Einsteinian Science for School Teachers
12 UWA Credit Point Course Consisting of Four Units, Starting Feb 2024
Einstein-First and Quantum Girls have created a two-part short course UWA micro-credential for primary and secondary level educators. Micro-credentials are short courses that anyone can undertake to develop the desired skills, knowledge, and experience in a given subject. These units will be fully online and suitable for participants across Australia as well as internationally.
These micro-credential units, created and run by the Einstein-First and Quantum Girls team, are designed for primary and secondary school teachers and other educators who want to build their knowledge of a modernised school curriculum. A curriculum which matches the modern science students see in their everyday lives.
The course is designed for those with or without an undergraduate science degree and presents the underlying concepts of modern science. These concepts are presented through simple, fun activities that use toys and models. Through these activities, you will discover that modern Einsteinian concepts of space and time, gravity, energy, and light are easy to understand and are easily taught to both primary and secondary students.
At the end of the course, you will be able to talk with your students about science topics that fascinate many of them, like black holes and quantum computers, and important issues like climate change, with quantum technology having recently been identified by the Australian Government as a key strategic industry for Australia’s future. You will be satisfied with knowing that you are giving students the best possible preparation for life in the modern world of science and technology.
The upcoming course will consist of online lectures, live tutorials, and training videos. The course will also incorporate fortnightly two-hour interactive online workshop sessions with demonstrators running through the activities live with active audience participation. This course will require a weekly commitment of 3-5 hours per week. All sessions will be recorded if you cannot attend live.
The course consists of two parts offered across first and second semester, with each part consisting of two individual six-week units.
Thanks to an Australian Government Department of Education grant, eligible domestic participants who enrol in the full four-unit course will be offered a completely fee-free position (for the first 60 participants).
Cost for individual units: $500 AUD incl. GST for each unit
Cost for full four-unit course: $1,600 AUD incl. GST (free for eligible participants)
Ask your principal to support you in this invaluable professional development that will inspire you to make your teaching more fun and engaging for your students.
A number of scholarships can be made available based on financial need on a case-by-case basis.
A second round of the course may be offered with a mid-year intake pending sufficient interest.
An introductory unit covering our Year 3 – 6 curriculum topics. You will learn about our modern understanding of atoms, heat, states of matter, and the forces which hold them together; the fact that light is made up of photons and the nature of the electromagnetic spectrum; an introduction to the quantum nature of light and matter; an introduction to the concept of spacetime and that gravity is caused by warped spacetime; and the basic science of our climate and the key drivers of climate change. You will also learn about the mathematical concepts which underpin these ideas in a friendly and approachable way.
This unit covers our Year 7 – 9 curriculum topics. You will develop an in-depth understanding of the nature of gravity and spacetime and how it fits into Einstein’s concepts of special and general relativity. You will also learn about the concept of energy, including Einstein’s famous E = mc^2 equation, the unifying concept of binding energy, and the concepts behind methods of renewable energy production. Finally, you will explore the ideas behind quantum mechanics and learn about key concepts such as interference, phasors, quantum uncertainty, spin, and the particles of the standard model.
This unit covers our Year 10 curriculum, synthesising everything that is covered across units 1 and 2. You will develop an in-depth understanding of the physical mechanisms which are fundamental to the Earth’s climate and learn about the history of the Earth’s climate and how planets form and evolve in the universe. You will then learn about how this relates to our understanding of the evolution of the universe, from the first instants of the big bang and the initial formation of the constituents of matter, all the way to the ongoing expansion of the universe due to dark energy.
In the final unit we will go beyond the base curriculum and explore a variety of examples and applications of Einsteinian science in the real world and at the cutting edge of modern research. You will learn about applications of quantum science including exotic matter and quantum computing, the incredible technologies used in modern telescopes and gravitational wave detectors, and the underlying connections between different fields of science. You will also become proficient in a variety of very simple calculations and processes across quantum mechanics, relativity, and astronomy.
What’s right for me?
The key concepts for the primary curriculum are covered in Unit I, however we strongly recommend that primary teachers also complete at least Unit II, where each of the topics presented in Unit I is explored in more depth, following the principle of a spiral curriculum on which the overall Einstein-First curriculum is based. The additional context and deeper level of subject proficiency obtained from Unit II is sure to provide many benefits to your teaching practice and confidence teaching science at a primary level.
