Victoria Laurie; 29/5/08
You need a sense of humour and a reliable four-wheel-drive to teach science in the outback – and the young educators visiting bush schools across remote Western Australia clearly have both. Lying in the dirt with a giant slingshot aimed to the sky, Reynald Kelly from Yandeyarra Remote Community School is learning a valuable lesson about angles and energy transference. If his water-bomb missile takes its predicted trajectory, Reynald will hit the reluctant target a few metres away – his teacher. Hands-on science lessons are being taken to more than 40 remote indigenous schools across the state, with the focus on Pilbara communities such as Yandeyarra, 145km south of Port Hedland, where mining jobs await Aboriginal students if they emerge from school with sufficient literacy and employment skills.