Students and teachers from Perth's Greenwood Senior High School are to work with industry to develop an advanced computer program to help teach physics.
"If the results are as good as we hope, the final program may not only be adopted by other Western Australian schools, but exported as well," Deputy Premier Ian Taylor said today.
Mr Taylor was speaking after handing over a grant of $10,000 to help finance the collaboration between Greenwood and local computer company, Interactive Logic.
The grant is being jointly funded by the Ministry of Education and the Department of State Development in what is the first of an annual 'Schools Software/Multimedia Development Award'.
Mr Taylor said Greenwood and Interactive Logic would be working to perfect an educational package which would apply some of the most advanced multimedia computer techniques to teaching Year 11 students the physics of light.
(Multimedia is the system which enables information to be presented on a computer screen through a graphic combination of sound, vision, text and data.)
"Multimedia is one of the most exciting developments to emerge recently from information technology," Mr Taylor said.
"It is also a concept which has been identified by Government economists as offering Western Australia's computer industry some of the most rewarding opportunities for expansion.
"Multimedia provides a whole new dimension to the presentation of information, and, as an aid to teaching, it is possibly the most significant advance since computers themselves were first introduced to schools."
Mr Taylor said he was sure the new technology would develop quickly and he would like to see local companies adopting a pioneering role.
"I believe the new annual award will do much to encourage such local initiatives," he said.
"Just as importantly it will enable high school students not only to expand their knowledge, but become involved with industry and experience some of the excitement of designing and producing a new product."