PICSE (Pixie): Opportunities for students in primary production
Riverland Wine is a proud supporter of the Primary Industry Centre for Science Education (PICSE). This is a national program that focuses on connecting science teachers and science students with science based primary industries and career paths. GrowSmart’s Trevor Noble manages the local branch of PICSE from the Loxton Research Centre.
Science Education Officers, all science teachers, deliver the program at Activity Centres in Darwin, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra Hobart, Adelaide, Perth and the Riverland.
The program has an annual cycle consisting of six phases, all of which are independently evaluated.
- An illustrated presentation is made to Year 11/12 science classes, showing cutting edge research and the importance of science to primary industry. This presentation was given at all Riverland High Schools in 2014 to 250 senior science students.
- Selected senior students participate in a five-day camp which highlights the career and research opportunities for university science students in the primary industry sector. This year the camp was held from the 24th to the 28th November and included 2 days in the Riverland, visiting Century Orchards, AgriExchange, Calperum Station, Biological Services and Banrock Station. There were 51 applicants from across the state for the program (a record) from which 21 participants were selected.
- Year 11/12 students are placed with an individual industry for five days, under an Industry Placement Scholarship program. This will take place in the first part of 2015. Selected teachers work with industry scientists and university researchers to provide an annual national science teaching resource.
- Phase 4 consists of a two day program of professional development for teachers, exposing current research and highlighting the relevance of classroom science to industry. This was held on the 8th and 9th December in 2014.
- Science and Engineering Investigation Awards (SEIAs) presentation days are convened, in which members of the scientific and local communities judge the students’ investigations. In 2014 over 100 students from 4 Riverland primary schools and 3 Riverland high schools entered the SEIAs. The Riverland judging day was held in August at the Peace Hall in Loxton. The top entries from each school were selected as finalists and were judged at the Royal Adelaide Show.
PICSE acknowledges the generous sponsorship of the program by Riverland Wine in 2014. Trevor said, “We have been very grateful for this support, which has enabled us to continue with the program in the Riverland region”. If you or a student you know is interested in science log on to the PICSE website and find out more or call Trevor on (08) 8584 5147