Victorian Bushfires

by frances 8. February 2009 20:06

During this past week, Victoria has been experiencing extreme weather conditions! 130 people have died as a result of bushfires in the State.  State Emergency Services have been working beyond the call of duty to contain these fires.

Source: ABC Online News

If you are teaching Science, you might like to use the following WebQuest, developed by the University of Sydney, The Science of Bushfires to give the students a real insight into an authentic problem faced by firefighters each year in Australia.

This WebQuest will give students an idea of the enormity of the problem of Australian bushfires.

Here is a Review of this WebQuest by WebQuest Direct:

The Science of Bushfires  Bronze award     Broken Link?

Key Learning Areas: HSIE / SOSE / Social Studies; Science
Key Competencies: Communicating ideas and information; Planning and organising activities; Solving problems; Working in a team
Tasks: Analytical, Compilation, Judgement, Persuasion, Research, Science
Grade Levels: Secondary / High School
Country: Australia Australia
Language: English

Suitable for students in Years 9 - 10. Students are asked to investigate the role that scientists have played in the understanding of bushfire behaviour and their effect on the Australian landscape, both today and in the past. Students have the opportunity to gain an understanding of how science can help in the prediction, monitoring and management of bushfire and their impact on the Australian environment. Meteorologist, Remote sensing/Geoscientist, Ecologist, Anthropologist, Fire researcher, Horticulturalist, and Medical researcher are the professional perspectives students are asked to research from. After research, as a group, students must prepare recommendations for effective Bushfire Management, addressing the questions - How can individuals be involved in Bushfire Management in a local area? What issues are better addressed at a State or Federal level? What is best for all Australians? The groups may decide to present their recommendations in written format, as a brochure or as a poster, in electronic format, as a presentation or web site, or through an oral presentation or debate. Resources: comprehensive. Evaluation: no evaluation rubric is provided. Conclusion is in the form of a question: "How has science contributed to an understanding of bushfires, their prediction, monitoring and management, and their effect on the environment and the Australian landscape?" No Teacher's Guide, Curriculum Standards, Duration or Implementation Advice is given. Design and Layout: basic. Tips to improve: students could be given a further challenge within the Conclusion and a Teacher's Guide could be provided; the addition of a fire survivor would also make this WebQuest more relevant. Last updated 2007

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Ideas on how to use News topics as WebQuests


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