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Albany Junior High School - Logan Coleman

2015 | Exploring the Nature of Science in the animal kingdom

SchoolAlbany Junior High School

HostWildlife Ecology Research, Massey University, Albany

Region: Auckland

Logan has had 7 years teaching experience and he is enthusiastic about bringing a hands-on learning experience for students in Science. His first teaching position was at Western Springs College in Auckland where he taught senior Chemistry and Earth and Space Science. He started at Albany Junior High School in 2015 and is really enjoying teaching there.

Logan’s goal has been to explore the Nature of Science in the animal kingdom. He has certainly done this by spending phase one of the Science Teaching Leadership Programme enjoying and learning about the beautiful nature in our country.

Logan has spent most of his time at Tawharanui Regional Park, New Zealand’s first open sanctuary, just one hour north of Auckland. He has been working on collecting data on the local tui populations; recording their birdsong, setting up nets to catch and then measure and band the birds and setting up cameras to view and monitor their nests. He has learnt much about the behaviour of tui and their mating system. This has been a great experience and he has often been seen climbing trees and trekking through native bush to find tui nesting sites. In this time he has been able to familiarize himself with many native bird species. Logan has even learnt how to identify the nests of different birds just by sight. He is usually joined by other University students who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, giving him the chance to learn something new every day.

Logan treasures the unique experience of observing endangered native species such as whitehead, takahē, saddleback (tieke) and bellbird (korimako) on a daily basis. If you ask him, he may even imitate some of the birds he has learnt. He has also been collecting data on the urban tui population at Smith’s Bush in Takapuna, discovering that urban tui do not call as often and have such elaborate songs as the tui in regional parks.Logan has learnt quickly how to use software to analyse the recorded birdsong and has discovered one new and unrecognised tui syllable so far which was an exciting discovery.

One of his proudest and most creative moments was his invention for monitoring bird nests. In what sounds like typical Kiwi ingenuity, he used tent poles, duct tape and Gopro cameras and a phone as a remote control, to design a new way to monitor nests.