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Professor Fiona Wood is one of Australia's most celebrated individuals. Reknowned for her work with burns victims, she invented spray-on skin which greatly reduces healing times and scarring from burns injuries. Professor Wood was named Australian of the Year in 2005, and has received numerous awards and honours.

Professor Fiona WoodThrough a collaboration of E-Schooling at the Department of Education, Scitech and SIDE primary and secondary staff, upper primary and secondary students participated in interactive webcasts using the Department's Centra live conferencing system. The webcasts were produced as part of National Science Week. The first involved more than 35 students from SIDE and the Meekatharra School of the Air viewing and interacting with a presentation about Professor Wood's life and work. Questions from students were raised through the presenter, Angela Signorile from SIDE's Online Teaching and Learning team, and some students had an opportunity to put their questions live to Professor Wood.

Not once, but twice...

The webcast was repeated for a wider audience, with more than 80 classrooms at schools around Western Australia joining in. Use of projectors and Interactive white boards resulted in an estimated total audience of more than 1500.

Enthusiastic response

Feedback has been very positive. Comments included "inspirational" and "entertaining", and plans are afoot to make such webcasts a regular event.

Image: Prof. F Wood.