Heads Up

Resources for teachers interested in science, technology and mathematics

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  • Maths Everywhere!When a mathematician goes for a walk, they can see maths in almost everything.

  • SunSmart: The SunSmart Schools new curriculum resources are now freely available.These 4 Inquiry-based Units are designed for Levels 1– 4 of the New Zealand Curriculum and are cross-curricula: science; health; maths; te reo and literacy learning. They are aligned with National Standards.Free teleconference 5th November 3.30 – 4pm.To listen in simply click on www.sunsmartschools.org.nz on 5th November and follow the instructions.

  • Paleofantasy: What evolution tells us about modern life. An Allan Wilson Centre International Speaker Programme talk with Professor Marlene Zuk. 31st October – 12th November 2014 ) .Information about Dates, Venues and tickets  are available here.

  • Science Symposium: Waikato, 10 November.  A one-day  professional learning and development event for science teachers. The symposium is supported by Team Solutions, University of Auckland through the Secondary Student Achievement professional development contract and the Waikato Science Teachers Association.
  • From the Biotech Learning HubMaking male mosquitoesBringing scientists into the classroom
  • What is colour? Find out how a cork bobbing on the sea is similar to the colours that we see, and go on a wavy adventure in this video from TED-Ed.
  • Schrödinger’s cat: A thought experiment in quantum mechanics :Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, one of the founders of quantum mechanics, posed this famous question: If you put a cat in a sealed box with a device that has a 50% chance of killing the cat in the next hour, what will be the state of the cat when that time is up?This TEDEd investigates this thought experiment.

  • More Meaningful Math: An international project has started motivating students ages 12 to 16 with problems that show the importance of mathematics in real life. Called More Meaningful Math, the project offers freely downloadable tasks, lesson ideas, and photos of student work — as well as GeoGebra sketches from Belgium, Fermi questions about soccer from Germany, pie charts  of what makes math interesting to Spanish students, and other original materials.

  • 6th JYPT: Wellington NZ, October 2015.Facebook group for teachers to get information, ask (not intended for students to use so it has been set up as a closed group. Click on the link or search for JYPT in Facebook.

  • Using tāniko to introduce design: Read the (TKI) teaching snapshot here.

  • Watch. Explore. Discover: View the beauty and mystery of the ocean realm captured on video around the globe.

  • From Up high:Mt Taranaki
  • e-learning tools useful in science: Voki is a tool that allows you to make videos using speaking avatars; Wallwisher is a collaborative tool useful for brainstorming or generating ideas 
  • NASA’s Climate Kids: Galleries of Change NASA’s eight galleries show rapidly changing climate conditions on our planet. This visual tool gives individuals the chance to explore climate change by highlighting key areas such as weather and climate, fresh water, air, oceans, energy sources, plants and animals, and technology.
  • Cross-bedding and way-up structures: This ELI is another in their  series about sedimentary structures.‘Cross-bedding’ uses cross bedding to determine the way-up of a bed of sedimentary rock. It gives an introduction to the types of evidence which can be obtained from cross-bedding in sediments and in sedimentary rocks.
  • Spaceward Bound: Applications are open for a Spaceward Bound expedition in January 2015. A NASA team pairs up with local scientists and local tertiary, secondary school students, and teachers to travel to a location of interest for astrobiology to learn more about its significance. The expedition will consist of 6 days of field trips in the Rotorua – Taupo – Tongariro Plateau combined with talks with the scientists and hands-on lab work.

  • Money Week 2014; 13-19 October:  The NZCurriculum Online resource page offers a collection of resources to support your school’s involvement in Money Week, and ideas on how you can make financial capability an ongoing area of curriculum focus. Also, f or resources and ideas for the classroom to help schools participate, check out the Commission for Financial Literacy’s and Retirement Income’s “  resources for your school “web pages.

