Welcome! Professional Teaching Portfolio Sonia Hankova Education/Art/Science. E-Mail: sonia.hankova@gmail.com, Phone: +61 425 703 860

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Professional Engagement – Developing Global Citizenship

Applied Curriculum Project – Developing Global Citizenship, Methodist Ladies' College, 2014140px-Mlclogo_green_small

During 2014, I worked collaboratively with my university colleague Olivia Sonn and broader communities – Methodist Ladies' College (MLC) and Victoria University (VU) (VIT Standard 6 & 7 – professional learning and engagement), to investigate teachers’ and students’ involvement in the cultivation of global citizenship qualities, more specifically in the development of awareness, appreciation, understanding and responsibility.

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Case – Professional Engagement

Practice Described
It is early August, 8:30am. At the Methodist Ladies' College a long queue of young scientists, from all across Victoria, are braving the cold in anticipation to impress the judges with their scientific models and inventions. Calm before the storm – the judging day of the 64th annual Science Talent Search competition has finally arrived – I am observing, going over the extensive assessment rubrics for the very last time before the judging begins. I am excited and a little nervous; it’s been a year since I have done this for the first time. This year’s theme: ‘Science of Light’ – I can’t wait to see what the children have been busy inventing and building in their spare time.

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Case – Professional Practice

Practice Described
I was teaching Year 10 Applied Science class of 14 girls with a range of social and intellectual disabilities, modified content and instructions. After having spent a better part of the week talking about chromosomes and karyotypes and about the differences between these in males and females, healthy and abnormal types, I needed to know if we can move on. I thought building a karyotype and reading it to answer a series of related questions would be a great way to individually assess my student’s understanding of the topic (I was looking to gather some quantitative evidence of learning, to inform the quality of my teaching and future planning) whilst engaging them in a fun, hands on, cut and paste activity to which I allocated an entire period. I modified the content and gave my students clear instructions on what to do. 

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Case – Professional Knowledge

Practice Described
Will is a 13 year old kid who attends Grade 7 at a local secondary school in a small, low socioeconomic town in rural Victoria. His literacy and numeracy skills are very low, he is on a behavioural management plan and is marked ‘at risk from disengagement’ by the school.

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Visualising the wonder of a living cell

Medical Illustrator David Bolinsky combines the beauty of art and science as well as educates through animations that make it easier for students to visualise, thus better understand the many complex concepts and processes of life on a microscopic level.

Absolutely stunning!

These animations can be viewed on:




Imagination is more important than knowledge. ~ Albert Einstein

The aim of this project was not only to develop a major teaching resource in areas of Cell Biology (Unit 1 VCE, Area of study 1 – Cells in action, VCAA 2013), Visual Arts/Sculpture and Graphic Design but to serve as an investigation into how cross-curricular multimodal projects such as this or of similar nature, collectively or as individual components, could serve as a tool for developing, reviewing and solidifying students’ knowledge, skills and understanding of science, art and design as well as for the cultivation of life skills and higher orders of thinking. Read more →

Carving up the Amazon

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Title: Carving up the Amazon

Date: 22 May 2014
Author: Barbara Fraser
Source: Nature
Science category: Biological and Environmental sciences
Style: Academic journal article

Summary: This article describes the growth of infrastructure and roads throughout South America and the detrimental impacts this has had on the Amazon rainforest. The main focus in on deforestation and its impacts on the environment. New roads attract loggers, farmers, ranchers, land speculators, miners and others who aid in the destruction of the forest. These scars on the landscape are obvious and bring about a cascade of environmental changes that weaken the ecosystem and result in permanent changes and damage. Read more →

Return of the wild

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Title: Return of the wild

Date: 1st March 2014
Author: Sara Reardon
Source: New Scientist
Science category: Ecology/Conservation
Style: Popular science magazine article

Summary: This article talks about the concept of ‘rewilding’ that has been a hot topic in the conservation circles. The idea is to return large areas of land to their natural state, rebuilding ecosystems and reintroducing species that have long since vanished. This would include animals such as wolves and bears, which have been actively exterminated because they were detrimental to the interests of human settlers or farmers. One of the ways to replace species that are gone for good such as dodo, moa-nalo, the giant Hawaiian duck is to introduce alien species in hope that they will do the same jobs as the ones long gone.

The article poses a number of ethical dilemmas: is this a good idea or are we foolishly meddling with nature? Are we dealing with outcomes we cannot predict? Read more →

Solar System Scope

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Title: Solar System Scope – Online 3D simulation of Solar System and night sky

Date: 2013
Author: INOVE s.r.o.
Source: www.solarsystemscope.com
Science category: Earth and space sciences – Astronomy
Style: Website

Summary: A must have online software for an astronomer of any skill level.

Suitable for both teachers and students – this interactive 3D simulation contains in depth information and detailed models of the night sky and the solar system.

• Heliocentric view with real-time positions of planets and planetary orbits
• Schematic and realistic sizes of the planets and distances between them
• Movement of the planets in time to see how they move in relation to each other – Virtual Orrery
• Planetary exploration with info text, images and additional views such as structure
• Moons
• Dwarf planets and their orbits
• Comets – positions and trajectories
• Spacecraft Rosetta and its journey to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
• Stars and constellations of the night sky as viewed from a given location – Virtual Observatory
• Interactive night sky
• Changes in the sky during night, month and year
• Advanced searching of the objects
• Ecliptic line and more Read more →

Why we’re storing billions of seeds

Title: Why we’re storing billions of seeds

Date: February 2009
Author: Jonathan Drori
Source: TED talks
Science category: Biological sciences – Biology, Biodiversity, Environment.
Style: TED talk video clip

Summary: Educator Jonathan Drori highlights that all human life depends on plants. No matter where we live, everything comes back to plants…from provisional perspective – food, medicine, fuel construction and clothing, from cultural perspective – spiritual, recreational, aesthetic, educational and inspirational aspects.

Drori poses a critical question: If all life on Earth depends on plants, would it not make sense that we would employ every effort to save them?

He then turns his focus to biodiversity and explains that the best way to secure a future of a species when it comes to plants is though the storage of seeds and emphasises and outlines the objectives of the Millennium seed bank project and its efforts in saving seeds. He leaves the audience with a question research is currently trying to solve: How can we find the genetic and molecular markers for the viability of seeds, without having to plant them every 10 years? Read more →