Teaching the teachers

FWPA’s ForestLearning team recently visited Western Australia and Victoria for a tour that included professional learning workshops for teachers, biology sessions for students, conference field tours and trade displays at state teacher association conferences. 

In WA, the Forest Learning team joined Wespine forester Brad Barr to help a group of year 11 biology students explore the renewable forest industry, forest science careers and how carbon sequestration from plant photosynthesis helps mitigate the impact of the climate. Students were also able to work with real 'tree biscuits' — cross sections of a 30-year-old pine log — to date the age of the tree and discuss the influence of climate and thinning operations on tree growth.

Wespine and ForestLearning also hosted primary teachers from the Bunbury region for a professional learning workshop and a tour of the Wespine Mill. Despite living close to the mill, this was the teachers’ first encounter with the forest and wood industry. However, they embraced the new knowledge and are now working on producing a ‘Paddock to Paper Plate’ unit for their programs.

Attendees at the WA Geography Teachers Association state conference were offered a field trip hosted by Wesbeam and ForestLearning, with support from the Forest Industries Federation of WA’s Matt Granger. The field trip north of Perth allowed teachers to learn more about the renewable forestry industry, visiting Wesbeam’s pine plantation and LVL manufacturing plant. Feedback from all teachers was extremely positive and partnerships for further resource development were forged.

ForestLearning also teamed up with WA Education to host and deliver a professional learning tour “Focus on Fibre”. Teachers visited the engineered-hardwood flooring manufacturer and installer Lifewood. Following this tour, the teachers took part in an interactive hands-on workshop presented by ForestLearning. 

ForestLearning also held an educational trade display with PIEFA at the Geography Teachers Association Victoria state conference with the successful result that a lot more knowledge about the industry and teaching resources was circulated among educators!