Introduction to outdoor and environmental education

Dianne Aylward1

1Principal, Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre

This session has been developed for international delegates to introduce STEM capabilities through Queensland’s unique Environmental and Outdoor Education Centre program.

 

Inspiring Bay Champions through STEM provides international students, teachers and the community opportunities to engage in scientific research on-board the Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre vessel Inspiration, along with treasured partners.

Best practice pedagogy and contemporary scientific and technological developments are evident in Inspiring Champions for the Bay through STEM Programs. Students utilise innovative technology and critical and creative thinking to examine issues within Moreton Bay. Participants engaging in this authentic hands-on program analyse fish stocks; map seagrass; explore plankton density and diversity; and estimate coral health using state-of-the-art equipment which includes Baited Remote Underwater Videos (BRUVs), Video Gliders, Plankton Trawls and Sediment Grabs.

Participants engage in scientific identification, documentation and communication of data resulting in a strong appreciation of Moreton Bay, enhanced desire for continuation of STEM study and increased capacity for advocacy work.


Biography:

Ms Dianne Aylward is a passionate and curious practitioner continually striving to ensure the best possible learning journeys for students, teachers and the broader community.

Di is currently the proud principal of Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre whose vision is Inspiring Champions for the Bay. Authentic, hands-on experiences engaging with marine life and taking part in theatre-in education immersion programs within historical sites on and around the Bay are unique. Collaborative partnerships enhance STEM program offerings ensuring participants develop a deep connection to the Bay. The Centre was awarded the Department of Education Showcase Award for Excellence in Industry Partnerships in 2017 and Di was the recipient of the prestigious Queensland College of Teachers award for Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning.

Previously, Di has worked in Central Office managing the state-wide Earth Smart Science schools program and the initiation of an Alcohol and other drugs education program. The Earth Smart Science schools program reached over 1000 state primary and P-12 schools fostering commitment to environmental sustainability through curriculum integration focusing on science and mathematics. Di has worked in Regional Office supporting the introduction of Education and Training Reforms for the Future and has been a teacher, Head of Department and Deputy Principal across various Queensland schools.

 

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