Tasmanian teacher to promote Australian Antarctic research

12 January 2003

Science teacher Jak Denny plans to promote the importance of Australia's Antarctic research through the classroom.

Mr Denny, a physics and chemistry teacher at Hobart's Rosny College, will travel on board Polar Bird which leaves Hobart today. Mr Denny successfully applied to participate in the Federal Government's Antarctic Humanities Program.

Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary for the Antarctic, said that the program – open to educators, writers, artists and media – played an important role in fostering and advancing community understanding about Antarctica and Australia's Antarctic research.

"People involved in the humanities are among our best communicators through a range of media and this program is an ideal way to spread the word about the importance of what we are doing in Antarctica and the reasons for protecting its uniqueness," Dr Stone said.

Mr Denny hopes to raise the profile of Australian research in Antarctica, particularly in the mathematical sciences such as space and atmospheric physics as well as environmental aspects of research.

"Public attention often focuses on the biological research in Antarctica such as seals, penguins and krill, but that's only part of the picture. Equally important in gaining broader understanding of the complete picture are the physical sciences," he said.

Whilst at Davis and Mawson, Mr Denny plans to interview researchers in the physical disciplines and record video footage of science being done by the Australian Antarctic Division.

"My plan is to promote the significance of Australian Antarctic scientific research through classrooms in Australia and across the world," Mr Denny said.

Dr Stone said that with Mr Denny's obvious passion for science and teaching, his experiences in Antarctica would be of great benefit to students and teachers alike.

Dr Stone is currently oversighting a review of the Humanities Program to ensure it continues to deliver great results in the future.