Heads Up

Resources for teachers interested in science, technology and mathematics

This page contains links to external websites. Although we make every effort to ensure these links are accurate, up to date and relevant, the Royal Society of New Zealand cannot take responsibility for pages maintained by external providers.
You can subscribe to receive Heads-up directly by going here and by electing to receive Science teacher announcements.
  •  Maths in the world of fashion: You might not realise it, but there’s a lot of it!

  • Higher or Lower. Maths is fun!!

  • Explore innovative thinking in biotechnology: On the Biotechnology Learning Hub.

  • Google Science Fair: A global online science and technology competition open to individuals and teams from ages 13 to 18. Submissions deadline is 18 May.

  • BioLive/ChemEd 2015: Wellington 5-8 July. The focus for this joint conference will be Moving Forward: Pathways and Partnerships for Biology and Chemistry Learning. This year the Biology Educators’ Association of New Zealand (BEANZ) and The New Zealand Association of Science Educators (NZIC) will run their biennial conferences in tandem for the very first time.

  • Under 5Fest: Christchurch. 6-12 March. A special event for young children and their families! Fun hands-on science activities and exhibits.

  • The Science and Wonders of Light: Christchurch. A Year of Light special event for all ages!

  • Virtual Great Walker: A brand new LEARNZ field trip from 24-26 February. The Virtual Great Walker field trip is your chance to experience the famous Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks! DOC and Air New Zealand have joined forces to bring the Great Walks directly to you through the Virtual Great Walker competition. Your class could win an ultimate Great Walks experience!
  • 2015 Distinguished Speaker: Frances Ashcroft: The Spark of Life: Electric signals in our cells drive everything we think, feel or do.  These signals are produced by amazing proteins – the ion channels – that are found in every cell on Earth and govern all aspects of our lives from consciousness to sexual attraction, our ability to see and hear and the beating of our hearts.Can someone really die of fright? Why do chilli peppers taste hot? How do cocaine, LSD and morphine work? Professor Frances Ashcroft FRS weaves real-life stories with the latest scientific findings, including an account of her own discoveries, to explain the fundamental role of ion channels in our bodies and why they truly are the ‘spark of life’. Follow the ( title) hyperlink for  details of venues, dates , costs  and  how to book.

  • Youth wetland photos could win world travel: Young people from 15 to 24 are in with a chance to win international travel by entering the World Wetlands Day youth photo competition. Entries close 2 March.
  • Bayer Primary School Science Fund: The Bayer Primary School Science Fund is sponsored by Bayer and administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand.This fund is to give primary schools the opportunity to apply for funding to support and enhance an existing, or a new environmental science education and ‘Nature of Science’ teaching and learning programme. A primary school can request a maximum sum of up to $2,000 GST exclusive. In 2015 there will be just one funding round.Applications close 3.00pm 6 March, 2015.
  • Science Teaching Leadership Program 2015. Applications close 11 March

  • Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards: The Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards are now open for entries.  These awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements in early childhood education, primary, and secondary schooling.  Eligibility criteria and entry forms are available from the website. Entries close at 5:00pm, Friday 20th March 2015.
  • Outside the Box: the OTHER Learning areas. University of Waikato, Hamilton 12th Apr to 15th Apr. A TRCC supported programme for primary and intermediate school teachers (Yr 0-8) to engage in professional learning associated with The Arts, Social Sciences, Science, Technology, and Health and Physical Education. Early Bird closes 27th February
  • Primary Science Week: 4-8 May. The theme is Light.

  • 2015 is the International Year of Light:  The New Zealand committee will be running many activities and events throughout the country.

  •  Summer Seashore Survey:Summer is a great time to spend time on the beach!  Why not take the opportunity to carry out a survey of the plants and animals you find there?  Marine Metre Squared is a citizen science project that aims to monitor the biodiversity on New Zealand’s shores.  Free resources and ID guides are available for both the rocky shore and sandy and muddy shore environments.
  • LEARNZ: Three more LEARNZ field trips have been confirmed for 2015.

  • The Elements: A BBC podcast outlines how chemists, engineers, and technologists have dramatically affected the world economy.

  • Talented School Students Travel Award: Financial support for intermediate and secondary school students who have been  selected on a national basis to attend international science and technology events. The Talented School Students  Travel Award is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand. The funding will help cover their direct travel costs to international science and technology based events outside New Zealand.

  • International Senior Secondary Science Opportunities 2015: International opportunities for senior NZ secondary school students who are passionate about science.

  • TRCC Courses : Current courses available between December ‘14 to October ’15.

  • Clean Tech Competition: Registrations close 20 February 2015 for  the Clean Tech Competition. This is an international research and design challenge for 15-18 year old pre-university students. The 2015 challenge, Feed the World asks students to develop a clean technology solution to the problems of an inadequate and unstable food supply.

  • Seaweek 2015:  Runs from 28 Feb   to 8 March 2015. The theme is “Look beneath the surface – Papatai ō roto – Papatai ō raro”

  • 2015 Teacher online PLD opportunities:  From CORE Education.

