Teachers eat ants to inspire studies in biodiversity

24 August
Teachers eat ants during veski Big Dig event at Melbourne Museum
Teachers eat ants during veski Big Dig event at Melbourne Museum

Teachers from Neerim District, Mooroopna and Kyneton Secondary Colleges went the extra mile during National Science Week; eating ants to inspire their students to learn more about the world around them at veski’s Big Dig event at the Melbourne Museum.

The event provided an opportunity to see the results of recent Big Digs, which were a series of activities that formed part of the veski inspiring students (& teachers) program over the past few years, aiming to deliver innovative, educational hands on activities to support students learning science.

The Big Dig program, funded by the Williamson Foundation and delivered by Bug Blitz Trust, includes a day in the field discovering key information about the environment and taking samples for DNA analysis back in the lab. 

Three groups of Year 8 students presented their findings from their biodiversity field days in the Hume, Loddon Mallee and Gippsland regions to a theatre of over 150 Year 7 students about to undertake the program.

 

Students from Mooroopna Secondary College

Other guest speakers included scientists working in the fields of biodiversity in wildlife surveys, genetics and horticulture. 

Dr Mark Norman, Head of Science at Melbourne Museum, shared his stories and photography from his wildlife surveys out in the field. Professor Philip Batterham, Bio21 Institute University of Melbourne, talked about using DNA sequencing to classify insects. 

veski chairman Professor Snow Barlow, who is a professor of horticulture and viticulture at University of Melbourne, presented certificates to the three regional colleges in honour of their support and participation in the three-year veski inspiring students (& teachers) program.

With the support of the veski connection, students and teachers have benefitted from unique experiences including the Big Dig program, speed meeting with scientists to encourage students to continue careers in science, and the BioEYES program in development biology, stem cells and regeneration.   

After an ant-free lunch, students explored the Forest Gallery and Life and Science Gallery visiting exhibitions including Wild and Bugs Alive! Students commented that the exhibitions were interactive and fun, with the visit being some students first time at the Museum. The event concluded with an interactive quiz, crowning one student victorious for learning the most from the presentations. 

What's On

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31