National Education

The Tall Poppies Reaching Students Program engages the Young Tall Poppy Science Award winners in activities to promote interest, study and careers in science among school students, teachers and the broader community. Our Tall Poppies represent a national resource of over 200 young scientists at the top of their fields and with a passion for communicating their work.

Our educational programs target not only students, but also teachers through teacher professional development, and where possible, parents. We focus on providing real life mentors and role models who can inspire young people and break down stereotypes of who scientists and mathematicians are and what they do. While our presentations focus on building science inquiry skills, they are also about exposing what doing science means and how it is relevant to society.

Activities include presentations and class activities by Tall Poppies at secondary and primary schools, video conferences between Tall Poppies and high schools, science-themed seminars and expos for students, workshops for teachers and ongoing activities with interested schools. Science education activities are also conducted for the broader community, including museum talks and public lectures. Almost all these activities are provided free of charge, and in some cases we are able to support schools to participate. We also work with partners in all states to enrich our programs further, read about them on our Outreach partnerships page.

School visits vary in format and can include presentations and or class activities by one or more Tall Poppies at primary and high schools.

Videoconferences entail Tall Poppies presenting to, and talking with, students from multiple schools (including remote and regional schools) at specified times via videoconference. We conduct these in states with the appropriate infrastructure and in partnership with education authorities.

Science-themed seminars usually adopt a specific theme (i.e. immunology, the brain, maths and mobile telecommunications) and involve presentations and activities by Tall Poppies and other scientific researchers. Numerous high schools are invited to bring students to these workshops, usually held in a central city or regional venue.

Expos may include science career days, visits to relevant industry or university settings and involve Tall Poppies and young researchers who may be working in an industry setting.

Workshops for teachers of both primary and high school students vary in format, and involve Tall Poppies giving talks on specific topics relevant to the year levels of their students. These sometimes also include teacher development activities provided by state education departments.

Ongoing activities with some schools are established after initial school visits and where resources are available.

Activities for the broader community include museum talks, public lectures and other activities, usually held in conjunction with other relevant organisations.

Feedback and Evaluation assist us to continually improve and expand the program to achieve even better outcomes for students and teachers. Download our Evaluation Form for teachers here.

We work with Young Tall Poppies to ensure they are aware of the curriculum level of their audience, improve their presentations and provide them with feedback on their activities.

Nationally, we also partner with the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) and their state constituents, which includes support for its annual conference, CONASTA. CONASTA 60 was held in Darwin over 10-13 July.

AIPS sponsored Dr Clinton Fookes, Queensland Tall Poppy 2009 and Eureka People’s Choice prize winner in 2010 as a keynote speaker, and will be sponsoring Dr Kylie Catchpole, a Young Tall Poppy, as a keynote speaker at the 2012 conference.