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Bush Blitz TeachLive



In brief:

WHERE:           Rungulla National Park, Queensland
WHEN:             Thursday 23 April–Thursday 30 April 2020
DURATION:     8 days (6 school days). Due to the remote location of the site, participants will need to allocate an extra day either side of these dates to travel to/from site.
WHO:               5 Australian teachers who teach years 4–12.

** One place will be allocated to an early career teacher (teaching 3 years or less).
** Two places will be reserved for members of the state and territory Science Teacher Associations.

HOW:               To apply you will need to:

-- Create and submit a maximum 2-minute video describing why you would like to be involved in this Bush Blitz TeachLive expedition, and how you would use the experience to support your teaching to increase the benefit for your students (details at the bottom of this webpage);
-- Support your video application with a written form addressing three selection criteria (listed at the bottom of this webpage).  

Important Notes: Due to the remote and rugged site and limited facilities planned for this Bush Blitz, it is important you are comfortable with:

  • Being in the field for 8 hrs/day while walking over rocky terrain.
  • Travelling as a passenger for long distances in 4WD vehicles, often over bumpy terrain.
  • Not having access to toilets while in the field.
  • Sleeping in a tent, and being thrifty with shower usage.

PLEASE READ the information below carefully, then click on the 'Fill in the online application here' at the base of this page to go straight to the application form. Good luck!!


What is Bush Blitz TeachLive?

Bush Blitz is a national partnership between the Australian Government, BHP and Earthwatch Australia that aims to discover, document and describe the unique flora and fauna of Australia. It is the world’s first continent-scale biodiversity survey providing the knowledge needed to help protect Australia’s biodiversity. www.bushblitz.org.au

Bush Blitz TeachLive is an exciting professional learning opportunity for teachers who participate as research assistants for leading scientists on Bush Blitz expeditions. They learn hands on, scientific research skills while helping to document plants and animals and potentially discover new species.

While in the field teachers share this experience with their students through Skype and other online tools, and through the Bush Blitz TeachLive website (http://bushblitz.teachlive.org.au) where they post blogs and share photographs.

The interactive nature of the Bush Blitz TeachLive program is an engaging way for teachers to improve their web-based teaching skills, learn current scientific research techniques, work in a team with world-class scientists and other teachers and learn more about unique Australian environments.

Watch the video below to see the experiences of the teachers who participated in Bush Blitz TeachLive in the ACT in 2018.

Objectives of the program

The Bush Blitz TeachLive program seeks to:

  • educate teachers and students about Australia’s biodiversity and the importance of conservation
  • inspire students to pursue further studies in STEM and geography subjects by exposing them to real and exciting scientific research in an Australian context and building their core skills and knowledge in science and biodiversity conservation 
  • inspire and build confidence of teachers to be scientific role models for their students
  • increase the quality of STEM/geography teaching through building teachers’ scientific knowledge and research skills, and providing them with a transformational experience that motivates them to pass on this knowledge and skill to their students
  • encourage teachers to share their Bush Blitz TeachLive experience with their schools and wider communities, through implementing biodiversity and conservation projects or activities.

Who is eligible?

The Bush Blitz TeachLive team are looking for a committed but diverse range of teachers to assist scientists on the 2019 Bush Blitz TeachLive expedition.

All teachers who teach year 4-12 students are encouraged to apply.

You do not need to be STEM or geography trained nor an experienced teacher, you just need to be passionate about STEM/geography, STEM/geography teaching and keen to share your experiences with your school community. We particularly encourage teachers who might benefit from participation. These could include teachers less confident in teaching the STEM disciplines, experienced teachers who are keen to improve their fieldwork skills in order to instruct their students and/or teachers that want to actively demonstrate to their students the biodiversity of Australian ecosystems. Bush Blitz TeachLive provides the opportunity to broaden teacher knowledge and experiences beyond the classroom.

To be eligible you must be an Australian teacher currently teaching years 4–12.

  • One position will be reserved for an early career teacher who has taught for three years or fewer.
  • Two positions will be allocated to financial members (school or individual) of the relevant state or territory Science Teachers Association.
  • If you have previously participated in Bush Blitz TeachLive, you will be ineligible to apply.
  • If you have participated in an expedition through the EarthWatch TeachLive or TeachWild program in the last 2 years, your application will receive a lower priority.
  • Education providers outside of schools (such as environmental education providers) may also receive lower priority, as the program requires teaching "live" direct to a class.

Participant selection

Selection will be based on:

  • A 2-minute (maximum) video submission (see further below for details). The video will form the main component of the application.
  • Your response to the three selection criteria (see further below for details.
  • supporting statement from your Principal (see details below).

The final selection of teacher participants is at the discretion of the selection panel, which includes representatives from Bush Blitz, Earthwatch Australia and ASTA.

Support from Principal (please refer your Principal to this section)

The applicant must:

  • tick a box on the application form that indicates they have their Principal’s endorsement of their application. 
  • provide their Principal’s email address on the application.

