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Taupo Primary School - Lisa Pellowe

2015 | Whio/Blue duck habitat assessment

SchoolTaupo Primary School

HostDepartment of Conservation – Te Papa Atawhai Taupo Office


Lisa is passionate about delivering a quality science programme to all children at Taupo Primary School. She is keen to use her new learning to nurture curiosity and encourage students to think like scientists through authentic science experiences.

Hosted by the Department of Conservation (DOC), Lisa worked alongside staff in authentic contexts and saw how the five science capabilities were applied. This enabled her to make connections between learning at the curriculum days and how science could be successfully integrated into the classroom setting. The ‘hands on’ approach of the programme has given Lisa a deeper understanding of the Nature of Science (NoS) and how it underpins the teaching of science.

During Lisa’s time on phase one of the Science Teacher Leadership Programme (STLP), she experienced a number of learning opportunities such as:

  • Developing a tool to assess rivers as a potential habitat for whio
  • Field trips to rivers to carry out habitat assessments and observe whio
  • Spending a night in the bush, learning to trap for pests, cross rivers safely and carrying out river assessments
  • Visiting other schools to see how science is being taught
  • Learning about the five capabilities and NoS and seeing them in action through projects involved with at DOC
  • Visiting participant teachers at their placements
  • Learning to use GPS and radio systems

Lisa looks forward to sharing a deeper understanding of the science capabilities and NoS with her colleagues and students when she returns to school. She has had time to reflect on science teaching at her school and plans to facilitate professional development to help bolster teacher confidence in engaging with and teaching science.   She intends to draw on knowledge and expertise from DOC staff, programme coordinators and past and present teachers of the STLP when implementing the next phase of the programme. She hopes to enable students to get involved in citizen science projects where they will be making real contributions in the community.

The leadership learning in the programme was particularly valuable for Lisa. It has allowed her to develop and understand her own leadership skills, and encouraged her personal growth as a leader. Lisa now feels confident and capable to lead science teaching and learning when she returns to school.

Lisa would like to extend a big thank you to her host, Jessica Scrimgeour, for her time, knowledge, support and enthusiasm. She is most appreciative of the staff at DOC who generously shared their time, knowledge and passion to make her experience at DOC such a memorable one. Lisa also wishes to thank her fellow participant teachers for their friendship, collaboration and support.

She is thankful for the generous opportunities she has been offered through the programme and would like to acknowledge the value of the Science Teacher Leadership Programme.