Haratua Pānui / May Newsletter

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


Engaging with scientists resource

National Primary Science Week 2021 runs from May 17-21, focusing on Whakanui Pūtaiao, engaging with Māori scientists and their mahi. See more here, including links to NZASE articles about Māori scientists. Many teachers want their students to engage with scientists but are unsure of  how to start. Our new members-only resource shows how some teachers are making these useful links for students.

How to make oxygen on Mars

For humans to live on Mars and return to earth, they need lots of oxygen. Read our unique publicly-available news backgrounder about how the Mars rover makes this gas on an oxygen-starved planet.

Rūaumoko and geothermal engineering

Read our publicly-available profile of geothermal engineer Nona Hohepa-Taute (Tainui, Te Arawa), who is studying how to integrate Māori knowledge and values into geothermal engineering for his PhD.

Evaluating information through a Māori lens

The Rauru Whakarare framework, drawn from mātauranga Māori, provides a useful way to evaluate information and its sources, recognising the connection between the background, origins, authority, content, and lens of the information. It was developed for a tertiary environment but applies to other education levels.

Consulting on ERO and PLD

The Ministry of Education proposes a law change so that ERO can review all professional learning and development (PLD) used by schools, kura and early learning services. Consultation on this proposal closes on June 16. If the change goes ahead, it will be implemented in 2022. See the Education and Training Amendment Bill (No. 2), the  proposed change to allow ERO to review PLD and have your say in this survey. PLD providers can email questions; email any submissions or write to Education Consultation, Ministry of Education, PO Box 1666, Wellington 6140.

LEARNZ virtual field trips

Future journeys: City Rail Link
The cross-curricular LEARNZ virtual tour of this 3.45km double underground rail tunnel below Auckland’s city centre runs from June 8-11. It will investigate the tunnel boring machine, how kaitiakitanga and sustainability work in a large engineering project.
Weather bombs
Classes can learn about the science and mātauranga behind extreme weather in Tairāwhiti Gisborne, including before the arrival of Europeans; and the impact of such weather bombs. Teachers can access supporting resources, reading and quizzes from June 1 and explore people and places in videos. Ask an expert in live web conferences on June 28.

Soil Your Undies!

In 2021 up to 12 Otago schools may be involved in this programme, assessing the health of their soils by burying [clean!] cotton undies in different sites and digging them up two months later. See how to use cotton to test your soils here. Schools in the programme will help build a map of soil health for their areas using indicators like speed of cotton decomposition, water infiltration rates and numbers and types of worms. In their second year, students will explore soil health with more in-depth activities on local farms. Email SYU Co-ordinator/Educator Michelle Cox for more info, or visit them on 10 and 11 July at the Dunedin International Science Festival, and have some fun learning about soil health.

Aquavan in Southland

The NZ Marine Studies Centre’s Aquavan offers a catchments programme to schools, exploring connections between land and sea, what healthy coastal environments look like, and how we can better look after our oceans. Their Southland trip is planned for June 21-24 including the Winton region, so email the centre if your school wants to participate.

Papa Taiao courses

Papa Taiao is running outdoor, hands-on short courses in Predator Control and Fencing for secondary school rangatahi in Term 2. Predator Control courses run for two days, including overnight, and provide 14 unit standard credits at L2 or L3. Students learn how to build, set, and check traps, control predators and about conservation careers. Fencing courses run for two or three days and offer 20 unit standard credits. Students learn about wai restoration, planting and fence-building as well as restoration careers. Courses can be held anywhere, but need at least 10 interested students.

Physikos conference earlybird rates

Physikos, the NZ Physics Teachers Conference, runs with the NZ Institute of Physics conference from July 12–14 at Queen Margaret College in Wellington. Register here for earlybird rates of $355 (students), $555 (members), and $605 (non-members), which expire on May 31. Teachers can visit the PPTA Subject Association Grants page to complete a pre-approval form for support to attend this conference.

2021 Kudos teacher award

Nominate yourself, another or a pair of Waikato/Bay of Plenty teachers for the WINTEC Secondary Science Teacher Educator Award by June 2. Nominees must have significantly enhanced the understanding and appreciation of science in the wider community, including secondary school students. The award, with seven others for scientists, will be awarded at a gala dinner in September. See the website or email the Kudos Awards.

Prime Minister's Science teacher

Read about Sarah Washbrooke, the 2021 Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize winner, who is a specialist technology teacher at Remarkables Primary School in Queenstown. She won the award for her integrated approach to learning, which involves incorporating real world technology projects.

NZ Geographic Photography competition

The deadline for this competition is July 14. Prizes are awarded for Photographer of the Year, Young Photographer (under 25, free entry), People's Choice, and category awards for landscape, photostory, wildlife, society, aerial and built environment. Check out the categories and enter here. Finalists will be exhibited, and awards presented at the NZ Maritime Museum in Auckland on October 28.

Survey on use of animals in teaching

Researchers from UK's Nottingham Trent University are surveying teachers around the world about classroom interactions between their students and animals. They want to understand teachers' opinions about using animals in teaching (whether they are doing so or not), any barriers to using animals in education, as well as the needs of those doing so, in ways that benefit the students and animals involved. Take the survey: Exploring the application of animal-assisted interventions in educational settings or email Dr Lauren Finka with queries.

Books about Ag & Hort careers

Shearer and Balage Contractor, both by former teacher Caroline Foss, were written for reluctant teenage readers and students with learning difficulties about these practical land-based careers. They explain science concepts in real life contexts.  See Caroline’s 3m video about their applications.

Science Technicians and the average wage

Events related to Science teaching

See our events listing for upcoming ERO Science webinars and activities by NZASE networks.
Copyright © 2021 New Zealand Association of Science Educators, All rights reserved.

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