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Posted by SASTA

on 27/07/2021

Bush Blitz is Australia’s largest nature discovery project involving specialist taxonomists, indigenous communities, rangers and landowners, teachers, students and BHP employees. Through a partnership between the Australian Government (through Parks Australia and the Australian Biological Resources Study), BHP and Earthwatch Australia; Bush Blitz is helping make an extraordinary contribution to the protection of our country’s heritage.  

To date Bush Blitz has conducted over 40 major field expeditions to some of the most remote areas across Australia. Through these expeditions, over 1,700 new species have been discovered, as well as vital information on rare and threatened species, and invasive and pest species.

Bush Blitz TeachLive is a sub-project of the Bush Blitz program, and a unique professional development program for Australian teachers. The project has resulted in the engagement of 51 teachers reaching over 14,030 students since 2013.

Australian teachers are selected through a competitive application process to attend a fully-funded Bush Blitz expedition. The teachers work as field assistants for one week, alongside professional scientists, and assist with various tasks including the collection of insects, spiders, moths, reptiles and plants. The teachers are required to share their experience and learnings with their students by teaching “live” to them via website blogs, live video calls, and other educational tools.

Through this experience, teachers gain new skills, knowledge and motivation for teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects; as well as motivation to train other teachers in these areas. Many teachers have gone on to create engaging practical environmental projects in or near their schools, sometimes involving partnerships with local council or community groups.

Quotes from previous teacher fellows:

“Bush Blitz was a fantastic professional development opportunity that refreshed my enthusiasm for including field work in science units. It builds the knowledge & skills of primary & secondary teachers in science and technology, enhances knowledge of STEM based careers, supports the inclusion of realworld science and access to scientists in the classroom, builds networks and partnerships with teachers and scientists and challenges the stereotype for both teachers and students that science only happens in a lab.

“I have applied the skills (learnt from Bush Blitz) in teaching primary biology. Years 3, 4 & 5 have undertaken botanical and insect sampling/trapping/gathering within the school grounds. I have shared lots of the photos and video with students when providing teaching opportunities to fulfil the learning in Science as a Human Endeavour strand (Australian curriculum)”.