Paenga-whāwhā panui/April newsletter

Welcome to our biggest pānui so far! Science Communicators Mike Stone and Jenny Rankine value your feedback and suggestions.
ISSN 2703-5166


Your feedback wanted on NCEA review

The Ministry of Education seeks teacher feedback by Monday April 19 on their draft learning and assessment matrices; course outlines; and teaching, learning and assessment guides for Level 1 Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth and Space Science. See their summaries for Chemistry and Biology and for Physics and Earth and Space Science. Give your feedback in English here or in te Reo Maori. Feedback will be used to refine these documents before the national pilot of new NCEA L1 in 2022. The MoEd will develop draft NCEA L1 achievement standards and assessment activities from May-August 2021 and circulate them for feedback.
Mātauranga Pūtaiao in English-language schools
Download our members-only article about how one school included Mātauranga Pūtaiao in a year 11 course. It aims to help teachers with ideas of places to start and some contexts that have worked.
Vaccination and Andrew Wakefield’s research
Download our members-only news backgrounder supporting your students to study flaws in Wakefield’s research paper about the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism, and how they impacted on vaccination rates.
Tide physics and Mātauranga Maori 
Download our publicly available profile about Peter Russell (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Manu, Te Mahurehure). He studies the physics of tides curving around headlands, the health of river systems, and super-cooled ice in Antarctica, working with Mātauranga Māori about marine environments.
Primary Science Week
Running from May 17 to 21, the National Primary Science Week theme is Whakanui Pūtaiao, engaging with Māori scientists and their mahi. Teachers are encouraged to find out about one Māori scientist and their work. You could contact a Māori scientist to see if they would talk with your class. See more here, including links to NZASE articles about Māori scientists.

Learning Area Lead wanted at MoE

The Ministry of Education has asked NZASE to advertise this job description to our members. It involves working with subject expert groups to develop assessments and supporting material as part of the Review of Achievement Standards. This includes material for PLD, supporting trial schools and presenting to teachers at jumbo days. Interested people can apply here.

Change school codes for Science Technicians 
The Ministry of Education has agreed that the Science Technicians’ pay equity claim, taken on their behalf by NZEI, is arguable, meaning it will go ahead. As a result, all Novopay schools need to enrol technicians under a new code (S89) on Education Payroll, rather than with their current admin staff code. Non-Novopay schools need to email their technicians’ contact details direct to the MoE. Email STANZ President Arwen Heyworth, or STANZ Secretary Jacqui Alcock with any questions about this process.
Blake PLD for primary and intermediate teachers
BLAKE Inspire for Teachers is a free five-day, active environmental education and leadership programme in Auckland, on July 12-16 and October 4-8, teaming teachers from around the country with scientists, environmental leaders and experts to learn about climate change, freshwater quality, biodiversity and ocean health. Applications open on April 12 and close early on May 9. Teachers need to pay for their travel to Auckland. See the website or email Jacob Anderson, (09) 307 8875. 

Blake Awards

The annual BLAKE awards recognise leaders who have contributed to a more sustainable future for Aotearoa in four categories. They are the BLAKE Award (up to four), the Kaitiaki o te Taiao/Environment Award (1), the Award for Rangatahi/Youth (1), and the BLAKE medal (1). Nominations close Sunday May 2; see the awards page or follow the Sir Peter Blake Trust on Facebook.
Science Roadshow
In Term 2 the Science Roadshow is visiting Northland, Auckland, Manawatu, Taranaki and Waikato. This travelling discovery programme for schools and communities suits students up to Year 10. The 15-metre truck and trailer carries 60 hands-on exhibits about electricity, light, magnetism, fair tests, flight and human performance, as well as two live demonstrations, one about experimenting. See their itinerary or search your area on their booking page. Book in quickly as spaces fill up a long way ahead. Visits cost $9 per student, with teachers and caregivers free; all school visits include free teaching resources.

Waitaki Geopark and Vanished World Centre

The Waitaki Whitestone Geopark tells the story of the formation of Zealandia through the geology of the Waitaki district in north Otago. The Vanished World Centre in Duntroon showcases Waitaki marine fossils mainly from the Oligocene Epoch. Schools can book visits to the centre, and visit the nearby Elephant Rocks and the whale fossil site at Anatini. See the Geopark's geological timeline and teacher resources, including the geopark app, short weekly podcasts and the Vanished World self-drive route. Sign up for the geopark newsletter and follow on Vanished World Facebook and Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Facebook for events and news. 
ECE science webinar
The Science Learning Hub is running a free PLD webinar, Exploring science in the early years, with kaiako Cathy Upton about how she has brought science into Country Kids Kindergarten. On Thursday 29 April from 4–4.45pm, it includes discussion and steps for ensuring quality science education in the early years. It links to all strands of Te Whāriki as well as the Science Learning area and key competencies of the NZ curriculum. Register here. ECE kaiako can also join SLH discussions on their #early_years_science channel by registering in their Slack discussion forum.

International Biomechanics Day in Christchurch

High school students in Canterbury can use biomechanics lab equipment, participate in a lab experiment, and explore a 3D motion tracking system on April 13, International Biomechanics Day. The University of Canterbury is showing students biomechanics in engineering, physics, sport and health science, with the Canterbury Science Teachers Association. To book and tailor these free class visits, email Dr Jenny Clarke, 021 0242 0212, or Nina Pernus, 021 131 5604.

Otago Museum Photography Competition

The deadline for this annual competition for photographers living in Otago is May 24; prizes total over $5000, including under 18s, first-time entrants, and People’s Choice. Categories include wildlife, botanical, landscape, our impact on the environment, social media and video. Find the Otago Museum photography workshops throughout the competition period . Enter your photos or email organisers.

Explore science fiction technologies

The interactive MOTAT exhibition Science Fiction Science Future runs to May 9 in Auckland, inviting students to uncover the science and technology principles behind inventions that can augment their reality, help them move objects with their mind, enable a robot to mimic them, as well as holograms, invisibility and teleportation. Accompanying MOTAT teacher programs support science, technology and electronics curricula..

Events relevant to Science

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