Feb 19

Seaweek kicks off on Feb 29th

Only 10 days to go before the 9 day long celebration of our seas starting on Saturday 29th February with events across the country through to Sunday 8th March 2020!

The theme is year is ‘connecting with our seas’ and there are lots of events happening all around Aotearoa New Zealand. To find an event near you visit the  WHAT’S ON tab on their website!

Feb 14

Napier Schools focusing on Science

Five primary schools in the Napier area are making science a priority this year, thanks to a collaboration with the House of Science national office, the Education Hub, the Mataruahau Kahua Ako (community of Learning) and the Education Hub. Teachers in the five schools will receive science professional development throughout the year and over 1,000 students will be using the House of Science kits. A variety of science assessment tools will measure the learning and teachers will be surveyed regularly to capture the impact this programme is having on their classroom practice.

Dec 17

Minister Hipkins at House of Science school

Minister of Education, the honourable Chris Hipkins, visited Totara Park School in Upper Hutt earlier this month to see first hand the science being taught with House of Science kits. Hutt Science delivers over 70 kits a week to the Hutt Valley and organised this showcase for the minister to encourage support from the Upper Hutt City Council and local businesses. Chris Duggan was also in attendance to highlight the organisation’s desire to get the kits into schools across all of Aotearoa.

Dec 04

Spinoff Article creates a lot of interest

Chris Duggan submitted an article on the Spinoff entitled: “Why I had to quit teaching to get science into primary schools”. It created a lot of interest and many emails – all were very supportive of our work and many inquired about access to our resource kits in new regions. Unfortunately we cannot service schools outside our current regions. If you or someone you know is interested in establishing a House of Science branch to enable your local schools to receive our services we’re happy to talk! Ultimately we believe this should be supported by direct funding from government, that would allow equitable access across the whole country. To read the full article, click here.

Nov 25

impressive statistics!

What do you get when you take 1 great idea, clone it into 11 regions, with 413 incredible science resource kits? 7,886 fantastic lessons!

Those are our statistics to date for 2019. When you consider that each kit reaches at least 35 students per week, the numbers get even more impressive: NZ YR1-8 students have used the House of Science resource kits 276,000 times!!!

Nov 13

Government funding for House of Science?

Nationals’s education discussion paper released today suggests House of Science should be funded to help strengthen science curriculum resources in primary schools. We agree… what about you? Take the survey and have your say.

Nikki Kaye’s document is a comprehensive look at many aspects of the education system. We love the emphasis on STEM and the specific mention of our work: “We need to strengthen curriculum resources in subject areas like science. We value the huge contribution organisations such as the House of Science are making in schools, through resources and professional learning for teachers to promote positive engagement with science in all its forms.”

This is huge for us – we would love to offer our services to each school in the country but currently rely on local organisations to find the funding to make this happen. It’s a slow process and means that many schools are missing out. Government funding would ensure all students in NZ can access quality hands-on science lessons regardless of where they live.

Nov 07

New Kit is a hit!

‘Flexi-Physics’ has just been added to our library of kits and so far it is very popular. The kit explores all aspects of elastic potential energy. Makaraka school in Gisborne said: “Catapults and slingshots! Matai ahupungao pingore – Physics and energy. Today we experimented to see what variations would project the pompom the furthest.”

A huge thanks to our sponsor FLEXO for your support in developing this kit. Check out their awesome products on their website.

Oct 29

Women of Influence Awards

Chris Duggan was a finalist in the Innovation, Science and Health category which was won by Prof Jane Harding of the Liggins institute, before taking out the grand prize of the night: Woman of Influence 2019 supreme winner! Jane and her team have spent more than four decades improving health outcomes for newborns. They address critical questions in perinatal medicine through world-leading research. Click her to read more.

Oct 23

Why Primary Science?

Did you know that by the time kids start intermediate school they have decided what types of careers they cannot ‘see themselves in’? That’s why we are committed to enabling science in NZ primary schools. (ASPIRES study; UCL, UK). Have a look at our full range of resources that help empower teachers in over 300 NZ primary schools.

Oct 15

The importance of learning facts

A great article on Radio NZ earlier this week highlights the importance of knowledge as a foundation for learning. Dr Jared Cooney Horvath was interviewed by Kathryn Ryan on RNZ about the learning process which occurs in 3 steps, starting with knowledge.

All learning has to start with facts. Knowing a fact is very different from looking at a fact. We need to take the time to lock down what the facts are in order to move to the next level.

Once you have knowledge, you can start to dive into deep learning or contextualisation:  organising the knowledge, building larger concepts and fitting the facts together to form a narrative.

The final stage is adaptability, where the skills of creativity, collaboration and critical thinking come in and allow you to adapt the facts and transfer them to new, unfamiliar scenarios.

We cannot focus on teaching thinking alone! Students must take the time to internalise facts, otherwise they have nothing to go deep with.

The full 30min interview can be downloaded by clicking this link. Well worth a listen!