Western Sydney school’s zombie crime scene helping children learn about science – Science News – Australia News

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A race against time to find a kidnapped scientist and prevent a zombie outbreak — it sounds like the plot of a B-grade film but it’s actually part of a new learning initiative at a school in Sydney’s west.

The amateur detective program was designed by teachers at Penrith Valley School, a facility for children with behavioural problems or complex emotional needs who have struggled with mainstream learning.

“A lot of them have had a lot of poor experiences in the classroom so they’ve got an expectation of failure that they’re bringing in,” principal Nic Danta said.

“And so the first stage is just to re-build that trust and connect them with education.”

Through a series of videos filmed and performed by the school’s teachers, the students are briefed on their mission to track down a missing scientist named Dr Stein and recreate his zombie vaccine before an outbreak spreads from the Moon to Earth.

Dressed in protective clothing, they’re led to a ‘crime scene’ complete with gory props where they start searching for clues about the scientist’s disappearance.

To crack the case, they’ll also need to conduct science experiments and written work along the way.

Mr Danta said the program was aimed improving the students’ school work as well as their problem-solving and teamwork skills.

“It’s open ended learning so rather than them looking to the teacher for answers they’ve got to try to solve these problems, which is more what real life is about,” he said.

“Having a lot…

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