First language song contest

Can you sing a song in the traditional language of your area? ABC Splash is inviting schools to work with their local Indigenous community to translate the body song, “Marrin Gamu”, into the first language of their area, then to record students singing it. Upload your video to be in the running for the major prize: a visit from a video production team to film students performing the song, or a runner up prize of a bespoke language resource package designed for your school by First Languages Australia. Click here for lots of advice, backing track for the song and details on how to enter the competition. The closing date for entries is 5pm on Wednesday, August 10.

New HSC study resources

Teachers particularly, but parents and students also, are offered a new HSC study resource, powered and backed by Macquarie University, which uses videos, interactive activities, and quizzes on syllabus-based content to help prepare senior high schoolers for their final examinations. The resource, HSCStudyLab, has launched modules in year 11 (preliminary) and year 12 (HSC) biology, chemistry and physics. The resource is free to teachers, and also available for private purchase by parents or students.

STEM superheroes needed

Speakers at a STEM seminar held by the Brookings Centre think tank in the United States said role models could help popularise STEM subjects to more school students. NASA Administrator and former astronaut Charles Bolden pointed out that “art” and “design” — the A and D of what he called STEAMD — are just as important as the more technical elements. “We need kids to be very conversant and competent in science and math … That’s what allows them to be the dreamers that create the technologies that we know we’re missing,” he said. Mr Bolden encouraged investing in STEM-related courses at the elementary level so that “it feeds into the secondary level, and then into undergraduate studies”. Speakers said universities and industry are fighting over the most talented scientists, engineers, and technologists already out there, but individuals from a young age still need a mission. Only 16 per cent of American high school students are proficient in maths and interested in the other STEM subjects. Listen to an audio file of the event.

Nude Food Day

Nude Food Day encourages and educates students, parents and teachers about the importance of packing healthy, rubbish-free lunches. This year the event is being run throughout October, and schools can celebrate the whole month through or any particular day. There’s a competition with $5000 worth of prizes to be won: the theme is “Show us as creatively as you can how $2000 could make every day a Nude Food Day at your school”. Creative submissions may include videos, rap songs, posters, collages etc. Visit for details.