The Teachers' Guide to Bright Sparcs

The Teachers' Guide to Bright Sparcs - Level 4

'Working Scientifically' Strand, Using Science

Write an account of the work and techniques
of a particular scientist

To help your students learn more about Australia's long and productive scientific, technological and medical heritage, some questions that could be asked in class are:

To assist you in preparing for your class, there is a variety of information available at this site:

Bright Sparcs is a biographical and bibliographical database of Australian scientists and contains over 3,000 entries. It includes both scientists who were Australian by birth and those who undertook significant scientific work in Australia.

Each Bright Sparcs entry contains: the scientist's name, dates, place of birth, and some details of their professional life. There are at least a few lines of information on each of these scientists and this can act as a starting point for further research in libraries and a jump point to other online sources, where you can find more information about that particular scientist.

The Physics in Australia to 1945 site contains more detailed information on Australian physicists, with listings of their publications and biographical details. The introduction is an excellent place to start with this site.

When you access the Australian Academy of Science Biographical Memoirs, you will find lengthy, detailed life stories of over eighty famous Australian scientists. These files can then be downloaded and/or printed out for later use at home or in the classroom.

For especially keen students, or if you need to find out much more information on a particular scientist, a Bibliography is now available through Bright Sparcs. This resource lists any biographical books or articles about an Australian scientist, which can then be located in your library.

To start you on your way, a number of Australian scientists are listed below. All did significant work in Australia, and all have detailed online resources, in addition to their basic Bright Sparcs listings:

Report on the activities of scientists during
such events as earthquakes, oil spills,
epidemics, cyclones, the passing of a comet

Scientists - as investigators, advisors and researchers - are involved in most of the major natural disasters that occur. For example, geologists, engineers and seismologists are often called upon to give expert opinions about volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and land slides. Epidemics and the spread of such viruses as Ebola and AIDS also involve a huge committment from many scientists (microbiologists, virologists, molecular biologists, epidemiologists, medical practitioners, medical researchers and more) .

Here are just a few names of Australian scientists who have been involved in such events, but you can search for yourself using the Bright Sparcs Search engine. There are many others of course...

If you have any suggestions on Australian scientists that we can feature in this section,
please email us at:

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Published by the Australian Science Archives Project on ASAPWeb, 7 March 1997
Comments or corrections to: Bright Sparcs (
Prepared by: Denise Sutherland and Elissa Tenkate
Updated by: Elissa Tenkate
Date modified: 19 February 1998

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