Edition 2 - June 2012


Education Centre Updates is Geoscience Australia's newsletter for teachers in Australian schools. It is designed to keep you informed of recent developments in geoscience, teacher resources, upcoming events, and competitions for school pupils.

Latest news

  • Victorians this month felt a magnitude 5.3 earthquake. It originated in Gippsland, east of Melbourne, but was felt all through the metropolitan region of Melbourne up to 252km away from the epicentre. Such earthquakes remind us that even though we don't live on a tectonic plate boundary, our continental plate is nevertheless very dynamic, travelling northwards at a rate of 7 centimetres per year. To learn more about the Victorian earthquake visit Earthquakes @ Geoscience Australia. To research recent earthquakes around the world, visit Geoscience Australia's International Earthquakes page.

  • An analysis of geochemical data reveals a substantial change in the composition of Earth's magmas about 2.5 billion years ago, just as Earth's atmosphere and climate were also changing drastically. (Courtesy of Nature).

    Map of the seafloor around the Monowaii Cone. (Credit: GNS Science/NOAA/PMEL).Seismogram of the Melbourne earthquake 2012.
    [Left] Map of the seafloor around the Monowaii Cone (Credit: GNS Science) and
    [Right] seismogram of the 2012 Melbourne earthquake (Credit: Geoscience Australia)

  • A volcano on the seafloor north of New Zealand has grown at a record-breaking rate. (Courtesy of Australian Geographic).

About Us

Geoscience Australia is a world leader in providing first class geoscientific information and knowledge which enables government and community to make informed decisions about the exploitation of resources; the management of the environment; the safety of critical infrastructure; and the resultant wellbeing of all Australians.

Diary dates


GeoLogi and Top Geoshot now open

7 Aug

Geoscience education at IGC

11 - 19 Aug

National Science Week

19 Aug

Open Day – Geoscience Australia

24 Aug - closing date

GeoLogi short film competition

22 Sept - closing date

Top GeoShot Photographic competition

14 – 20 Oct

Earth Science Week

School holiday activity - enter a competition

Our short film competition, GeoLogi 2012, is open now for school students. The theme is "Discovering geoscience". For more details, please email us at education@ga.gov.au.

Geologi 2012

Handy with a camera? Try your skill at Top Geoshot, and submit an image that captures the essence of earth science in Australia. There are two categories: open and student (to Year 12)..

Top Geoshot 2012

Cape Denison - 'the Home of the Blizzard'

This year Geoscience Australia celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE, 1911–1914) which was organised and led by the eminent geologist Dr (later Sir) Douglas Mawson. This expedition marked the start of Australia's long engagement with Antarctica, a productive and active involvement that continues to this day. Read more in AusGeo News.

Antarctica - marine ecosystem paradise

The Mertz Glacier region is one of the 'biological hotspots' of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystem. The ice-free waters allow light to reach the ocean surface and stimulate primary production. The high biological productivity attracts whales, penguins and seals to feed on plankton in one of the few areas not covered by ice during the Antarctic winter. The region is also home to some unique marine communities such as deep water hydrocorals. Read more, and see images, in AusGeo News.

Resources for Educators

Geoscience Australia

  • Classroom activities - Year 6 Earth and Space Science
    For those teaching about natural hazards, Geoscience Australia has the Tsunami: Teacher Notes and Student Activities booklet. It now includes updated information, colour figures and photographs as well as separate student activities and answers. Teachers should determine if the activities are suitable for their cohort of students. It is available for download in low and high resolution from our website. Keep an eye out for future updated booklets on topics such as landslides and coastlines.

  • The Olympic Games of geology
    The 34th International Geological Congress (the 'Olympic Games of geology') has joined Facebook, and researchers from Geoscience Australia are populating the site with items on recent developments in the geosciences written in an easy-to-read style. Join in showing the world the unique and incredible geology that Australia and the region has to offer. You can share your ideas and post your favourite geoscience photographs.
    Keep up to date on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/34IGC or Twitter using #34igc.
And There's More
  • Careers in geoscience
    The Geoscience Pathways website is part of a project aiming to change attitudes towards the geosciences by demonstrating their essential contribution to modern society. The website is a repository of teaching resources including the Teaching Earth Science Education Programme (TESEP) resources about rocks and the rock cycle.

  • Videos and digital interactives
    It can almost be guaranteed that a proportion of your students play Minecraft and related games. What if they could also learn about natural hazards and how to guard against them in the form of a game? Stop Disasters does exactly that. Freely available on the internet, with varied levels of difficulty. Ideal for problem solving in a contextual environment.

  • Networking opportunities - TESEP
    All teachers of Earth Science are encouraged to participate in the Teacher Earth Science Education Programme (TESEP). TESEP is designed to help middle school teachers make better use of their time teaching Earth Science in their classrooms through professional development workshops, ideas for field trips, and most importantly, access to teachers experienced in this field.

  • Seismometers in Schools
    The Australian Seismometers in Schools project (2011-14) is an outreach program to put 40 earthquake-measuring seismometers in Australian Schools, and thereby raise awareness of geoscience through observing our dynamic earth in motion. Students are required to look after their own seismometer and in doing so be a part of a national science experiment. The project aims to promote science as a possible career choice and provide a tool to teachers to assist in teaching physics and earth science to high school students.

  • More ideas than you can poke a stick at
    GeoEdlink is an all-encompassing earth sciences teaching resource from the Australian Geoscience Council.

For more information on anything in this newsletter, contact education@ga.gov.au.

Topic contact: media@ga.gov.au Last updated: October 4, 2013