SPIRIT (SPICE Physics ICRAR Remote Internet Telescope) provides WA school students with access to state‐of‐the-art robotic telescopes via the Internet.

The Standard Model

Target audience: year 12 physics

The Standard Model is a revised version of content from an earlier SPICE sequence (Matter and relativity) to fit the WACE 2015 course, Senior Secondary Physics Unit 4. Substantial new content has also been added.

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Hydrocarbon chemistry

Target audience: Year 11 chemistry

The SPICE resource Carbon chemistry has been substantially updated and revised to target the Western Australian ATAR course: Chemistry (Unit 1).

The package now looks at organic chemistry in the context of hydrocarbon use in Australia.… Continue reading

Physics workshops

SPICE is pleased to announce three professional learning workshops for physics teachers.

Evolution of the Universe and SPIRIT

Tuesday 3 March 2015, 09:00 – 15:00

This professional learning day is designed for teachers of year 10 physical sciences.

A full day of astronomy! The morning session will introduce teachers to the use of the SPIRIT Internet-accessible robotic telescopes. The workshop is designed for teachers who wish to extend student knowledge of astronomy using the tools of modern astronomers.… Continue reading

Biotechnology workshop

SPICE is pleased to announce the first professional learning workshop for 2015. Further offerings in the area of physics will be available shortly.


Friday 27 March 2015, 09:00 – 15:30

This event is now fully booked.

This professional learning day is designed for teachers of year 11 and 12 biology and human biology.

How comfortable are you with PCR, microarray and gene expression?… Continue reading

Climate change and the greenhouse effect

These learning activities were developed to educate secondary school students about the greenhouse effect and climate change and have been aimed at some of the most common alternative conceptions students hold about these topics.

They were developed by Professor Vaille Dawson and Katherine Carson under the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects funding scheme (130103035).

Download:  Climate change and the greenhouse effect (PDF file, 3.7 MB)… Continue reading

Genetics education in the 21st century

This guide for Australian high school teachers has been prepared by Professor Vaille Dawson (The University of Western Australia, formerly at Curtin University); Professor Grady Venville (UWA) and Katherine Carson (UWA, formerly Curtin).

This material was developed as part of a project entitled, Genetics Education in the 21st Century. The aim was to produce worksheets to educate secondary school students about current health issues with which they may have personal experience.

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Kimberley Science program – Perth workshop

Teachers from seven Kimberley schools (Broome SHS, Christ-the-King Catholic school, Fitzroy Valley DHS, Halls Creek DHS, Kununurra DHS, One Arm Point RCS and Wyndham DHS) took part in a two-day workshop at UWA on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 November 2014.

On the first day teachers participated in a number of workshops and activities:

  • Graeme Gower (Centre for Indigenous Education and Research at Edith Cowan University) Becoming a culturally competent teacher
  • Emeritus Professor Mark Hackling (Edith Cowan Institute for Educational Research) Developing literacies required to learn science and demonstrate achievement
  • Brett Gaskell (Wyndham DHS) Effective teaching and learning in a diverse Kimberley classroom
  • Pete Wheeler (International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research) Science with ‘scope
  • Paula Magni (The University of Western Australia) Forensic science
  • Jo Watkins (Earth Science WA) Teaching Earth science in a hands-on and engaging way

A dinner was held at UWA Club to launch the program, with special guests: Lindsay Hale (Executive Director Statewide Services, Department of Education WA); Terry Freckelton (General Manager of Development for Shell Australia/New Zealand); and Professor Grady Venville (Dean of Studies, The University of Western Australia).… Continue reading

Shell Social Investment Portfolio launched

Shell Australia’s Social Investment Portfolio for 2014-2016, which includes the SPICE-Shell Kimberley Science Program, was announced in Canberra last Tuesday.

The Honourable Christopher Pyne, Minister for Education, officially launched Shell’s national social investment program at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday with Andrew Smith, Country Chair Shell Australia.


 … Continue reading

Evolution of the Universe

Target audience: Year 10 science

What processes produced galaxies and stars, and how has the Universe evolved since the Big Bang? Students use virtual observatory software and direct observation with robotic telescopes to learn about the observable Universe.