  • 2015 is the International Year of Light:  The New Zealand committee will be running many activities and events throughout the country.

  • Teachers of Agriculture and Horticulture: HATA Conference 2015 – Innovate and Invigorate, St Andrews College, Christchurch, 12- 15 April or 16 April if BPW offered (tbc).

  • Teachers of Physics: NZIP Conference: 6-8 July, Waikato University, Hamilton. The conference theme relates to International Year of Light.

  • Teachers of Biology and Teachers of Chemistry: This year the Biology Educators’ Association of New Zealand (BEANZ) and The New Zealand Association of Science Educators (NZIC) will run their biennial conferences in tandem for the very first time. The focus will be Moving Forward: Pathways and Partnerships for Biology and Chemistry Learning. 5-8 July, Victoria University, Wellington

  • Balancing green time with screen time: An easy and fun way to keep track of how much time your kids are spending outdoors versus indoors, watching TV or on the computer.

  • Virtual Great Walker competition:Teachers, kura māhita, home school parents, club leaders – get your kids ready for an incredible adventure – your group or class could win an ultimate Great Walks experience!

  • 25 Optical Illusions. Visionary Canadian artist Rob Gonsalves is famous for creating paintings where the people or the objects in them seamlessly disappear into one another, effectively playing tricks on the mind of the viewer. More than the beautiful imagery and technique that has clearly gone into each painting, the effect which is akin to an optical illusion gives the artist the unique opportunity to portray multiple, connected stories in a single frame.

  • Technology Online: New curriculum support material. The explanatory papers for technology have been refreshed and presented in packages with additional support material, including video clips from experts. For example, see Planning for practice.To access these explanatory papers packages, click on any of the components in the diagram at What is technology in the NZC? For more information about new resources, don’t forget to sign up to their  newsletter on the Technology Online homepage (bottom right-hand corner).

  • Ru: Earthquakes are some of the more dramatic expressions of the dynamics of our planet. The sudden release of stress built up slowly by tectonic or volcanic processes often has far-reaching consequences, and can be measured (in classrooms) around the world.  This is one reason why different versions of “seismometer in schools” projects thrive around the world. Our New Zealand network is named “Ru” after the Maori God of Earthquakes and Volcanoes.

  • Term one professional development e-newsletters now available:Secondary student achievement facilitators send regular e-newsletters to NZ secondary middle leaders.These newsletters include information about upcoming regional workshops and cluster sessions, guidelines for effective teaching and learning strategies, the latest information on standards alignment, links to resources and readings, and feedback from national moderators.

  • Smartphone to digital microscope conversion!  This instructable will show you how to build a standthat will transform a smartphone into a powerful digital microscope. This DIY conversion stand is more than capable of functioning in an actual laboratory setting.  With the addition of a second lens, magnification can be as high as 375x; plant cells and their nuclei are easily observed!  In addition to allowing the observation of cells, this setup also produces stunning macro photography.

  • The Science Teaching and Learning Guide. Written by teachers for teachers to provide comprehensive elaboration of the New Zealand Curriculum Science learning area statement and range of Sciences achievement objectives. It shows what good science pedagogy looks like, provides guidance for program planning and examples of programs that include Nature of Science.

  • ‘Fossilise! – a game showing how fossils form and survive’. This is an ELI written specially for young children.

  •  Researchers develop new instrument to monitor atmospheric mercury :A new instrument to monitor atmospheric mercury in the atmosphere has been developed and tested by scientists. The measurement approach is called sequential two-photon laser induced fluorescence (2P-LIF) and uses two different laser beams to excite mercury atoms and monitor blue shifted atomic fluorescence.

  • Renewable biofuel production avoids competition with food resources :The efficient production of both biofuel and animal feed from one crop is now possible, and can be done on a farm without the need for off-site processes. The research demonstrates the practical potential of an alternative to fossil fuels that does not compete with food resources.

  • Ocean waves used to monitor offshore oil and gas fields :A new technique exploits naturally occurring seismic waves to probe seafloor at less expense, and with fewer ill effects on marine life, scientists report.

  • A rare glimpse at the elusive Saharan cheetah :Research by scientists and conservationists shows that critically endangered Saharan cheetahs exist at incredibly low densities and require vast areas for their conservation. The research also offers some of the world’s only photographs of this elusive big cat.

  • Gold CREST: Registrations of Interest to participate in Gold CREST close  24 February
  • NASA launches groundbreaking Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory : NASA successfully launched its first Earth satellite designed to collect global observations of the vital soil moisture hidden just beneath our feet. The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory now begins a three-year mission that will figuratively scratch below Earth’s surface to expand our understanding of a key component of the Earth system that links the water, energy and carbon cycles driving our living planet.
  • Hydrogen production in extreme bacterium : Scientists have discovered a bacterium that can produce hydrogen, an element that one day could lessen the world’s dependence on oil.


Heads Up Archive