Whiringa-ā-rangi pānui/November newsletter

Science Communicators Mike Stone and Jenny Rankine welcome you to the last NZASE pānui for 2020. Send us your feedback and suggestions.
ISSN 2703-5166


Atua and the periodic tabel

Ruihi Shortland (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Rehia, Ngāti Awa, Te Patuwai) explores Mātauranga Maori, using whakapapa, kōrero pūrākau and karakia to link atua to elements in the periodic table. Download this publicly-available pedagogy resource.

Ammonium nitrate explosion

Mike Stone outlines the chemistry behind the August 2020 explosion that severely damaged Lebanon’s capital. Download this members-only resource.

Teaching astronomy in Yrs 1-10

Many teachers struggle to teach astronomy in Yrs 1-10 without using complex L6 material. Jenny Pollock and Mike Stone share some practical lesson outlines in two valuable members-only resources. Download the Y1-4 and the Y5-10 resources separately.
Pūhoro STEM academy
Based at Massey University, this programme supports almost 1,000 Māori students around the country in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Mike Stone spoke with teachers, principals and Pūhoro staff about how it is working to raise Māori achievement. Download this publicly-available article.
ECE Tuna / eels resource
Taupō for Tomorrow has produced a new ECE resource with activities, videos, stories, songs & background info, to help kaiako learn and teach about about native tuna (eels). Email them with your feedback.

Ocean Youth programme

Ocean Youth is an international programme aiming to work with 13-17-year-olds to conserve and protect our oceans. Participants gain skills and work on solutions for some of the difficult issues our oceans face. Based at the NZ Marine Studies Centre in Dunedin, the programme has two sessions, December 17-19 2020 and January 20-23, which together cost $250.
    Participants will travel along the coastlines, out to sea and into the city, learning skills in science and citizen science, creating conservation merchandise and a public outreach event. See the details; applications are accepted until all places are filled.
Spring is tadpole season
Our pepeketua / native frogs are very unusual - round eyes (not slitted); hatch froglets (no tadpole stage); gulp insects (rather than flick a long tongue at them); chirp (rather than croak), and mostly live in forests or rocks (only one species lives near ponds). All are found only in small areas of the North Island and on a few predator-free islands in the Marlborough Sounds; see a map of their distribution). One of those is the Maud Island frog, featured on this 4m video.
     However, pepeketua are tiny, nocturnal and hard to find, so if you want your students to see tadpoles this spring, you’ll need to find some poroka / introduced frogs around your local stream. Here’s how to keep a frog in the classroom, and here are the ethics of caring for them. [Picture: Archey’s frog and froglet by Martin Hunter.]
Hauraki Gulf Monitoring Project (HGMP)
The HGMP aims to engage Auckland schools and communities with their local marine environment and encourage them to protect their shores. Students at six schools across the Tāmaki Makaurau region have completed 38 Marine Metre Squared surveys at four locations around the Gulf, finding over 100 unique species. Read their findings here. New schools are welcome; please email Marine Metre Squared. Schools outside Auckland can do the same monitoring in their environment; email staff at the NZ Marines Studies Centre in Otago for on-line training for teachers and students in how to run an Mm2 survey.

Successful online SciCon

Keynote speakers delivered fascinating talks to more than 200 participants at the first online SciCon early this month. Participants who missed any can access them online for three months, and they will then be available on the members’ area of the NZASE website
    Robin Millar showed his years of experience with an overview of curriculum issues (grappling with technology late at night from the UK). Siouxsie Wiles talked about her research and her insider’s view of science communication during the pandemic. Cather Simpson gave a fascinating talk on the cross-curricular nature of photons - who would have thought? And Juliet Gerard talked about her liaison between government and scientists, particularly over the last year. 
    Thanks go to the ASTA organising committee, Josh Banning-Taylor for IT support, Samuel  Crookes from Warp Speed Computers for advice, and Cather Simpson for enabling a University of Auckland studio. ASTA and NZASE are really grateful to all the presenters who took time to transform their presentations into digital formats. You are an asset to the profession; thank you for your efforts.
Research on teaching the Nature of Science
Edit McIntosh, a PhD student in Education at Victoria University, invites science teachers to complete her survey on their practices and opinions about teaching the Nature of Science strand of the curriculum. Results will be passed to the MoE and NZQA in April 2021. Email her with any questions.

Whiringa-ā-rangi events related to Science

See Whiringa-ā-rangi/November and Hakihea/December events on our website events listing.
Copyright © 2020 New Zealand Association of Science Educators, All rights reserved.

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