Project Details Flying Chemistry Educators Program in the South Pacific

Project No.:
Start Date:
18 December 2015
End Date:
30 November 2019


We propose to hold the FCEP programme in four different South Pacific Countries, in each case for a local audience drawn from across each country. Teachers in Pacific Countries get very little opportunity for professional development for the subjects that they teach. There is a strong culture of teacher directed learning, often with large classes and very limited resources. A subject such as chemistry appears to be popular with school students but the nature of their study is seldom connected to their every-day experiences. By taking an FCEP programme into the Pacific we can encourage teachers to shift the focus of their teaching to be student centered, with students actively involved in their learning. This can be accomplished, in part, by training teachers to use the POGIL methodology, which focusses on process skills as well as strong content knowledge. POGIL has already been introduced to some Pacific teachers who are excited about the opportunities this provides for their students. Supporting and encouraging more teachers to engage their students in this way will see a greater depth to student understanding of chemistry. Helping students and teachers to make connections between the chemistry curriculum ideas will make chemistry more relevant for students and help them to engage more with their studies.

The FCEP programme will also help build the chemistry knowledge of teachers of Junior science classes, who often have very limited chemistry background. This will encourage more students, at an earlier age, to see the excitement and value of studying chemistry. At the same time it will be helpful to engage the community more in seeing the value both of science and chemistry in their everyday lives.

Objectives include, but are not limited to:

  1. the professional development of chemistry teachers with a specific focus on student centred learning
  2. to development of hands-on experiences of chemistry for all levels of schooling using locally available materials
  3. to improve the public understanding of chemistry in the local communities


We intend to organize a series of seminars and workshops for professional development for chemistry teachers to model best practice for guided inquiry, student centered, active teaching and learning. These workshops will also help to address some of the misconceptions common to chemistry learning at high school level.

We will set up a series of activities to promote the understanding of chemistry for primary and junior secondary school students and use these to help teachers to link chemistry to the everyday lives of their students.

We will provide a demonstration lecture that considers the importance of chemistry in our lives for interested members of the local community.

These programs will be generic but adapted to the different needs of the host country.


Nov 2019 – At present, this project is not going ahead and this activity might be reconsidered at a later date.

Project terminated

Page last updated 30 Nov 2019