Hōngongoi Pānui / July Newsletter

Science Communicators Mike Stone and Jenny Rankine welcome your feedback and suggestions at


Scicon confirmed for November

SCICON will be held from November 6-8 (term 4, week 4). The venue and programme remain the same, with a few amendments to keynotes and workshops.
Those who have already registered don't need to re-register, but if you can't make the new dates, please email ASTA. If you haven't registered and want to attend, please use this form to sign up.
Email BEANZ about scholarships available for members to cover costs for attendance.
Māori scientist profile
This month we profile astrophysicist Pauline Harris (Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Rakaipaka, Ngāti Kahungunu), co-founder and chair  of the Society of Māori Astronomy, Research and Traditions (SMART). Read about her work on exoplanets, neutrinos and tātai arorangi (Māori astronomy). A publicly available resource.

Changing education for Tongan science learners

We summarise Sonia Fonua’s research about the barriers facing Tongan students who achieve in science. She discusses changes she made to her own tertiary teaching as a result of interviewing 26 Tongan university students of science about their schooling. She also describes examples of including Indigenous knowledge in science education. A members-only resource (scroll down to research resources).
Flipping your classroom
You’ve heard the term – what does it mean? What does it look like in the classroom? What are the challenges and how are teachers addressing them? We spoke with several teachers at different schools who are using aspects of this approach. A members-only resource.

Encouraging students in science fairs

Hear from science teachers and judges about ways to support students when they enter science and technology fairs. A publicly available resource.
Provisional NCEA science subject list
Remember that the MoE is seeking teacher feedback about the choice of L1 science subjects we want assessed in the NCEA Review currently underway. There are three choices. The survey closes on 20 July so try to put aside some time for this in the holidays.

NZ Geographic Photographer of the Year

Entries close on July 15 for the annual New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year Competition, which includes an exhibition, audience voting and awards night. Prizes total more than $5,000, plus a Chatham Islands voyage with Heritage Expeditions. Entrants for the Young Photographer award have to be under 25 on September 30, 2020. Categories include Landscape, Wildlife, Society and Culture, and Aerial, plus up to six images in the Photostory category.

Zealandia resource

GNS has produced an article and some interactive maps (tabs at the top) that will be useful when teaching about our continent, Zealandia. Ninety-five percent of this huge continental shelf is underwater.
Design your own seashore species
The NZ Marine Studies Centre in Dunedin invites primary and intermediate students to design their own seashore species (page 28 in their Rocky Seashore activities guide). What type of feeding strategy will your animal use? And what adaptations will it have to help it feed and survive? They’d love to receive emails about your species creations.
Research: Glycaemic Index in the classroom
LenScience at the University of Auckland seeks feedback from primary and secondary teachers on draft tools for exploring the glycaemic index in the classroom. Please register if you want to be part of a focus group meeting, either face-to-face or online.

Hōngongoi events relevant to Science

Science events and conferences are almost back to pre COVID-19 levels - see the listing on our website.
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