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Bush Blitz TeachLive

Bush Blitz TeachLive 2017


In brief:

WHERE: Victoria Bonaparte Bioregion, Northern Territory 

WHEN: 6-13 May 2017

DURATION: 8 days (5 school days)

WHO: 5 teachers who teach years 5-8. One place is reserved for an early career teacher.

PLEASE READ the information below carefully then click on the 'Fill in the online application here' to go straight to the applicationn form. Good luck!!

PLEASE NOTE: This opportunity is open to members of the state and territory Science Teacher Associations. If you are not a member JOIN NOW!

Read all about the expedition and the Victoria Bonaparte Bioregion in the document below.

Bush Blitz TeachLive 2017 expedition notes
Bush Blitz TeachLive 2017 expedition notes

 What is Bush Blitz TeachLive?

Bush Blitz is a national partnership between the Australian Government, BHP Billiton 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 gives teachers an opportunity to participate in a Bush Blitz expedition, working as research assistants for leading scientists in the field by helping to document plants and animals and 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, share photographs and videos and conduct interactive forums

The interactive nature of the Bush Blitz TeachLive program is a 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.

Objectives of the program

The Bush Blitz TeachLive program seeks to:

  • improve outcomes for students by building their core skills and knowledge in science through exposing them to real scientific research and fieldwork in an Australian context
  • increase student curiosity and enthusiasm for science and to inspire teachers to be science role models
  • increase the quality of science 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 education networks and to embed citizen science in their curriculum

Who is eligible?

The Bush Blitz TeachLive team are looking for a committed but diverse range of teachers to assist scientists on the 2017 Bush Blitz TeachLive expedition.

All teachers who teach year 5-8 students are encouraged to apply.

You do not need to be science-trained nor an experienced biological sciences teacher, you just need to be passionate about science, science 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 biological sciences, 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:

  1. an Australian teacher currently teaching Years 5-8
  2. be an individual member of your state or territory Science Teachers Association. Join now!

Please note: If you have participated in an expedition through the EarthWatch TeachLive or TeachWild program in the last 2 years your application will receive lower priority.

Participant selection

Five teacher places are available to attend Bush Blitz Teach Live 2017. One place is specifically reserved for an early career teacher (teaching less than three years).

Selection will be based on:

  • an applicant’s response to the three selection criteria on the Bush Blitz TeachLive application form (see details in 'Apply here!' section below)
  • a supporting statement from applicant’s 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 and phone number 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.


This program will require a dedicated commitment by teachers. Prior to leaving for the Bush Blitz survey successful applicants MUST:

  • carefully read the Expedition Information document.
  • be available for an induction and web training seminar (via teleconference or video conference)
  • develop a sequence of lessons (linked to the Australian Curriculum: Science) for their students. For examples see the Bush Blitz TeachLive website
  • have reasonable IT skills in order to post content and share experiences via the Bush Blitz TeachLive website. Training will be provided, after which the teachers will be expected to use Web2 technologies to post blogs, share images and videos, conduct online forums, and to use external platforms such as Skype
  • design, and post on the Bush Blitz TeachLive website, lessons for their replacement teacher to conduct with their class while they are in the field
  • be physically fit and active, and prepared to work up to 8 hours a day in the field
  • allow at least one day before and after the expedition to travel to and from the survey site. Your transport and accommodation to and from the survey, as well as during the expedition itself, will be organised and funded by Earthwatch and other program partners
  • have their own laptop available to bring to the Bush Blitz.

What is provided

  • A fully-funded place on the 2017 Bush Blitz TeachLive survey in the Victoria Bonaparte Bioregion, NT.

This includes:

  • travel and accommodation getting to the Bush Blitz (see above)
  • accommodation in the field
  • food in the field
  • full teacher replacement costs (5 school days).
  • Training in field research methods.
  • Training in website content management.
  • Detailed briefing materials on the survey.
  • Bush Blitz TeachLive merchandise.

Post-survey obligations of successful applicants

  • Provide a brief report on your experiences on the Bush Blitz TeachLive to the Science Teacher Association of which you are a member.
  • Contribute to an article on Bush Blitz TeachLive to the September 2017 edition of Teaching Science (ASTA’s professional journal).
  • Participate in ongoing evaluation of the Bush Blitz TeachLive program.

Take part in a post-expedition meeting with other teachers and Earthwatch staff to plan how to implement your new knowledge and skills once you return to your classroom.


(Applications closed for the 2017 expedition)

The application form is in two parts. Part A asks for applicant details including name, school, principals name, jurisdiction, year level/s currently teaching, STA membership details etc. Part B asks applicants to address 3 criteria in 200-250 words each.

In order to help you prepare before you go online here are the 3 selection criteria questions:
How will participation on a Bush Blitz TeachLive expedition extend and enhance your science teaching skill set?
How do you plan to enthuse and engage your students back in your school while you are on the BBTL expedition? Give innovative examples.
How will you use the skills and knowledge you develop on the BBTL expedition in your school after you return, and how will you and your school ensure that students continue to benefit in the future?

If you have any questions or queries please contact Delese Brewster, Senior Projects Officer [email protected]

Further Information