Frequently asked questions
What do your resource kits contain?
Each of the House of Science resource kits contain at least 5 hands-on experiments, catering for Year 1-8 students. They are easy to use because everything a teacher needs is in the kit, including all the equipment and consumables. All kits also include bi-lingual student instructions and teacher manual. For more information and to watch a kit unpacked, click here for a video.
How are you funded?
Our national office and most of our branches are charitable trusts. Schools pay a small membership fee but the cost of our service is heavily subsidised through substantial support from grants, sponsors and donors. Our national partner is the Wright Family Foundation, a charitable trust committed to the growth and development of all New Zealanders through education in various forms.
Surely this is the government's responsibility.... Why are you not government funded?
New Zealand schools have limited funds and a lot of freedom on how to use those funds. For many years science investment at school level has not been a priority. The House of Science model ensures schools have access to a large range of quality, well maintained resources. We are encouraging the government to look for ways this can be directly funded to ensure all schools can access this great service and no student misses out. The investment is minimal and the rewards far reaching and long lasting. It's a no-brainer as far as we're concerned... In the meantime, we will continue to deliver kits to regions where the community are supporting us financially and through volunteer labour.
How can I help?
Our regional branches all rely heavily on sponsorship, donations, grants and volunteers to ensure the service we provide is cost effective for schools. If you or someone you know has time available to help deliver, collect or maintain resource kits we would love to hear from you! We are always on the look-out for new financial partners, from sponsoring a resource kit in a branch through to partnering at a national scale, we would love to chat! Please click here to get in touch.
What does school membership cost?
The cost to schools varies in each branch and is set by the local branch's board. There are three membership levels depending on the school's needs: one, two or three resource kits delivered each week of the school year. That's 40, 80 or 120 kits a year! Over 80% of the actual cost of the service is subsidised by grants, sponsors and donors. Please contact your local House of Science branch for a price list.
There is no House of Science near me, how can I access your kits?
We're unable to service schools outside our current branch areas sorry. Our branches service a set region with up to 100 schools. Please contact our national office if you're not sure whether you're in an area that is covered by one of our existing branches.
What's involved in setting up a new House of Science branch?
Each branch is a separate legal entity, usually a charitable trust. A new trust requires a team of skilled and passionate people to form the entity, secure seed funding, employ a (part time) general manager, find volunteers to help and then start delivering kits to schools. The national office provides a lot of help along the way with this process. Please contact the business manager if you are interested in finding out more.
How does school membership work?
Each House of Science branch services a set area of approximately 100 schools. Schools in this region join through an annual membership subscription. The cost of this is approximately 15% of the actual cost of delivering the service, it is heavily subsidised through sponsorship, grants and donations. Most branches offer three subscription tiers, so schools can choose to access one, two or three resource kits a week. Kits are booked online via our website and delivered to the school for a week at a time. The House of Science team distribute and maintain the kits. The membership fee also includes teacher professional development which is delivered by the branch.
I home-school my children. How can I access House of Science resource kits?
If you have a House of Science branch in your area approach them to see if they allow you to sign up as a 'school' and book our science resource kits for a week at a time. You would be charged an annual subscription just like a member school. You may like to share the membership with other home-school families. Please note that some of our branches are still in the development stage and may not have sufficient resources to cater for non-school members.
There seems to be a lot of plastic - how environmentally friendly are you?
The library concept we use means all resources are shared between a large number of schools. This means the equipment is not gathering dust on a resource room shelf. We choose non-disposable plastic containers as they are robust and light. Our containers are recycled in-house where practical and taken to a recycling centre at the end of their useful life.