  • Nzmaths: Teachers, you can now add the professional learning e-ako to your e-ako maths account. (Log in to your e-ako maths account; Click on the “Profile details” link under your name towards the top left of the page; Find the box that says “New join code” and enter C541BD; Click “Save”. Your “Pathways” dropdown menu should now contain three additional options for the PD content. The PD modules are tracked in the same way as the student ones.

  • Pasifika Education Plan – Policy to practice: This blog post takes a closer look at the Pasifika Education Plan and the Pasifika Education Implementation Plan. It offers reflective questions, ideas, stories, and resources to support and inspire schools to make a difference for all Pasifika students.

  • TRCC Courses:  Check out the TRCC website to see what is available and to discover how you can be emailed with information about new courses.

  • Tiny, Robotic Bees Could Change the World: An entirely new classes of robots—including a fleet of tiny, robotic bees—that may one day transform space exploration, agriculture, and search-and-rescue operations.

  • From methional to fried chicken: Methional, the simple, sulfur-containing derivative from the amino acid methionine played centre stage at the recent Second International Contest for Note by Note Cooking in Paris, France. The challenge: to make up to three dishes, all containing only methional and other ‘pure’ compounds such as milk proteins, alcohols, amino acids and flavour chemicals. Extra points were awarded for dishes without plant tissues, meat, fish and eggs.

  • Frontiers for Young Minds: Read a scientific journal with an editorial board of kids. At Frontiers for Young Minds, you can find out about dancing, baseball and ventriloquism.

  • Eduspace: The Eduspace website aims to provide secondary school students and teachers with learning and teaching tool. It is meant to be an entry point for space image data, and, in particular, to a widespread visibility of Earth observation applications for education and training. The Eduspace website encourages teachers to use Earth observation data in their curriculum by providing ready-made projects. It is rich in didactical material, especially in local and global remote sensing satellite data. It is a source of ideas about how to introduce space-related matters into the classroom, where full scale examples are also presented.

  •  A fish out of water — walks and morphs: ‘Walking’ may point to changes ancient fish took in their evolution to life on land.

  • Simulating the effect of the solar wind: The smooth operation of communications satellites can be influenced by solar weather. Mimic this effect on a smaller scale in the classroom with a simple demonstration.

  • Picturing dinosaurs: Dinosaurs have fascinated both scientists and artists. Artists have imagined long-extinct species and created amazing pictures, some of which you’ll find in this collection at Tor.com

  • Mathagogy: Mathematics + Pedagogy

  • Impossibly bright dead star: X-ray source in the Cigar Galaxy is the first ultraluminous pulsar ever detected. Astronomers working with NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) have found a pulsating dead star beaming with the energy of about 10 million suns. The object, previously thought to be a black hole because it is so powerful, is in fact a pulsar — the incredibly dense rotating remains of a star.

  • Photonic Material: Butterfly-inspired material could cut counterfeiting: A material designed to mimic a quirky iridescent patch on a butterfly’s wing may help prevent counterfeiting, say US engineers. The ‘photonic’ material, so called because it affects light falling on it, was developed out of curiosity, the authors, report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .

  • Sherlock Science: Whether you enter the world of Sherlock Holmes through TV shows, movies, or books, solving crimes and mysteries as Sherlock would involves plenty of interdisciplinary science, coordinating specialities like forensics, chemistry and computer science. Have a look at some of the classroom activities from The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes .Look here for  more clues  to  Sherlock-type  activities.

  • Shrinking Aral ( Observational skills): A massive irrigation project has devastated the Aral Sea over the past 50 years. Observe these images which show the decline of the Southern Aral Sea in the past decade, as well as the first steps of recovery in the Northern Aral Sea.

  • “A healthy start for a healthy life”: Liggins Institute academic staff and students frequently present their work at forums for fellow scientists and the public. A number of these are now available through the Lectures and videos section of their website.

  • Interactive hydrothermal mineralisation: This activity demonstrates how hydrothermal minerals form. It could be used as a simple illustration of the processes with minimal pupil involvement. But it can also be used as an interactive demonstration, to engage pupils in the thinking behind a scientific enquiry.

