Edition 4 - November 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

  • Scientists are witnessing the breaking up of the Australian tectonic plate with huge earthquakes, a process that will take millions of years to complete. Read more.

  • Some hot spots lead to chains of islands, and some don’t. Researchers at the Australian National University have solved the debate over why this is so. Read more.

    Cover image of Shaping a Nation: A Geology of Australia
    Cover image of Shaping a Nation: A Geology of Australia, Kings Canyon, Northern Territory.
    © Jim Mason

  • Geochronologist Zenobia Jacobs explains how ancient grains of sand may unlock the secrets of where we came from and what makes us human. Read more.

  • Book release – Shaping a Nation: A Geology of Australia is the story of a continent’s geological evolution as seen through the lens of human impacts. This book is aimed at a geoscientific audience. Many teachers of both Geoscience and Geography will find much of interest with this comprehensive publication, available (free) online or as hardcopy. Read more.

  • Read more news articles

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.

Feature Story

Magnetic estimates open new horizons

Magnetism data of the landscapes taken from the air, in combination with new software, will allow scientists and researchers to obtain a greater understanding of the thickness of sediments over basement rocks. This is important if those rocks contain valuable mineral resources. Read more.

Earth Science Week activities

Earth Science Week kept the Education Centre busy during the month of October. Held between 14 – 20 October, we had four events ranging from the awarding of the Geologi Short Film Competition to our Edible Earth Science Bake-Off, and a Careers Expo for local high schools here in the Canberra region.

And the winners of the 2012 Geologi are:

Primary Category (Year K-6)
  • Winner: Free hot showers: Geyser by Asmita Deonath, Kaleen Primary School, ACT
  • Runner-up: Earthquake Explorers by Maribyrnong Primary School, ACT
  • Highly commended: Earthquakes and Tsunami by Fraser Primary School, ACT
  • Highly commended: What influences the speed of erosion? by Taryn Abbott, Blackwood Primary School, SA
Junior Category (Year 7–10)
  • Winner: 3112 AD by Wauchope High School, NSW
  • Runner-up: Tectonic plates and continental drift by Amaroo School, ACT
  • Runner-up: Finding Fossils with Dr T-Rex by Macarthur Anglican School, NSW

Our website

If you held any activities to recognise Earth Science Week, please email the details to us for inclusion on our website.

Resources for Educators


Downloadable classroom posters

The British Geological Survey have created a range of posters on volcanoes and plate tectonics, perfect for the Primary School classroom. Colourful diagrams combined with simple text. Read more.

High School

Melbourne Museum

The Melbourne Museum has a number of permanent exhibitions on topics such as dinosaurs, the 600 million year old history of Victoria, and one display dedicated to gold nuggets, giant crystals and uncut diamonds.

To accompany the physical exhibition, Dynamic Earth, Melbourne Museum has a comprehensive website. Listen to scientists talking about our changing earth and our relationship with it.

Upper High School

Live geology lectures online – senior secondary

The plenary sessions from the International Geological Congress back in August are now available to watch online. The theme of the conference was “Unearthing our Past and Future – Resourcing Tomorrow”, focussing on how geosciences will meet the needs for minerals, energy and water in years to come.


Big ideas of Earth Science

American Geosciences Institute now offers award-winning videos and other electronic resources to help students, educators, and others explore the “big ideas” of Earth science during Earth Science Week 2012 (October 14-20) and all year long. AGI’s Big Ideas videos recently won three prestigious awards: Digital Video (DV) Winner in Education, DV Winner in Nature/Wildlife, and Videographer Award of Excellence.

View the Big Ideas videos on YouTube or TeacherTube.

The Earth Science Week website provides related resources. Educators can find dozens of classroom activities to help students build understanding of the “big ideas” online.


A fabulous resource for all earth science teachers is the GeoEdLink e-newsletter. Packed with recent news, relevant events in your area and articles from professional scientists, it’s a must-save.

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

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