Dr Louise Kuchel

  • Writing is an important aspect of doing science and being a scientist, but many science students dislike, or are poor at, writing. Honours projects related to this topic could include... What is the attitude of science students towards writing? Does incorporating short writing activities into large first year classes change students’ attitudes and/or writing abilities?
  • Improving Conservation Education – in this project you will work with three Marine Environmental Education Centres in South-east Qld as well as experts from UQ to evaluate the effectiveness some of their school education programs. The project will determine what students learn from the experience, how their attitudes towards marine conservation change and how conservation outcomes from these activities can be improved. Some experience in education and/or psychology as well as ecology and/or conservation is preferred but not essential.
  • Writing is an important aspect of doing science and being a scientist, but many science students dislike, or are poor at, writing. Honours projects related to this topic could include... What is the attitude of science students towards writing? Does incorporating short writing activities into large first year classes change students’ attitudes and/or writing abilities?
  • Field work is always popular with biology students, but field classes are logistically difficult and expensive to run. Honours projects related to this topic could include... What is it that students learn in the field that differs from other types of classes? What types of field-based activities maximise this type of learning?
  • First year biology students come to university with a wide range of backgrounds e.g., some have studied year 12 biology, others have not. Honours projects related to this topic could include... Does your background experience and education in biology correlate with your grade in first year biology classes? If so, how?
  • Many first year students struggle to understand the difference between a gene and an allele, despite this having been taught in class. Students carry this misunderstanding through to their jobs in science and related disciplines. Honours projects related to this topic could include... What is the most common point of confusion for students about this topic? Why does this confusion exist? What are the most effective ways to teach this topic?
  • Scientists are being asked more and more to communicate their science to non-scientific audiences in both writing and speaking (eg, the pubic, the media, etc). Yet scientists are rarely trained in the skills required to do this effectively. Honours projects related to this topic could include... How does training of scientists need to change to address this discrepancy? Does involving scientists directly in public communication of science (eg for education) make a difference? Is it an effective approach, or would it be more effective to employ professional communicators with scientific knowledge?

 
Go to top