  • Does stress make hair go grey? The story goes, during the night before her execution, Marie Antoinette’s hair went completely grey. Waiting on your execution is clearly a very stressful situation but can stress really cause you to go from mousey brown to silver fox? You’ll just have to watch to find out.

  • Nature or process of science images: All of the cartoons and graphics from Berkley’s Understanding Science  that have been e developed for the site are now freely available for you to download and reproduce for non-commercial projects. 

  • Save Kiwi Month: October is Save Kiwi Month, the national fundraising campaign led by Kiwis for kiwi. This year, Kiwis for kiwi is looking at the plight of kiwi through the eyes of children, the generation who could grow up to see the last kiwi disappear from New Zealand.Do a Kiwi search in the Science Learning Hub.

  • Electric Vehicles Competition: APEV, in partnership with CPIT, Enviroschools and Electroflash have proudly  launched  an electric vehicles competition for secondary  schools.  Their aim is  to provide an exciting, 21st Century project based learning opportunity for participating teams, to give students motivation to consider pursuing science/ technology/ engineering tertiary studies, to promote the advantages of electricity as a transport fuel and to stimulate innovation. Read more here.

  • Why is it dark at night? The question seems almost too shallow and silly and trivial even to ask. So, why is it dark at night ?

  • Bedspread mathematics: There’s maths to be found almost everywhere – here is  a wonderful exploration of maths found in quilts!

  • Gene key to monarch butterfly’s miraculous migration: Each year, millions of the colourful insects embark on the arduous 4,800 kilometre mass migration from as far north as Canada down into Mexico and the California coast during autumn. Now an international team of scientists has offered a new insight into how the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) accomplishes this spectacular feat.

  • Rhythm: What is a circadian rhythm?

  • Beasties’  eyes: If the eyes are the window to the soul, then take a deep look into the windows of these beasties.

  • Sleep: Explore the amazing effects of sleep (and lack of it) in this video .

  • Research  Idea: Systems Science: How Biodiverse Is Your Backyard? 

  • Look Up! NASA is inviting people around the globe to step outside during Earth Science Week, October 12-18, observe the sky and share their observations as citizen scientists. #SkyScience highlights two of NASA’s programs studying Earth’s atmosphere.  S’COOL, Students’ Cloud Observations Online, focuses on cloud observations as “ground truth” measurements to assist in the validation of the CERES instrument on NASA satellites passing overhead. Sky Art is an online community where the public can share in the beauty of nature and the science behind it by submitting sky photos related to NASA Earth science mission research areas.

  • Clouds:  Look in the Science Learning Hub; Primary CREST (Weather and Climate), NIWA, National Library Service

  • Homer 3D: the maths behind The Simpsons: The Simpsons episode where Homer enters a 3D world is not just a classic animation, it’s also a treasure trove of high-end mathematics.

  • Cool Science in Action: Join the LEARNZ team virtually in Antarctica, 3–7 November 2014. Travel aboard a giant C17 Globemaster, complete a survival training course, go diving through holes in the sea ice, visit penguin colonies and seal haul-outs, discover how energy moves through Antarctic marine food webs, and work with specimens in the laboratory at Scott Base. All this while you put questions live to scientists working on climate change. Find out more… 

  • Sandblasting Mars: High winds are a near-daily force on the surface of Mars, carving out a landscape of shifting dunes and posing a challenge to exploration, say scientists.

  • Seasons: The effect of our tilted Earth.An indoor demonstration explaining the changing seasons .

  • 2014 NZIFST/CREST Student Product Development Challenge:Ranging from honey- nut bars to Japanese style meat  pies, the 2014 teams have developed some technically complex and exotically flavoured products.