While Units III and IV address topics most suitable for upper secondary classes, you are still sure to benefit from the additional broadening provided to your overall understanding of modern science if you choose to undertake these units as a primary teacher. Additionally, the overall course is free for domestic participants if you complete all four units, making this an excellent opportunity for you to develop a deep understanding of both primary school science topics and the broader range of topics which your students will encounter as they progress onto high school and university.
The key concepts for the middle school and high school curriculum up to Year 9 are covered in Units I and II, and these two units together will provide you with an excellent grounding in all of the physics, mathematics, and chemistry concepts which are required to teach Einsteinian science at your year levels.
While Units III and IV address topics most suitable for upper secondary classes, you are still sure to benefit from the additional broadening provided to your overall understanding of modern science if you choose to undertake these units as a middle school teacher. Additionally, the overall course is free for domestic participants if you complete all four units, making this an excellent opportunity for you to develop a deep understanding of both middle school science topics and the broader range of topics which your students will encounter as they progress onto upper secondary school and university.
Units I and II provide an excellent grounding for all of the topics to be taught at the secondary school level, including at upper secondary levels, so if you are only able to commit to these units, you will certainly still be well served by the content covered in the first two units.
However, we strongly recommend that upper secondary teachers and science specialists complete the full four-unit course, as Units III and IV address curriculum topics in Year 10 and beyond, and these will best prepare you to teach modern science topics at all levels of schooling and provide you with the broader context of how what you’re teaching relates to the real-world science careers that your students will be pursuing.
We welcome all kinds of educators, including tutors, relief teachers, home schoolers, pre-service teachers, and other science communicators in general. If you are a domestic participant, you will also be eligible for a fee-free government funded place if you enrol in the full four-unit course.
We encourage you to consider the year levels you will be addressing in your teaching or science communication and follow the appropriate recommendations for teachers of those year levels provided above.
*Note: For pre-service teachers, you will need to check with your current educational provider to determine if micro-credential units can be counted towards your current program.
There are no eligibility requirements to participate in these micro-credentials as a fee-paying participant, although participants must complete both units in Part A, or have equivalent prior experience (e.g., a Bachelor of Science majoring in physics, mathematics, and/or chemistry) before commencing units in Part B of the course.
Government-funded fee-free positions share the same eligibility requirements as the Australian Government’s FEE-HELP program. Participants must also enrol in the full four-unit course in order to be eligible for a fee-free position.
Weekly assessment will consist of a combination of multiple-choice concept quizzes and short answer tutorial questions which should take a total of 15-30 minutes per week. At the end of each unit, 1 week will be set aside for assessment. This will variously involve short written reports or short presentations on topics related to Einsteinian science and your teaching practice.
On successfully completing the course (or unit), you will be awarded with a Certificate of Completion.
The course will frequently refer to our Teaching Einsteinian Physics in Schools book. While some excerpts will be provided, it is recommended that you purchase your own copy as a complete reference if you have the means to do so.
In addition to the textbook, readings will be assigned for each of our curriculum modules, as we cover the relevant topics in the course. You may like to get ahead by reading through some of our modules under the Resources tab above.
Here’s what previous participants had to say
The Einstein-First Microcredential Course is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn how to teach cutting-edge science concepts in the science classroom. I went into the online class as an overseas student and the Einstein-First team went out of their way to accommodate me. Though I already knew quite a bit of the science, I was surprised at how much I learned in this course. The professors gave me new perspectives on subject material I already teach, and helped me realize there is a way to teach the Einsteinian concepts in the primary and secondary classroom settings. Even after the course, Einstein-First team members are supporting my efforts to implement their material in classrooms in the USA.
– Andy Crocker, M.A.T.
I have been teaching as a science specialist for a while now and was hoping to increase my scientific knowledge of modern science phenomenon as well as bolster my hands on program with new experiments that give kids deeper understanding. Along comes Einstein First with a curriculum that is exciting and cutting edge, delivered in a way that is not only engaging for students but puts them ahead for high school and beyond. This course gave me the ability to discuss modern science in a way that is relevant and exciting. The connection to the learning students see at a high school level helped me to better prepare my future scientists for life beyond primary school and equip them with a knowledge of the world that continues to fascinate us all.
– Chris Lambe, Level 3 Science Specialist
In addition, 100% of past participants agree that they would be confident to teach Einsteinian science in their schools and that the course has improved their confidence in teaching science more generally.