Inquiry for Indigenous Science Students (I2S2) uses hands-on inquiry-based projects in an Indigenous context to increase student engagement and achievement in science.

The I2S2 program is a national program that is currently being implemented across Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia. The program targets students in years 5 to 9 in mainstream metropolitan and regional schools with the main aim of increasing the achievement, engagement and attendance of Indigenous students in science.

Map displaying I2S2 cluster locations

The schools involved in the program work within a cluster model, that is, high schools and their feeder primary schools clustered together to support each other. Through professional development teachers develop their skills in both cultural capacity and science inquiry.

Schools and teachers are supported with classroom materials and other resources to assist with teaching science using contexts that highlight the links between Indigenous and western science knowledge and ways of working.

I2S2 draws on best practice in inquiry-based science education and Indigenous science education and supports teachers to implement the Australian Curriculum. In 2016, four inquiries were delivered in schools in years 5, 6, 8 and 9. In 2017, three additional inquiries were implemented, one for year 7 and an additional inquiry for year 5 and 6. Three more inquiries are currently being designed for release in 2018. This will provide schools involved with two inquiries for years 5-9, a total of ten inquiries across the entire I2S2 program.

The inquiries use contexts that highlight the historic and enduring high-level science inquiry skills for which Indigenous Australians are renowned. Students undertake hands-on inquiry activities as they work through the requirements of the science curriculum.

Initially, schools with a relatively high Indigenous student population and a strong focus on Indigenous education have been targeted, with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students benefiting. In the 2015 implementation of the program, 14 schools across two states were engaged. The 2016 implementation of the program engaged 45 schools across three states, and the current 2017 implementation has engaged 77 schools across four states. The program is currently working with these 77 schools to develop, implement and monitor Indigenous science inquiry education resources and teacher professional development which will be adapted and made available to schools around the country in the future.

To find out more about how the program showcases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander science and skills with the help from our amazing I2S2 team, read our blog article Inspiring students with hands-on Indigenous science.

For more information, and to get involved in the program, contact us today.

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