience with the latest technologies, helping make university and career ready students in an era of big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, and more.

At this workshop, Oracle Academy professionals introduce strategies and resources to engage, inspire and prepare students to become innovators and leaders of the future.

Participants will be introduced to object-oriented concepts, terminology and syntax and learn to create basic Java programs using hands-on, engaging activities.

This full-day session for teachers will:

  • help teachers learn to teach computer science
  • build educator content knowledge
  • provide teachers with an introduction to the Oracle Academy curriculum

For enquiries please contact SHE outreach (+61 03 9479 6516), join our mailing list or download our brochure [PDF 1MB]