Paenga-whāwhā / April Newsletter

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


Support for online teaching

NZASE has curated resources to help teachers transition to teaching online. See a repository of resources for teachers of years 1-8 here and resources for planning, amending face-to-face resources for use online, resource links, and tips for parents, useful for all teachers.
Sabina Cleary and Carmen Kenton are able to create science resources for remote learning as well as provide technical advice in online learning. Use this form to ask about resources that you need and activities that they could prepare.

The science of COVID-19

Science Communicator Mike Stone outlines the science about the origin, transmission, disease progress, treatment, prevention and global response to COVID-19 in a public article. It busts some myths, and includes useful links and references.

As part of the science around the pandemic, Ihi Research invites you to take seven minutes to answer their short survey about your experience of the lockdown/Covid-19 response period. The deadline is Monday April 13 and the  survey will be repeated in a few weeks to see whether perspectives have changed. Participants enter a draw to win a $500 supermarket voucher.

Māori chemist profile
Read about the work of Hemi Cumming (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Koata), the front paddler, in fighting cancer with sea sponges, using enzymes to make anti-oxidants, and creating microcapsules that can feed farmed fish. He works in organic chemistry and Maori engagement with Plant & Food Research. This 2-page PDF is a members-only article.
Engineering competition
The annual NZ Engineering Science Competition is planned for the afternoon of Saturday August 1. This competition tests year 12 or 13 students on their physics, logical thinking and writing skills, and ability to work as a team. Teams of 3-4 answer an open-ended problem using mathematical modelling or computer programming, the internet and library resources. The team then evaluates their effort and draws conclusions in a written report of up to 10 pages. The first prize is $6,000, with two prizes of $2,000. Past questions include “How many tonnes of CO2 emissions could be avoided in your lifetime if New Zealand transitions to a completely electric vehicle fleet?” See the competition details here.
New deadlines for funding, awards, competition

Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards
The deadline for entries for these awards in five categories was April 10, but is under review. See final dates here and download entry forms here.

Participatory Science funding 
The Participatory Science Platform contestable fund is still open for schools and kura in South Auckland. This fund supports schools to collaborate on one-year projects with businesses, Māori and community-based organisations, and scientists. Topics must have scientific value, pedagogical rigour and resonate with the community. SouthSci can connect teachers with scientists and community organisations. Expressions of interest are accepted at any time, and full applications due by 5pm on Friday May 1.

Turn the tide video competition
The deadline for the school video competition by Plastic Oceans Australasia has been extended to May 31. 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. See the competition website.

LEARNZ Term 2 virtual field trips postponed

New dates will be announced for LEARNZ virtual field trips on Climate Change and River restoration, originally scheduled for early in term 2. Teachers can still book their classes for Expedition Fiordland, scheduled from September 21.

Paenga-whāwhā events relevant to science

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