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Educating children of the information age: Cafe Scientifique

20 September, 2011

Educating children of the information age: topic of Cafe Scientifique

Adolescents growing up in the 21st century are facing a very different world to that which their parents, grandparents and teachers grew up in.

For these children, using instant communication technologies such as email, texting and Facebook is second nature and having access to unlimited information through search engines such as Google and Wikipedia is not a novelty, but a part of everyday life.

It is for these reasons that the education they deserve and require must, by nature, be very different to anything which has been offered before.

Join Director of LENScience Jacquie Bay and science communicator Liz Carpenter at Hamilton’s October Cafe Scientifique, Tuesday 11 October at Cafe Francais, for their talk titled ‘It’s school Jim, but not as we knew it!’. Bay and Carpenter will discuss the idea of tailoring educational environments to enhance and foster the development of lifelong learning skills and competencies; an idea which can be applied over a range of contexts.

“To succeed in this media-rich world, young people need to develop curiosity, the ability to access and analyse information, critical thinking and problem solving skills, creativity, communication skills, resilience, adaptability, networking and collaboration skills,” says Bay.

“These adolescents will change jobs multiple times and will need to learn and apply new skills throughout their lives. They will make decisions about the use of science and technologies that are as yet undefined and as with many of today’s socio-scientific issues, underpinned by complex science that is beyond the understanding of the majority of the population.”

Speaker Profile: Jacquie Bay

Jacquie Bay is Director of LENScience, an innovative science programme that facilitates connections between schools and science organisations; supporting science education; enabling science communication and translation.

In her current role she works within the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland. Before joining the institute Jacquie was HOD Science at Diocesan School for Girls. Her work as a science educator has focussed on enabling students to do science rather than simply learn about science, which lead to the development of the LENScience Students as Researchers Programme.

She has explored effective use of information and communication technologies in teaching and learning environments, work that has led to the development of the award winning LENScience Connect programme which links students throughout New Zealand together in a collaborative learning community. Jacquie was a member of the Engaging Young New Zealanders with Science Project steering group, contributing to the report from the Office of the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory committee Looking Ahead: Science Education for the Twenty-First Century.

Speaker Profile: Liz Carpenter

Liz Carpenter has worked as a research scientist, both in NZ and overseas and as a secondary school teacher. Her interest and involvement in communicating science within the local community has been acknowledged through the award of the Hamilton Science Excellence Award for Science Communicator/Educator in 2008 and the NZ Association for Scientists Science Communication award in 2006. Liz is currently promoting science to school students by working in the LENScience classroom at the Liggins Institute and promoting health careers in Waikato schools with the NZ Institute of Rural Health.


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