    Science Alive: What’s on for Term 4? The in-School Education team have a variety of Science programmes available for Term 4

  • Connected Educator month (October): Anyone can lurk or contribute to the myriad of education opportunities in Connected Educator month
  • Ten by Ten; 7-10: Marsden Fund Marsden Fund researchers talk about their work and its impact on society Good things take time.  Two decades ago the Marsden Fund was established to support leading-edge research in New Zealand. The discoveries made over these 20 years have led to an improved environment, new technologies and better healthcare and medicines and have had a direct effect on the economic prosperity of New Zealand.
  •  Money Week 2014 : 13-19 October, the first week of term four. It is a nationwide week of events to motivate Kiwis to look at their financial situation. Financial literacy is an important life skill and part of the New Zealand Curriculum. Money Week is a great time to get your students and school community thinking and talking about money matters. For dynamic tools and resourcesfor the classroom to help schools participate, check out the MoneyWeek website

  • At Six: Re-integrating Art, Design and Science, 14 October, Wellington: What new future might be created if artists, scientists, designers and engineers worked collaboratively to create innovation solutions to urgent issues?

  • Hands-On Science Week: This is a week packed with learning opportunities for science-loving teenagers at the University of Otago in Dunedin. The goal of Hands-On Science is to demonstrate, in a friendly and interactive environment, some of the activities that scientists are involved in and to encourage talented young New Zealanders to consider science as a career. It is aimed at senior secondary students and places book out quick. For more information, go to the Hands-on science Registration closes on 17 October 17, 2014.

  • Future-oriented science conference: NZCER is running a future-oriented science conference, 21 October. This one-day conference will draw on recent NZ research findings on the teaching and learning of science and highlight examples of innovative practice. This conference aims to make a contribution to practice, policy and research. Email workshops@nzcer.org.nz with “Science” in the subject line to be added to a list for email updates. Registrations are now open.

  • Visiting Wellington? All of the Wellington Museums Trust institutions including Capital E, Carter Observatory, City Gallery, Museum of Wellington City & Sea, Colonial Cottage Museum and Cable Car Museum are coming together to host an evening where teachers can learn about their LEOTC education programmes. The event will be at Capital E, 4 Queens Wharf, on October 28 from 4:30pm to 5:30pm. Not in Wellington on the day or can’t attend? Don’t worry – for the first time ever they will be live-streaming the event so you can watch from the comfort of your own home or staff room.

  • Conservation Week 2014: 1-9 November: There’s an amazing world right on your doorstep waiting to be explored. New Zealand is full of great places and hidden treasures. This year’s theme isDiscover the world where you live’and it’s about getting out and enjoying your local treasures. These are the local campsites, scenic reserves, wetlands, forests, walking tracks and other areas that have conservation values that can be found right on your doorstep. (Why not incorporate an environmental science CREST investigation?)

  • Ignited: Gifted Education in Action.14-15 November, Nelson. This conference will showcase international and national research, paper presentations and innovative workshops.

  • Clean Tech Competition: Registrations open 17 November for the Clean Tech Competition is an international research and design challenge for 15-18 year old pre-university students. This is a prestigious educational opportunity for students across the world. The 2015 challenge, Feed the World asks students to develop a clean technology solution to the problems of an inadequate and unstable food supply.

  • Teaching Science to students at Year 7 and 8 level: Auckland, November 21  PLD workshop at St Cuthbert’s.

  • ISLP poster competition: The 2014-15 International Statistical Literacy Project Poster competitionis underway! Winners of the national competition will be displayed at the World Statistics Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2015 and be entered into the international competition. You can register your school to enter by sending an email to mawby@stats.govt.nz  Entries can be sent to the same address any time before the closing date of 16th December 2014. A school can submit more than one poster to the New Zealand competition. It is important to note that posters are only eligible for the competition if they are created by a group of 2 or 3 students. More information about the ISLP poster competition can be found here .

  • Primary CREST: Great to see students and teachers delving into the Primary CREST resources.

  • CREST Alumni: All (past and present) CREST Students, Teachers, Consultant/Mentors, Approvers , Assessors and Sponsors are warmly welcomed to join the CREST (NZ) Alumni.

 

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