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Bush Blitz TeachLive

It is anticipated that the 2019 Bush Blitz TeachLive expedition will take place in mid-October.

Bush Blitz TeachLive 2018 was conducted in the Protected Areas of the ACT. Five teachers from around Australia worked alongside top scientists in the field, searching for and documenting species discovered through the week long survey. Watch this video to see more!



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.

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 2018 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.

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

Selection will be based on:

  • your response to the three selection criteria on the Bush Blitz TeachLive application form 
  • video (no more than two minutes) of you explaining why you would like to participate in this Bush Blitz TeachLive and how you would use the experience to support your teaching and learning program and the benefit to your students
  • 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 the week beginning 15 October 2018. 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.


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

  • carefully read the Expedition Information document (download below) 
  • be available for an induction and web training seminar (via teleconference or video conference)
  • develop a sequence of 3 or 4 lessons (linked to the Australian Curriculum) for your replacement teacher to conduct with your class/es while you are in the field (template provided – see below)
  • have reasonable IT and social media skills in order to post content and share your experiences via the Bush Blitz TeachLive website. Training will be provided, after which you 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.
  • 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 expedition base camp. 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
  • be involved in a Bush Blitz community open day, sharing what you have learnt with the public
  • be involved with a teacher workshop run for local teachers. The workshop is designed to teach simple techniques for undertaking a school yard mini-Bush Blitz for students
  • be involved in an open lab event at Parliament House for members of Parliament, and be willing to talk about your experiences to invited guests 
  • have your own laptop available to bring to the Bush Blitz.

What is provided

A fully-funded place on the 2018 Bush Blitz TeachLive survey in the protected areas of the ACT .

This includes:

  • travel and accommodation getting to the Bush Blitz (see above)
  • 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.

Post-survey obligations of successful applicants

  • Design and write a teaching and learning curriculum resource (template provided) based on your sequence of lessons and experiences on the survey. This resource will loaded onto the Bush Blitz TeachLive website.
  • With your Bush Blitz TeachLive colleagues, design a conservation or biodiversity project or activity for your school to engage students and/or the wider education community.
  • Take part in a post-expedition meeting (teleconference or video conference) with other teachers and Earthwatch staff to plan how to implement your new knowledge and skills once you return to your classroom.
  • Liaise with your local Science Teacher Association or Earthwatch on how to implement your proposed PD opportunity. 
  • Contribute to an article on Bush Blitz TeachLive to the March or June 2019 edition of Teaching Science (ASTA’s professional journal).
  • Participate in ongoing evaluation of the Bush Blitz TeachLive program with Earthwatch Australia.


What is on the application form?

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 in 250-300 words each AND provide a short video of themselves speaking about how they would like to be a particpant on this Bush Blitz TeachLive expedition.

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

  1. How will participation on a Bush Blitz TeachLive expedition extend and enhance your STEM or geography teaching skill set?
  2. How do you plan to enthuse and engage your students back in your school while you are on the Bush Blitz TeachLive expedition? Give innovative examples.
  3. Decribe how you might use the skills and knowledge you develop on the Bush Blitz TeachLive expedition in your school and in your wider education networks 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, ASTA Senior Projects Officer [email protected] or Sandra McCullough, Earthwatch Bush Blitz and TeachLive Program Manager [email protected] 

Expedition summary - For more information on Bush Blitz TeachLive and the “Protected Areas of the ACT” expedition

Lesson plan template
Lesson plan template

This is the lesson plan template you will need to use when you develop your 3-4 lessons

Further Information