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 and Western Australia with expansion into South Australia in 2017. 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.
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 have been delivered in schools in years 5, 6, 8 and 9. In 2017, six additional inquiries will be implemented, two for year 7 and an additional inquiry for each of these year levels – year 5, 6, 8 and 9, that will total 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 Australian Curriculum: Science.
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 current 2016 implementation of the program has engaged 45 schools across three states. The program is currently working with these 45 schools to develop, implement and monitor Indigenous science inquiry education resources and teacher professional development modules 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.