This resource makes extensive use of Stellarium, free virtual observatory software, and the SPIRIT robotic telescopes.… Continue reading

Meet the Chief Scientist

Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Lotterywest BioDiscovery Centre and SPICE secondary teachers enrichment program invite teachers to meet the new Chief Scientist of Western Australia, Professor Peter Klinken, at a free National Science Week event.

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Target audience: Year 10 science

Where does water in Western Australia come from, and how sustainable are these sources? Where will our water come from in the future if the drying climate trend continues?

This resource is the result of a collaboration between the Water Corporation and the SPICE program. It encourages students to think about where water they drink comes from; explore water sources in seven Western Australian towns; explain the interplay between social, economic and environmental factors in managing a safe, secure and sustainable water supply; and examine the Water Corporation’s water replenishment scheme and working through a practical simulation in the classroom.… Continue reading

Changing Earth: The Darling Scarp

SPICE’s first interactive eBook for iPad is now available, for free, from the iTunes Store.

Changing Earth: The Darling Scarp tells the story of the Darling Scarp, a 2.5 billion year old geological feature, and backdrop to the modern city of Perth, Western Australia. Key geological processes that led to the Darling Scarp’s formation are investigated, allowing readers to relate present day landscapes to events of the past.… Continue reading

Nuclear reactions

Target audience: year 11 physics

Nuclear reactions is a revised version of three SPICE sequences (Radiation, Atomic structure and Nuclear energy) to fit the WACE 2015 course, Senior Secondary Physics Unit 1. Parts of the sequence are also relevant to Senior Secondary Chemistry Unit 1.

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Be a Bush Scientist

Target audience: Year 4 science

This resource is the result of a collaboration between UWA Honorary Research Associate Felicity Bradshaw (author of A Tale of Two Honey Possums) and the SPICE program. It is an integrated science program, designed for students in Years 1 to 4, that demonstrates values of the natural environment and introduces concepts of biodiversity and sustainability.… Continue reading

Light and energy

Target audience: Year 9 physics

Visible light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum. These resources explain how we see with light, how light carries energy, and how properties of visible and invisible light lead to applications in astronomy and medicine.

The sequence contains four resources: Looking at lightInvestigating waves and energyElectromagnetic spectrum and Energy from waves.… Continue reading

Atoms and elements

Target audience: Year 9 chemistry

How do atoms of various elements differ, and how are these differences used to identify elements in a forensic application? This package includes interactive learning materials that allow students to explore how our understanding of atoms has developed.

The sequence contains four resources: Elementary forensicsLooking at atomsCreating atoms and Element fingerprints.… Continue reading

Molecular evidence for evolution

Target audience: Year 12 biology/human biology

These SPICE resources relate a more traditional understanding of evolution, based on fossils, anatomical and embryological evidence, to a more current understanding of evolutionary relatedness that also considers molecular evidence from DNA, RNA and proteins.

The sequence contains four resources: Mammal evolutionPrimatesEvolutionary trees and Viral evolution.

Sample material


Download Molecular evidence for evolution Purchase Molecular evidence for evolution

Extra copies of the set of cards in this resource may be purchased online.… Continue reading

Food web app launch

The SPICE app, Kimberley food webs, has been updated with the addition of a second environment: Herdsman Lake. You can now interactively explore food webs in the Kimberley and Perth regions. The app runs on any device that runs iOS 6 or later (iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone5, iPhone5s, iPhone 5c, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad4, iPad mini, iPad Air and iPod touch 4th or 5th gen.… Continue reading


Finding SPICE resources

There are now over 40 SPICE sequences available, comprising 160 resources with more on the way. If you’re having trouble finding the right resource, try our facility to Search SPICE resources by curriculum year or keyword.

Results include links to resource descriptions and Australian Curriculum pointers.… Continue reading

Carnarvon Astrofest, Science and Innovation festival

Ryan Kempster, PhD candidate and shark researcher from UWA, shared the spotlight with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki at the recent festival in Carnarvon.

Curriculum Consultant Jenny Gull and Travelling Scientist Ryan delivered informative workshops and talks to the local community, teachers and school students. Students particularly enjoyed constructing sharks out of play dough.

Jenny and Ryan also delivered talks to students and teachers at Exmouth District High School.… Continue reading