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Macandrew Bay School - Matt Direen

2018 | Investigating methods to assess the health of marine communities.

School: Macandrew Bay School, Dunedin

Host: The University of Otago, Department of Marine Studies

Region: Otago

Macandrew Bay School is located on the stunning Otago Peninsula, an environment that has a rich diversity of wildlife, marine and land environments. The environment offers wonderful opportunities for scientific learning and understanding the Nature of Science and the school tries to tap into this as part of it's authentic local curriculum. The school believes that science in the school will be able to move up a level as part of it's involvement in the Science Teaching Leadership Programme. The school recently reviewed science education at and can see that it is a subject children find meaningful and highly engaging.

Matt Direen has worked as a primary school teacher at Macandrew Bay School for the last 9 years. During that time he has predominately taught year 4 students and has shown a passion for teaching physical education, numeracy and science across a range of year levels.

Matt Direen’s placement will involve his participation in the general research and activities conducted by Marine Studies at the University of Otago. The programme  will  include  opportunities  to  work  with  students  and  faculty staff,  attending  undergraduate and  post-graduate  lectures  and  laboratories, participation  in  field  and  lab  based  research,  and  interacting with  students  and  researchers  in  academia. During the course of his placement Matt will be involved with assisting researchers aboard the Polaris Research Vessel, investigating the health of estuaries in Southland and Otago and having the opportunity to join researchers in Fiordland and Stewart Island.

Through the course of his placement, Matt aims to develop his understanding and knowledge of the Nature of Science, marine science and the skills and equipment used by researchers at the Portobello Aquarium.

Matt will be able to return to school and lead the whole staff team to build and extend their knowledge, skills and confidence in teaching science. We hope this will give our students a life long interest in the scientific world. We hope to extend our own authentic local curriculum even further and ensure that science learning is a driving force in our curriculum and integrating it across many other essential learning areas.