2016 BEESST Conference


Saturday 4 June 2016

Biology, Earth Environmental Science and Senior Science Teachers Conference

University of Sydney



Did you miss out this year and want to be notified of further Bio, EES, Sen Sci PD opportunities? email us office@stansw.asn.au

Click on the links below to view event details



Registration Details

Registration Pricing


The BEESST conference combines Biology, Earth & Environmental Science and Senior Science for Teachers. It will be a day not to be missed. While the focus will be on Stage 6, all 7-10 teachers could also benefit from the carefully selected mix of upgrades on subject knowledge as well as ideas on programming and related assessment to improve student outcomes.


Keynotes announced

Derek Williamson,  Director, Museum of Human Disease UNSW

Addressing the Biology and Senior Science stream

'Death and Innovation in Biology'

In the short time the Museum of Human Disease  has been operating the experience of disease has changed dramatically.  The leading causes of ill health and death in Australia have moved away from infectious agents and toward lifestyle choices.  The prognosis after a diagnosis for most ill health has improved significantly, and life expectancy has increased.

This presentation will highlight Australia's current killers and how you might use these to stimulate your students to understand the curriculum, the place of the great biologists in history, the important advances being made and the questions which still need answers.

If Necessity is the mother of invention then staying alive should provoke innovation as nothing else can.

Derek Williamson is a science educator with 25 years’ experience in museums, science centres, schools and a host of other places. Originally a zoologist Derek realised it was far more enjoyable talking about other people chasing frogs around swamps than chasing them himself.

During his career, Derek came to the realisation that for some unfathomable reason most of the world lacks an intense passion for things scientific, and began to find other ways to encourage people to interact with the world of science.

Currently the director of the Museum of Human Disease, a teaching collection of the faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales, Australia’s only publicly accessible pathology collection, Derek is daily faced with the need to engage students not just with science but with disease – a double edged sword hangs over his organisation.

He comes back to good education as a means of creating awareness, dialogue and learning about things more corporeal. Derek believes the greatest thrill in life is learning something new and loves to watch as other people do. His friends think he knows a lot, when in fact he is just very good at Google. Currently undertaking a Masters by research looking at ways to promote the learning experience of Museum visitors Derek’s next adventure is around the corner, he hopes it will involve more sleep – but doubts it.





Nanthi Bolan, Prof Environmental Chemistry, Global Centre for Environmental Remediation (GCER) Faculty of Science and Information Technology, University of Newcastle (UON)

Addressing the Earth & Environmental Science stream

'Issues and Innovations: creative problem solving for clean air, land and water'

Soil contamination, greenhouse gas emission and sustainable waste water management are some of the major global environmental issues. These issues impact both human and ecosystem health, and hence require urgent attention by both scientific community and regulatory agencies. Soil contamination impact food and fibre production thereby affecting global food security; greenhouse gas emission is considered responsible for climate change; and wastewater management is critical in safeguarding the limited supply of fresh water sources. This presentation covers the ecosystem and human health impacts of these major environmental issues relating to air, water and land, and some of the technologies to mitigate these environmental issues.


Dr Nanthi Bolan completed his PhD in Soil Science and Plant Nutrition at the University of Western Australia, and is currently working as a Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Newcastle. His teaching and research interests include agronomic value of manures, fertilisers and soil amendments, soil acidification, nutrient and carbon cycling, pesticide and metal pollutants interactions in soils, greenhouse gas emission, soil remediation and waste and waste water management.

Nanthi is a Fellow of American Soil Science Society, American Society of Agronomy and New Zealand Soil Science Society, and was awarded the Communicator of the Year award by the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural Sciences.  He has supervised more than 40 postgraduate students, and was awarded the Massey University Research Medal for excellence in supervision. He has published more than 200 papers and was awarded the M.L. Leamy Award in recognition of the most meritorious contribution to soil science. Nanthi is currently serving as the Associate Editor of Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology.




Workshop Session 1

1A : Biology

Practical Examples of Analogy in the Science Classroom

Marianne Lavidis, Cronulla High School


1B : EES

Tectonic impacts using GPlates and pyGPlates

Prof Dietmar Muller, USYD


1C : Biology

Antibiotic resistance through inquiry

Margaret Shepherd, Sydney Catholic Schools - Southern Region CEO


1D : Senior Science

Bionics / Biomedical technology

Glynne Krix, DoE NSW


1E : Cross-curricular

Science Investigation Skills

Silvia Rudmann, Gorokan HS / Aurora College


Workshop Session 2


2A : Senior Science

Information Systems

Ken Silburn, Casula High School


2B : Biology

How good games compliment good teaching to enhance learning and engagement in STEM

Michael Kasumovic, UNSW


2C : EES

Water Issues

Dr Dawit N Bekele, University of Newcastle


2D : EES

Planet Earth and its environment: a 5000 million year journey

Associate Professor Sylvia Frisia, UoN


2E : Cross-curricular

ICT: using google docs in the classroom (basic level)

Margaret  Shepherd,  Sydney Catholic Schools



Followed by plenary sessions, cross-curricular workshop, forum and BOSTES update.

See event website pages in above links for full program details.




Australian Professional Teaching Standards

Addresses the following National Professional Standards for Teachers:

The keynotes and workshops are targeted to assist participants in working towards each of the following standards. In addition, teachers working towards higher level standards who provide workshops will be supported with certificates to confirm their presentations.

6.2.2 Participate in learning to update knowledge and practice, targeted to professional needs and school and/or system priorities.
6.4.2 Undertake professional learning programs designed to address identified student learning needs.
7.4.2 Participate in professional and community networks and forums to broaden knowledge and improve practice.



Completing STANSW BEESST Conference will contribute 5 hours of QTC Registered PD addressing 6.2.2, 6.4.2, 7.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.



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