Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Capacity building
3 cAPAcity buildinG Ground covEr industry AttrAction The Primary indusTry Centre for science education (PiCse) targets science teachers and secondary students with ability in and enthusiasm for tertiary science on the basis that science is the core building block for key professional personnel to enter primary industries. With the goal of addressing the growing skills gap and graduate shortage in agricultural science and horticulture, PiCse was first initiated by the school of agricultural science at the university of Tasmania (uTas). The GrdC then funded a three-year pilot extension at the university of Western australia (uWa). Following considerable success in both Tasmania and Western australia, the program was rolled out nationally, with funding from the australian Government, the GrdC and other rural research and development Corporations. There are now a total of eight PiCse activity Centres – at least one in each state – with ongoing interest in further extension and developments. in 2010, PiCse strategies were implemented through the eight activity Centres, with more than 14 staff: n delivering professional development (Pd) sessions for 180 year 11 and 12 science teachers; n speaking to 7300 year 11 and 12 science students in class about the opportunities for science careers in primary industries; n facilitating student science investigations for 1470 middle school students; and n placing 140 specially selected year 11 and 12 science students in week-long primary industry camps as well as five-day work placement programs with agricultural scientists. The evaluation by QualdaTa of the PiCse program in 2010 indicates that the underpinning strategies of PiCse are highly effective in raising the profile of science and primary industry to the school communities in which they are being implemented. Participation in the program by students is clearly reinforcing their interest in pursuing scientific careers in primary industries. in the evaluation, 80 per cent of teachers indicated that they were now better equipped to encourage students to study science at university and to advise them about career opportunities in science and primary industries. The positive impact of PiCse upon teacher attitudes and understanding of primary industries is influencing students in their future career and university study choices. The following examples indicate the enthusiasm generated among teacher and student participants by the contact with industry provided through PiCse activities. rick rose, a recipient of one of several annual Teacher Travelling scholarships, is a physics and chemistry teacher from Bunbury, Wa. rick’s scholarship, one of a number funded by the GrdC, took him to uTas, where the theme of the professional development was ‘Climate variability: how is science the answer?’ in the program, scientists and industry researchers described how australian primary industries are preparing for this climate challenge. “i had no idea that this research was occurring, nor of its importance,” rick says. “i can see many opportunities for my students to become engaged An introduction to Agriculture for teAchers And students picse links students and teachers with mentors from agricultural industries to ensure that primary industry becomes a priority career of choice by david Russell eighty-seven per cent of recipients of 2010 picse industry placement scholarships said their view of the importance of primary industries had changed since their involvement with picse.
GC Supplement - Farm business management
GC Supplement - Biosecurity