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Hikurangi School - Helen Moore

2018 | Land and Water management, Biosecurity and Enviroschools

School: Hikurangi School

Host: Northland Regional Council

Region: Northland

Hikurangi School is focused on doing our very best to prepare our students to become well informed future citizens. Our science philosophy is to foster and maintain our tamariki’s innate curiosity of the world around them and develop inquiring minds. Helen Moore is the first teacher in the school to attend the Science Teaching Leadership Programme and we are excited that this enables science to become the focus for both our students' learning and a teacher's professional development for the next two years.

Helen has had 6 years of primary teaching experience and has a scientific background, so is always looking to integrate science into her teaching program. In fact, science is a particular passion of hers and she loves exploring the natural world with her students.

Over the past six months, Helen has been hosted by Nick Bamford and Susan Karels at the Northland Regional Council (NRC) and has had experiences with several different departments. While working with the Coastal Monitoring Team, Helen has been able to assist with a variety of compliance and environmental monitoring including coastal sediment quality, harbour water quality and estuary monitoring. A highlight was helping with a project developing the use of drones to map different habitats in the Ruakaka Estuary which will provide a more accurate picture of the area as well as helping to save time and labour in the future.

Helen also worked with the State of Environment team where she was involved with monitoring the quality of freshwater streams and rivers in Northland, collecting periphyton and macroinvertebrate samples, and identifying fish barriers in different areas. She was lucky enough to spend time helping conduct a freshwater fish survey using the electric fishing method where fish are momentarily stunned through the application of an electric current in the water. They float into a net and are then counted, identified and measured and entered onto the national database.

Other departments which Helen has spent time with have been Biosecurity, Land Management and Enviroschools. Helen has helped to educate boaties about the importance of cleaning their hulls to guard against the spread of Mediterranean Fanworm and to recognise many pest plants and fish. She now feels that she can’t go out for a walk or drive without looking for signs of weeds and sediment erosion!
She also helped at the Enviroschools national hui in Kerikeri and was able to make use of the time to network with others. Overall, Helen feels that the contacts she has made within the NRC will invaluable when it comes time to return to school.

The Science Teaching Leadership Programme has provided Helen with some amazing experiences and unique opportunities to engage in real life science and professional learning. She is looking forward to sharing this with the rest of Hikurangi School. She would like to thank the Royal Society Te Apārangi, Northland Regional Council, particularly Nick Bamford and Susan Karels and Hikurangi School for giving her this opportunity.