13 February 2007, Room 4, Science House, 11 Turnbull Street Thorndon, Wellington.
Present: Margaret Austin (Chair), Alan Parris, Ian Shaw, Suzanne Boniface, Pam Williams, Liz Richardson (from 1.30pm)
In Attendance: Debbie Woodhall (RSNZ), Kathryn Hicks (RSNZ), John Auty (RSNZ), Jessie Mckenzie (RSNZ). Peter Spratt, Julian Taite
Apologies: Alister Jones, Barbara Benson, Robyn Baker.
Guests: Chris Arcus (Ministry of Education)
1. Curriculum Project Presentation
The Committee was given a presentation regarding the Draft Curriculum. Following the presentation discussion ensued. Key points covered in this discussion included:
Strengthening the vision to include a future focus Literacy skills in science and mathematics Accessibility of the language of the document Māori words being incorporated in the document Values Environmental education and education for sustainability Professional development. Chris explained that there is an implementation plan which includes PD and provision of ‘second tier’ resources. There is already much of this material available but teachers need to know about it.
Key submissions are going on line through the TKI website www.tki.org.nz after permission has been received.
2. Minutes of the Last Meeting
The previous minutes be accepted as a true and correct account of the last meeting.
3. Matters arising
3.1 Foundation Learning Progressions
The TEC funding directive for 2007 – 2012 has been released and contains strict criteria which could affect polytechnics and other programmes funded by TEC. Foundation Learning Progression bench marks are needed to signal foundation requirements and whether or not students adequately meet those benchmarks.
3.2 Recommendations for the Maori and Pasifika Case Study
Liz Richardson is looking at ways to progress the recommendations of this case study.
3.3 Draft Curriculum Submission by RSNZ
A report was regarding the Draft Curriculum (refer to item 1). No further action required at this time.
3.4 Work Plan
Stock take of S&T Teaching Resource
The Ministry of Education has been asked for information on the science and technology teacher resource. Acknowledgement of the request has been received; awaiting information.
3.5 Pilot Hui
Planning for this is continuing.
4. Chair’s Report
4.1 Council Meeting
The last Council meeting was held in December in Wellington and followed up on the Nelson Retreat. The Council identified ‘the focus and the role’ of the Royal Society as being important: the functions of RSNZ as set out in the Act and their relationship to Government priorities. Of particular concern was the status and visibility of the Society, as well as attracting potential members, and interaction with decision makers. Concern was also expressed at the low level of RSNZ presence in the select committee process. Monitoring arrangements are now in place for opportunities to submit to this Select Committee.
4.2 Realise the Dream, Teacher Fellowship Dinner and Big Science Adventures
The Chair stated that it was encouraging to be able to go to the presentations of Realise the Dream in the Grand Hall, Parliament. The confidence of the presenters and the work conducted was excellent. Special mention was made of the visitors from Chinese Taipei and Beijing. The Teacher Fellowship awards night was excellent. The Big Science Adventures winners are back from Antarctica. They had a wonderful experience.
Careers in science may need to become part of the agenda. The message that science opens doors needs to be conveyed. Promoting careers beyond the lab should be a key function of the RSNZ.
The Radio NZ series on scientists over the summer was excellent.
Moved that the Chair’s Report be received: CARRIED
5. Education Team Activities Update
A report was given on the Education Teams activities to date. The report was circulated to members at the meeting and is appended.
The Chair requested quarterly financial statements for the committee.
The funding source for each of the RSNZ Education activities was requested:
Alphas: baseline funding from Ministry of Research Science and technology (MoRST), and private sponsorship for each issue if possible; Gammas: MoRST; CREST: Todd Foundation, participants, separate contract for CREST for Gifted and Talented from Ministry of Education (MoE); Young Achievers: MoRST Baseline funding, private sponsors, students; Realise the Dream; MoRST, Genesis Energy and a range of other sponsors; Helix: Self Funded; New Zealand Association of Science Educators: NZASE; Teacher Fellowships: MoRST; Code of Ethical Conduct; MoE, contract now finished; Peter Blake Fellowship: No funding received from external organisations. This is a RSNZ pro bono activity; Bayerboost: BayerNZ; BioTech Hub Advisory Group: MoRST BP challenge: BP; Quality Teachers Partnership Fund (QTPF): MoE Environmental Monitoring and Action Plan (EMAP): MoE Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom (LEOTC) fund.
Peter Spratt explained how payments are made from different sources and via differing mechanisms eg on receipt of milestone reports, by regular payment etc. Discussion ensued regarding the processes of payment for contract work and the difficulties with receiving income on the basis of work completed. It was agreed that this issue should be raised with our funders, especially Ministry of Education.
Reports were given on EMAP, Realise the Dream and Young Achievers, and CREST. Environmental Monitoring and Action Plan (EMAP)
An overview was given on GLOBE, The National Waterways Projects and EMAP. March Monitoring Month (MMM) and Koura Kraze (KK) are the two major programmes on the go at the moment. The Ministry for the Environment has approached RSNZ to participate in MMM and KK and has given $5000 worth of Stream Health Monitoring and assessment Kit (SHMAK). MfE has indicated that they would like ongoing involvement. KK records the distribution of Koura. Animal ethics approval was required and it is intended that this activity provide learning for schools about ethics and Iwi considerations.
Links with Asia/Pacific Nations on climate change have been made and the NZ work in GLOBE is being promoted by GLOBE headquarters as a model to other nations. Realise the Dream
A report was given on Realise the Dream and the student scholarships. Opportunities for 2007 have just been advertised to schools. CREST
A report on CREST was also given.
6. Review of Education Activities across the RSNZ
The Chair gave an overview of the Review of RSNZ Education Activities and circulated the report to the committee. Discussion ensued. The committee endorses the report.
7. The New Zealand Curriculum Response
Council Meeting Report to be sent to Julian to circulate to committee members.
8. The Olympiad Paper
Peter gave an overview of the developments in the Olympiad proposal. Progress with this has stalled. A letter has been sent to Steve Maharey asking for updates on progress on MoE policy in this area. Alan Parris also gave an overview of the Maths and Informatics Olympiad proposal which has also stalled.
The Chair recommended approaching the Chief Executive of MoRST regarding Olympiads.
9. Report from Mixed Olympiad Camp
A summary was given on the Maths and Informatics Olympiads camp of late last year. As a result of the camp, 147 math tasks are now on line and secure, a number of panels and committees were held and an NZ Maths Education Trust AGM was held.
Moved that the Olympiad papers be received and the recommendations adopted.
Alan /Ian Carried
10. Pre-service Teacher Education
The Chair outlined the research carried out into the education of Maori by Russell Bishop and suggested he be invited to the next meeting to give a presentation on his findings. It was suggested that he be asked to address the question of what two things the Royal Society could do to improve science education and what can he do to help.
11. Education for Sustainability
There are opportunities now for the Education Committee and the RSNZ to keep students aware of ‘Sustainability Education’. Pam Williams is organizing a Conference on Sustainability Education in late 2007, and seeks endorsement from the Council for a Sustainable Education Conference.
12. Education Leadership Conference Proposal
The organizer of the Education Leadership conference is seeking endorsement from the RSNZ for his Education Leadership Development course. Discussion ensued and it was determined to seek further information before considering endorsement.
13. General Business
As there was no general business the meeting closed at 4pm.
Next Meeting: Teleconference Friday 30 March at 3pm.