Poutū-te-rangi Pānui/March Newsletter

Science Communicators Mike Stone and Jenny Rankine welcome your feedback and suggestions at
ISSN 2703-5166


Unique resource: Primary science leaders

Primary science leaders face many challenges including a lack of teacher confidence, knowing what staff and students need, setting up a practical programme, and integrating science into the teaching of other subjects. Mike Stone talks to eight science leaders for this publicly available resource.

Unique resource: The chemistry of Fritz Haber

Talented chemist Fritz Haber developed substances important to our world; one was essential to agriculture and another caused war deaths and suffering. Read our publicly available article.

Unique resource: James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope has been 25 years in the making, and promises to tell us more about the earliest times after the Big Bang. Hubble’s successor uses infrared light to detect more objects from further away and this makes its engineering complicated. Read our members-only resource.

Unique resource: Physicist Craig Rofe profile

Craig’s physics achievements included building complex new machines inside a nuclear magnetic resonance microscope to measure fluids that simulate blood in people’s arteries. Read our publicly available profile about how he moved from physics to network engineering in Silicon Valley USA, to research in Māori education and work with Oranga Tamariki.

Unique resource: Complex Systems Thinking review

Rose Hipkins has been sharing her thoughts on complex systems for many years and has now written a book on the subject. Read our members-only resource reviewing this work.

NZASE PLD Workshops

In term 1, NZASE is offering free online workshops for combined primary and secondary teachers. The workshop focuses on mātauranga Māori and the local curriculum, and will include opportunities to share and create resources. See the details on our website

Buddy up for moderation help

NZASE wants to help teachers in New Zealand's remote and smaller schools locate a buddy school and/or teacher/s for NCEA moderation. If you would like help locating a buddy school/teacher OR if you would like to support with moderation, please fill out this Google form.  Please email Catherine Hunter with any questions. 

Science extension and enrichment

Gifted Year 6–13 learners from southern schools can apply to participate in science research with the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre, at the University of Otago Portobello Marine Laboratory. The application deadline for Years 6–9 is March 31.

Primary Science Week

Week 3 of term 2, May 1620, is an opportunity for all primary schools in Aotearoa to engage in science learning, with a focus on Antarctica. See more details in our next newsletter.

PLD for Primary Science Week

Primary teachers can Get inspired about running Primary Science Week in a free Science Learning Hub PLD webinar from 4-4.45 pm on Thursday May 5. Hear what has worked well at other schools, and get lots of engaging hands-on ideas for activities.

Young ocean explorers 

Steve and Riley Hathaway host free Young Ocean Explorer presentations on zoom for primary students, with videos and resources on the sea and sea life. Two 50-minute sessions are available each day, at 9am or after your lunch break. Sessions include short videos, photos, interactive quizzes, polls and activities, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A. Register here and explore more than 100 videos.

Otago Museum Photography Awards

The deadline for entries to this competition is April 26; applicants must live in Otago. The categories include Wildlife and Botanical (with an award for photographers up to 18 years old), and Our Impact on the Environment, Landscape, and Macro, which are open to all ages. See previous winners, conditions, and enter here

Plant & Food podcasts

Plant & Food Research produces two podcast series one, A Science Life for Me, explores the science journey of some P&F scientists, to help students thinking of science careers. Another, Starting in Science, aims to help secondary and tertiary students plan for and navigate the tertiary science system.
     P&F also seeks science teachers for the Starting in Science panel discussions, discussing how best to encourage and help students into science. Contact Martin Heffer.

Climate change experts video

Climate experts discuss the implications for Aotearoa/NZ of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Te Aroha ki a Papatūānuku /Love for our World, a 2h35m video. Participants include IPCC vice-chair Andy Reisinger, and Māori and tauiwi experts from iwi and universities.

STEAM in West Auckland

Comet is bringing a STEAM initiative to Pacific Island students in West Auckland. Apply by April 11 for funding for opportunities to experience science and technology through hands-on activities and collaborative research. See the details.


Astrophotography will celebrate Matariki at the Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History in Masterton from April 16August 21. Six Wellington and Wairarapa-based artists will illustrate celestial navigation and seasonal changes in Ngā Haerenga/ Journeys alongside holiday and public events.  
Kura Pounamu: Our Treasured Stone opens March 26
August 28 at Otago Museum. This free exhibition features over 200 ancient and contemporary pounamu pieces, is presented by Te Papa Tongarewa and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, and has been shown internationally.

Check out our events listing

Our next pānui is due out on Rāhina Haratua/Monday May 2.
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