Thursday, June 20, 2013

Buying fresh online

I’ve often purchased products online, either because it was easy or simply the online store offered exactly what I was looking for at the right price. However, when it comes to fresh food, like fruit and vegetables, I’m a little reluctant. Why? Maybe it’s because I’m not sure exactly the quality I’ll get.
CQUniversity’s researcher David Harris has some theories he’s testing in an online survey. David says when people buy fruit they tend to pick it up and have a good look, before making a decision. So, if online fruit and veges are pictured in someone’s hands, are we more likely to buy? Is it possible to deduce the weight, texture and hardness (or softness) of a product viewed in a photo? Does the colour of the packaging play a part in your decision? These are the sorts of questions David asks in the survey.

The survey offers the chance for people to have their say about the ‘last frontier’ of online shopping, buying fresh produce. I would encourage anyone interested in this topic to take part in the survey. You can contact David via or go direct to the online survey

Researcher David Harris

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tackling problems in maths and science

It’s a sad fact that schools in rural, regional and remote Australia struggle to maintain equivalent education standards in science and maths, compared to those in metropolitan areas.

And I can’t blame the quality of the teaching staff. The simple fact is that these areas lack infrastructure and support for teachers, have a high staff turnover, and have difficulty filling vacancies with specialist staff.

It’s for these reasons, CQUniversity has committed to working with state high schools in Bundaberg and Mackay areas as part of a Regional Universities Network (RUN) pilot project to overcome barriers hampering maths and science education.

RUN has been awarded a federal grant of $898,880 for the one-year pilot project: RUN Maths and Science Digital Classroom: A Connected Model for all of Australia.

As part of this project, RUN will be developing a virtual centre for school support in mathematics and science that will deliver innovative modes of engagement, support and expertise to students and their teachers in schools in regional and rural Australia. The connectivity of the virtual centre will also form the basis for professional development of teachers.

I believe this project will foster a keen interest in science and maths amongst regional students and their teachers, and allow students to apply knowledge to real world tasks and challenges.

Meanwhile, CQUni’s project management specialist Richard Egelstaff has already been working with high school maths teachers in Gladstone, providing real world examples of maths at work on the job.

This is particularly useful in a city such as Gladstone where industry continues to grow and the call for project managers is no doubt increasing.

I am so pleased we’re a part of two fabulous initiatives that will inspire our young people to work with maths and science in the future.

Richard Egelstaff with Gregory Hage from Toolooa State High School and Farshid Paymon from Tannum State High School.