$200,000 gets science hopping at Allansford, Warrnambool West and Woodford primary schools

FIRE up the Bunsen burner and make way for the periodic table charts.

Three Warrnambool region schools have gained $200,000 each in state funding over the next two years for a new pilot program aimed at stimulating scientific study.

The funding will be used to train teachers in science education at Allansford, Warrnambool West and Woodford primary schools after the group applied for finance earlier this year.

Warrnambool West Primary School acting principal Warwick Price said the program would be gradually phased into the school curriculum, starting at one hour of science study per week.

He said science had played only a minor role in primary education during the past few decades.

“Literacy and numeracy have long been a major part of the primary school curriculum,” Mr Price said. 

“Physical education, music and art studies are all well represented.

“Science tends to get left behind and some of that has to do with the lack of resources and teachers with knowledge of that particular subject area, so this funding will help to address that imbalance.”

A study by the Australian Academy of Science released in November 2011 showed high school students had abandoned science compared with other Western nations. 

The report found in 1990 that 94 per cent of VCE or HSC students were enrolled in science subjects but the figure had dropped to 51 per cent three years ago. 

Mr Price said the program would be implemented next year at the three south-west schools, with a view to upskilling all staff in science studies.

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