A member of the Bush Blitz TeachLive selection committee will contact, by email then phone, the Principal of each shortlisted applicant. The purpose of this contact is to find out how the school will support the applicant to achieve the objectives of the program and more specifically what support will be provided leading up to and during the Bush Blitz survey and how the applicant will be supported to share the outcomes of the Bush Blitz Teach Live survey with the school and school community.

Please note: All applicants will be notified of the outcome of the selection process in early March 2020. Due to the short time period between the application period closing and the expedition itself, successful applicants must commit to responding promptly to all requests regarding travel and training requirements.

What is provided

A fully-funded place on the 2020 Bush Blitz TeachLive survey in Rungulla National Park, Queensland includes:

  • travel and accommodation getting to and from the Bush Blitz 
  • accommodation in the field
  • all meals while in the field
  • full teacher replacement costs (6 school days)
  • training in field research methods
  • training in website content management
  • detailed briefing materials on the survey
  • Bush Blitz TeachLive merchandise.


This program will require a dedicated commitment by teachers. Successful applicants are expected to commit to the following.

Pre-survey commitments
  • Carefully read the Expedition Information document (see below) and ensure you have all the items on the packing list (TBA).
  • Be available for an induction and web training seminar (via a Zoom video call).
  • Have your own laptop available to bring to the Bush Blitz.
  • Plan a couple of suitable times you would like to video call (e.g., Skype) your class from the field.
  • Have reasonable IT and social media skills in order to post content and share your experiences via the Bush Blitz TeachLive website. 
  • Be physically fit and active, and prepared to work up to 8 hours a day in the field.
During-survey commitments
  • For this expedition, you will likely need to allow at least one day before and after the expedition to travel to and from the expedition base camp as it is quite remote.
  • Participate and engage in daily field activities, including any community events. Fieldwork times may vary and you will need to be flexible with your time (both daytime and evening fieldwork will occur).
  • Write and upload a blog each day to the Bush Blitz TeachLive website, including a 'teachable moment' or a fun activity, to ensure your students learn from your experience.
  • Set up a video call with your class from the field.
Post-survey commitments
  • Design and write an engaging teaching and learning curriculum resource (3 or 4 lesson plans) based on your experiences on the survey. This resource will be uploaded to the EarthWatch Bush Blitz TeachLive website. See the resources provided by previous participants here.
  • After collaboration with fellow participants/scientists/Earthwatch staff, aim to implement a biodiversity-themed project at your school.
  • Contribute to an article on Bush Blitz TeachLive to Teaching Science (ASTA’s professional journal). The STA member participants may be requested to submit a brief article to their STA journal or newsletter.
  • Participate in ongoing evaluation of the Bush Blitz TeachLive program with Earthwatch Australia.

 How to apply

1. Develop a 2-minute (maximum) video submission

This will form the main component of the application. We feel it is a chance to let your real passion shine through! Bush Blitz TeachLive relies heavily on the use of technology to communicate with your students, so this is also a great way to show off your IT skills and helps demonstrate you are familiar with the use of relevant technologies. We encourage all interested teachers to just have a go! Your video will only be viewed internally. In this video, you must include:

a. why you would like to be involved in this Bush Blitz TeachLive expedition, and,
b. how you would use the experience to support your teaching to increase the benefit for your students.
Suggestions for those unfamiliar with video editing: Use smart phones for filming, and edit your video using free video-editing apps. For desktop devices, iMovie and Microsoft Video Editor are software which are often already available on Mac and PC computers.

2. Upload your video application to a cloud platform (OneDrive, GoogeDrive, Dropbox). Ensure it is named “YourName_BushBlitzTeachLive_2020”, and share the video with this email address: bushblitzphotos@hotmail.com . If you have issues with this process, please contact smccullough@earthwatch.org.au or projectofficer@asta.edu.au .
3. Submit the written application form through the Survey Monkey form below

The application form is in three parts.

  • Part A asks for applicant details including name, school, principals name, jurisdiction, year level/s currently teaching, STA membership details etc.;
  • Part B has 2 questions regarding communications; and,
  • Part C asks applicants to address three criteria (max 200 words each).

In order to help you prepare before you go online, here are the three selection criteria questions:

  1. How will your experience on a Bush Blitz TeachLive expedition enhance your STEM or geography teaching?
  2. How will you engage and enthuse your students back in your school while you are on the Bush Blitz TeachLive expedition? Give innovative examples.
  3. Decribe how you will use your new skills and knowledge after you return, both in your school and wider education networks to ensure that students continue to benefit in the future? This may include ideas for biodiversity, environmental or sustainability projects or partnerships.

If you have any questions or queries about the application process please contact the ASTA Projects Officer at projectofficer@asta.edu.au 

If you have any questions or queries about the expedition and TeachLive component please contact Sandra McCullough, Earthwatch Bush Blitz and TeachLive Program Manager smccullough@earthwatch.org.au 



Expedition Summary - Rungalla National Park, QLD
Expedition Summary - Rungalla National Park, QLD


Further Information