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Beyond the Bale : March 2013
25 ON-FARM FAST FACTS l A new educational kit from AWI will enable primary and secondary students to learn about and be inspired by wool. l Teachers have been involved in the kit’s creation to ensure it will be embraced in the classroom across all age groups. l The kit includes fibre and fabric samples as well as a combination of electronic and printed factsheets, posters and other learning resources. Ahands-on educational kit in the final stages of production will take students and teachers alike on a journey from the farm to the world of fashion. The Learn about Wool kit provides a hands-on, interactive opportunity for students from early childhood to late secondary years to discover and be inspired by the world of wool. The kit allows teachers and students to investigate every aspect of the wool production process, through a comprehensive package that contains a combination of electronic media, printed material and fibre and fabric samples. Early childhood teacher and Tasmanian wool producer Sharon Gee and award- winning Design and Technology teacher Katrina Wheaton-Penniall from Victoria have provided input to the structure and content of the kit and believe a key to the success in schools will be the flexibility of the resource. “The Learn about Wool kit will be an extremely valuable classroom resource and by including The Workboot Series – Story of Wool resources, we have given teachers a ready-to-go package they can use as the basis of a term’s work across key subject areas,” Ms Gee explained. “For those teachers and students who want a more flexible approach, we have developed two sets of factsheets that will appeal to both young students and those older students looking for more detail on the industry and the career options it provides. “Younger students will be delighted with the vast array of colourful images that showcase sheep, wool, farm life and the processes that transform such a wonderful fibre into a soft and luxurious fabric.” The cartoon Sam the Lamb, who appears in other AWI educational products, will guide younger students through the factsheets and processing posters. A mix of informative text, illustrative diagrams and cues to additional sources of information ensure that older students are engaged and their questions can be answered. To top off the package, a select range of fabric and fibre samples, ensures students of all ages can feel for themselves the softness and premium quality of Australian Merino. AWI Program Manager for Education and Extension, Claudia Wythes is excited about being able to provide a quality information kit to teachers for their students about the wool industry. “This package has been a goal of mine for some years and now it’s here thanks to the invaluable input of Sharon and Katrina, who have ensured the kit will be a useful and inspiring classroom resource across all groups and subject areas.” The content has been researched and written by project manager Catriona Nicholls, who has a long association with agricultural communications and education. Cat worked with national agricultural research and publishing organisation, Kondinin Group, for more than 15 years producing the bulk of their award-winning Workboot Series educational resources. She also has a long history with AWI, working as part of the Sheep Connect Tasmania team for the past couple of years. “Through Learn about Wool we want students and their teachers to engage not only with one of nature’s finest fibres, but also with the industry as a whole,” Ms Nicholls said. “Australia’s wool industry provides an astoundingly diverse career path for almost any student who cares to explore the opportunities. Revealing these opportunities to a young audience is a key goal of the Learn about Wool project.” The kit will be made freely available upon request by teachers. More information: To order a kit for your local school, teachers should contact Claudia Wythes, AWI Program Manager Education & Extension, (02) 8295 3100 or firstname.lastname@example.org WOOL EDUCATION KIT FOR SCHOOLS March 2013 BEYOND THE BALE Students from Scotch Oakburn College, Launceston, with their teacher (and wool producer) Madeleine Scott putting the ‘Learn about Wool’ kit through its paces.