Queensland secondary students soon will have a greater opportunity to learn about forests, forest products and forest issues as part of their everyday curriculum.
These topics are covered extensively in a forest education project prepared by the Departments of Forestry and Education for science, manual arts and social science students.
The $300,000 scheme has been co-sponsored by the Timber Research and Development Advisory Council.
Known as ForEd, the project will be launched in the Queen Street Mall on World Forestry Day – March 21 – by State Forestry Minister Bill Glasson.
Mr Glasson said the ForEd project began three years ago to meet the increasing demand from schools for information about forests.
High school teacher Nancy Williamson has been seconded to the Department of Forestry to coordinate the scheme.
The project provides a comprehensive rationale for the inclusion of forest studies in the school curriculum.
“At the same time, it emphasises the importance of the forest eco-system and gives a perspective on competing forest issues,” Bill Glasson said.
He said project materials were compiled and developed by teachers to fit the school curriculum and educational requirements.
Materials included sourcebooks with work samples for teachers and resource folders containing slide sets, wood samples and information sheets for teachers and students.
The resource folders covered the forest environment, wood products and issues of the forest environment.
Mr Glasson said the project had been extensively researched, was well balanced and clearly presented.
“It will give students an opportunity to learn about major forest types and first products, giving arguments for and against environmental issues,” he said.
Mr Glasson officially will hand over the first of three ForEd resource folders to the Education Minister Lin Powell in the Queen Street Mall on March 21.
The ceremony will form part of Timber Week 85 activities planned for the mall from March 19 to 23.
The ForEd project will feature prominently in the promotion with giant-sized folders explaining details of the scheme.
Mr Glasson said his department planned to distribute the project materials free to Queensland’s public and private secondary schools during the year.
Extra copies would be available on request from the Department of Forestry for a nominal fee.