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Poutū-te-rangi /March Newsletter

Science Communicators Mike Stone and Jenny Rankine welcome your feedback and suggestions at comms@nzase.org.nz. And if you're on Twitter, follow NZASE - @NZScienceTeachr

Contents

SciCon postponed from March to September

We're very disappointed to announce that SciCon 2020 has been postponed from March 21-22 to September 2020. Please see the website for the full announcement.

Integrating science teaching with other subjects

Teachers at three schools, which use different programmes to integrate Science with English, Maths, Social Studies, discuss what works. Download this informative, members-only resource from our website.

Profile of Jason Turuwhenua

Jason (Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tūhoe) studied physics but says he’s more of an engineer - “I like using engineering techniques with medical staff who deal with patients, to improve treatments”. He leads a team that has created a ground-breaking eye test that enables two-year-olds to be checked for lazy eye, the most common cause of poor vision in children. And he is on a team studying penguin eyesight at SeaLife Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium in Auckland. Download this members-only resource from our website.

Feedback on review of Achievement Standards

The Science Expert Group (SEG) has collated and discussed sector feedback to the new draft achievement standards. Their response and course outlines are published here. The ministry will soon begin meeting with the other Sciences SEGs to discuss options for the Provisional Level 1 Subjects List. The final Level 1 Subject List will be developed from these discussions.

Social media support for science teachers

The resources page on our website now includes a list of Facebook Science teacher groups, pages about teaching and learning, and subject-specific pages. There’s at least one there for you.

Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards

Entries for these awards are judged across a Focus area and four categories: Engaging - working as a community to strengthen achievement and outcomes; Leading - creating a change in conditions that improve outcomes; transformative Teaching that improves outcomes; and education that enhances student Wellbeing and outcomes. This year’s focus area is Environmental and Sustainability education, that develops students’ critical thinking skills and supports them to take action for a sustainable future.
Entries close on April 10, finalists are announced in May-June, judging visits made in June, and the prizes awarded in August. Short films showcasing finalists’ stories will be shown at the awards ceremony. Winning schools, kura or ECE centresin all categories receive $20,000 and PLD opportunities; the supreme award brings an additional $30,000 and an opportunity to represent New Zealand education. Download entry forms here.

Climate Change: Evidence and Causes updated

This 36-page report, just released by the Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences, summarises the most recent climate data and scientific analyses. The international expert writing group included Dr Kevin Trenberth, Hon FRSNZ. Download it for free as a guest at the US National Academies Press website.

Australasian video competition about plastics

Environmental charity Plastic Oceans Australasia is running the Turn of the Tide competition for secondary students in Australia and New Zealand. The competition seeks school groups to plan, design and execute an initiative to reduce plastic waste at their school, and then create a short video about what they did. The prize is an adventure trip to Australia for a student and three family members or friends.
See the guidelines here, and the competition website here, or email the organiser. Entries close on April 30, and video entries can be uploaded from July 13 to October 30, to give students time to develop and implement an initiative in their school. 

 

Te Papa teaching resources

Te Papa has created Building an Earthquake Ready Future, a resource for primary and secondary students with the Earthquake Commission, using the Stanford design process. It aims to inspire students to design resilient communities that can deal with the social and structural effects of earthquakes when they happen.
He Paki Taonga i a Māui is a series of 20 short films for tamariki aged 7–11. Each episode tells a story about a taonga in Te Papa’s collection. They are narrated by Māui and include a battle between sea and land birds (below); Kupe hunting the giant Wheke; Rata and the children of Tane; and How the Kiwi lost Its wings. They’re narrated in te reo Māori and have English subtitles.

Count those mozzies, don’t squash them!

Enrol your class to catch mozzies for the first mozzie census. Mosquitoes are important for our ecosystem as part of the food chain and as pollinators. Three introduced mosquito species are the main human biters and have spread widely, but our 13 native mosquitoes mainly bite birds. They have very specific living conditions, and so are vulnerable to environmental changes compared with introduced species.
But we don’t know whether native species are declining. So Te Papa is organising a census to answer this question; it may also find whether a new exotic species has slipped into New Zealand undetected. See how to catch, record, and freepost your mozzies to Te Papa here.

Otago Wildlife Photography Competition

Students 14 and under from around the country can submit photos of plants, animals, human impact on the environment and pets to Otago Museum’s annual competition. Those categories and two others - Night skies and videos of wildlife in action - are also open to people of any age. See competition terms and conditions here. Entries close at 9am on June 30.

Poutū-te-rangi events relevant to Science

See the NZASE website events page for events, activities and anniversaries relevant to your teaching.
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