MyScience is a primary school science and technology program, which supports primary teachers and their students to think and work scientifically.
Primary students work in teams (pairs or threes), with mentor support, to answer a scientific question of their choosing – hence the name ‘My’Science.
Science expertise is sourced through local Mentors (Adults with science expertise) and MySTics (Year 9/10/11 science students) who provide in-class, face-to-face support to small groups of students.
Teachers, students and mentors learn because of their participation in a COMMUNITY OF SCIENCE PRACTICE.
Communities of Practice
Communities of Practice develop when the following 3 elements are in place:
- DOMAIN Specific topic/activity/process of interest for members,
- COMMUNITY The members who interact around the DOMAIN.
- PRACTICE What the COMMUNITY do when they come together around the DOMAIN.
MyScience CoPs have the following elements:
- DOMAIN = Working Scientifically,
- COMMUNITY = teachers, students & mentors,
- PRACTICE = interactions between members when doing MyScience.
SUCCESSFUL CoPs have the following:
- clearly articulated domain,
- willingness to participate,
- members with different types of expertise,
- collegial sharing of ideas and knowledge,
- appreciation of other members’ roles and efforts.
Mentors with science expertise provide critical support to primary student teams (6 students : 1 mentor) as they work to answer their question using the skills of thinking and working scientifically during THREE school visits.
Mentors with science expertise are sourced from the following community groups (listed alphabetically):
• local community members,
• pre-service primary teachers,
• pre-service secondary science teachers,
• professional engineers,
• professional scientists,
• secondary school science teachers & students.
Educatoinal Model, Teaching Phases & Implementation
The MYSCIENCE EDUCATIONAL MODEL has five critical elements, which are incorporated into the MYSCIENCE TEACHING PHASES.
These phases then form the IMPLEMENTATION STEPS for Teachers, Mentors and MySTics.
The button below shows the relationship between the MODEL, PHASES & STEPS.
- Provide a sustained Professional Learning program for classroom teachers who then facilitate student learning with Mentor support.
- Encourage students to undertake hands-on scientific investigations to solve a problem or question linked to real-life issues. Clear achievement criteria support the student learning.
- Move from structured to open-ended learning experiences for teachers, students and schools.
- Allow students to work in groups and to select areas of personal interest for their scientific investigations.
- Provide students and teachers with specialist content knowledge through Mentors and MySTics (MyScience Trainees in the Classroom, sourced from Year 9/10/11 science students).
- Strengthen links between primary and secondary schools with Year 9/10/11 students working in primary classrooms alongside Mentors.
- Expose Year 9/10/11 students to practicing, enthusiastic scientists, engineers and people who use science in their everyday lives.
- Highlight the importance of Science and Technology education in the school community.
- Encourage school community involvement through the inclusion of local Mentors with science expertise.
MyScience Professional Learning Toolkit
The Toolkit has been specifically developed to support teachers who are implementing MyScience in their classroom.
Teachers can diagnose (self-evaluate) their current understandings and knowledge, and then access FOURTEEN specifically designed ONLINE PROFESSIONAL LEARNING PATHWAYS via the Resource Button ‘Professional Learning Toolkit’ below.
For each of SIX domains in the process of Thinking and Working Scientifically, there are TWO levels of Professional Learning Pathways. The six DOMAINS and LEVELS are:
- Knowing and Thinking: Level 1 & Level 2
- Planning Investigations: Level 1 & Level 2
- Conducting Investigations: Level 1 & Level 2
- Processing Investigations – analysing and concluding: Level 1 & Level 2
- Processing Investigations – explaining and publishing: Level 1 & Level 2
- Evaluating and Assessing: Level 1 & Level 2
- Integrating ICT: Level 1 & Level 2
Professional Learning Toolkit
MyScience & the Australian Science Curriculum
The National Curriculum focus on Years 3-6 Science is ‘Recognising questions that can be investigated scientifically and investigating them’.
This means that the focus in primary school classrooms should be on what it means to be working and thinking scientifically, which is exactly what happens in MyScience!
MyScience & the NSW S&T K-6 Syllabus
In 2019, a new NSW Science and Technology K-6 syllabus is to be implemented in all NSW primary schools.Based on the Australian Curriculum, the NSW syllabus content has a strengthened focus on the skills, knowledge and understandings of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically.
MyScience is a great way to meet some of the requirements of the new syllabus – particularly around Working Scientifically.
Primary Connections is based on the Australian Science Curriculum – not the NSW K-6 S&T Syllabus.
In NSW it is mandatory to teach NSW syllabus requirements.
Carefully map the NSW Knowledge & Understanding strands against Primary Connections modules before you begin your teaching program.
The ‘NSW Content’ and ‘NSW Concepts’ buttons (below) may help you with your programming.