More secondary school students than ever will have access to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects after a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), launched at the World Science Festival Brisbane on Thursday (10 March).
QUERY101x Question Everything: Scientific Thinking in Real Life was developed by a team of Brisbane Grammar School maths and science teachers and online learning specialists from The University of Queensland, and will be open to a global audience.
UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Joanne Wright said the course revolutionised how universities engaged with secondary school students.
“The course challenges students to ‘question everything’ as they use maths and science to solve everyday problems across eight modules of experiments and activities,” she said.
“This gives them the skills to understand when and how to ask important scientific questions, and develops essential skills for studying maths and science at the secondary school level and beyond.”
Professor Wright said the MOOC was creating new opportunities for students interested in STEM subjects.
“The teaching excellence of Brisbane Grammar School is now accessible to all high school students in Queensland and across the globe.
“We are delighted to be associated with such an important project,” she said.
“It is vital that all students, wherever they are, have access to innovative STEM teaching and the career opportunities that follow from studying STEM subjects.
“We look forward to welcoming many of the MOOC students to UQ in future years.
“It will prepare them well.”
Brisbane Grammar School Headmaster Anthony Micallef said the development of the MOOC had supported the school’s aspirations to be an international leader in teaching and learning innovations.
“QUERY101x Question Everything is a new venture for Brisbane Grammar School and is the first MOOC of its kind in Australia, designed for high school students by high school teachers, working in partnership with a university,” he said.
“QUERY101x Question Everything is a perfect example of learning innovation, and the collaboration with UQ to share BGS’s expertise with students globally is something we are extremely proud to be a part.”
Head of Physics Noël Chan, one of eight staff from BGS who worked on the MOOC, said the course offered a stimulating yet authentic learning experience, encouraging learners to go beyond the classroom.
“Right from the beginning, we felt the need for students to be involved in creating the resources for the course because we want participants to feel that they are part of the BGS learning experience,” she said.
“The motivating factor for the teachers involved was to see progress in students’ STEM capabilities, and to help them become science-literate and critical-thinking citizens.”