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ASTA Professional Development Tours for Science Teachers – LATEST NEWS

The ASTA Geology Tour to Hawai’i and STEM Tour to the USA will now be run in 2018

If you thought you had missed the chance to join the group for these fantastic tours, then you’ll be pleased to know that we have now decided to run them in 2018.  We realised that we did not give teachers enough lead time between announcing the tours and the tour departure date, so we sensibly delayed the departure until September next year.  

Latitude Group Travel, in conjunction with our wonderful partners, ASTA (Australian Science Teachers’ Association) are very proud to be offering not one, but two carefully crafted Teacher Professional Development Tours, one with a focus on STEM and the other Geology and both with an extremely strong range of experiential learning activities.

Both professional development tours are being run concurrently during the September 2018 school holidays, so unfortunately it is impossible to take both tours and teachers will need to make a choice between the two.  The team at Latitude Group Travel or at ASTA are happy to advise you, or answer any questions you may have, in order for you to make the best decision.  Please contact Vic Dobos, Chief Executive Officer at ASTA on (02) 6282 9377 or Jenny Murphy, CEO at Latitude Group Travel on (03) 9646 4200 if we can be of any assistance.  If you wish, please call Jenny to obtain specific details about the tour itineraries, in addition to following the links below.

USA: From Microchip to Spaceship (STEM focus)

This remarkable teacher professional development tour, visiting Seattle, San Francisco for Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and San Diego, is designed to focus on a very wide range of STEM activities and experiences.  ASTA will provide credits for professional development requirements. Covering the gamut of STEM activities, the tour includes teacher workshops and student class observation at some extraordinary locations including a specialist technology focussed high school, Exploratorium’s Teacher Institute, University of Southern California (subject to availability), behind the scenes at California Science Centre and many more exceptional activities listed on our flyer.  Suitable for both primary and secondary teachers, there is something for everyone.  Each day of the tour includes hand on experiences aligned to the curriculum, giving you an exceptional opportunity to increase your knowledge of STEM and expand your teaching practice. This is a ground-breaking tour full of teacher workshops, STEM activities and all that you will need to create engaging STEM lessons of your own. Please find more information here


  • For ASTA members the cost is $6,100 per person ex Sydney
  • For Non-ASTA members the cost is $6,400 per person ex Sydney
  • The cost is per person and includes flights from Sydney, twin share accommodation, transport, all breakfasts, 5 dinners and all activities (excluding optional activities)
  • A single supplement of $1,350 per person applies if you wish to have a single room
  • The tour cost may vary based on number of participants and exchange rates

We are yet to be able to reveal who our tour STEM expert will be, but we are chasing someone very well known and highly qualified to assist on this tour.  If we can’t tear her away from her other responsibilities, we have exceptional STEM activity facilitators on the ground at each location we visit on this tour.  In addition to our experts, we have the services of Latitude Group Travel’s own Managing Director as your Tour Director.  Speaking of tearing away an expert from their responsibilities, we can rarely tear Dennis Murphy away from his.  With over 30 years experience in both logistics management and as a tour director specifically in student and teacher educational tours, there isn’t much Dennis hasn’t experienced or doesn’t know about how best to facilitate real educational tours.  He is quite amazing at engaging with students and encouraging them to get absorbed with what’s happening.  Along with their teachers, of course, he ensures he gets the best out of them.  He will not only facilitate and organise this tour for you, but he will provide knowledgeable commentary, organise specialist guides and facilitators where necessary and share his exceptional knowledge to you about how to best run and chaperone the most engaging and exciting student tours.

15th April 2018

Hawaii – Land of Fire (Geology focus)

This unique, curriculum linked tour, specifically designed for Science teacher professional development, couldn’t be set in a more extraordinary location. Hawaii has three active volcanoes and more than ten extinct volcanoes – part of a volcano chain than runs all the way to Kamchatka, Russia. Hawaii is one of the few places in the world where visitors can come face to face with an active volcano. With an expert guide on board, you will discover parts of Hawaii that you never knew existed. The Lava Boat ride is an experience unlikely to be forgotten, as is the opportunity to explore an active volcano that has been continuously erupting since 1983. Stand on the freshest earth in the world as you walk over a town that was completely buried by lava. Each day of the tour includes hand on experiences aligned to the curriculum, giving you an exceptional opportunity to increase your knowledge of Geology and expand your teaching practice. You may even want to take your students on an experiential learning tour of their own!

Join ASTA and Latitude Group Travel for this fabulous opportunity to develop your Geology knowledge, taking away valuable, worthwhile information for your own students and classroom practice in one of the world’s most beautiful environments.  Please find more information here

This exceptional tour is being escorted by Suzy Urbaniak, winner of the 2016 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary schools and a Geologist.

  • For ASTA members the cost is $5,450 per person – ex Sydney
  • For Non-ASTA members the cost is $5,950 per person – also ex Sydney
  • Cost is per person and includes flights from Sydney, twin share accommodation, all breakfasts, 5 dinners, all activities and transport (excluding optional activities)
  • Single supplement of $1,350 per person applies if you wish to take a single room.
  • The tour cost may vary based on the number of participants and exchange rates


Suzy Urbaniak

The tour will be joined by award winning Science Teacher and Geology expert, Suzy Urbaniak, winner of the 2016 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools.  Suzy loves rocks and climbs volcanoes in her spare time. Teaching science and promoting geoscience literacy became her career pathway in 2004. In her classes, students are scientists. They learn how to think, problem solve and create solutions to situations. Suzy’s motto is #therealclassroom and science is about ‘doing’ not passively completing work sheets. Field trips are a significant component of her teaching-learning practices. Students are visual learners and it is through these experiences that they understand how theoretical science applies to real world context.

15th April 2018

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