Schools around New Zealand are being invited to take part in a nationwide science week being held from 2-7 May, including a national school science experiment.
The aim of the National Primary Science Week is to involve pupils, teachers and parents in science activities. Regional centres are coordinating programmes, in particular running free workshops for teachers giving practical help in teaching science. Regions involved include Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, Wellington, Nelson, Canterbury, and Dunedin.
The week is being organised by the New Zealand Association of Science Educators and the Royal Society of New Zealand. It is the first time such a week has been held in New Zealand.
Primary schools are encouraged to focus on science during the week, with daily practical experiments to do in the classroom, and competitions for students including a science writing competition, and designing a poster on ‘Why is science important for New Zealand?’
For the first time in New Zealand, a nationwide school science experiment will be taking place. Called ‘The Big Milk Experiment’, it involves primary school students at schools all around New Zealand investigating the properties of milk and reporting their findings online via a website managed by Meadow Fresh, the competition sponsor.
A key goal of the week is to enhance science teaching in schools and support primary school teachers. Every day from 4-6pm free local workshops will be run for primary school teachers to help with their science teaching, including ideas for the classroom and visits to science organisations. Workshop topics range from electricity and ocean farming, to hands-on chemistry, and teaching astronomy in the classroom.
Associate Professor Lindsey Conner, President of the New Zealand Association of Science Educators says: “The week will provide lots of practical opportunities for teachers and their students to get involved in science activities and help enthuse students about science. We really want children to be excited by science and see how important it is to their lives and future careers.”
Dr Di McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of New Zealand says: “We hope that this focus on science will help primary school teachers gain confidence in teaching science, and in finding ways to get young people buzzing about science.”