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Opunake Primary School - Fiona Waugh

2018 | Wild for Taranaki - Conservation, Education and Environmental Science

School: Opunake Primary School

Host: Wild for Taranaki

Region: Taranaki

Opunake Primary School is committed to teachers developing a thorough understanding of the science capabilities and using these to build student in depth understanding and self-efficacy in science. The school is also focused on developing stronger relationships with local science organisation and community groups to enable us to access authentic science experiences and learning opportunities for our students.

Fiona has been hosted by WILD for Taranaki Charitable Trust. Her placement has involved participating in many varied environmental science activities and field work, collecting and collating data, and interacting with project members both in person and through online scientific communities.

One of the highlights for Fiona during her placement was having the opportunity to be involved in the Taranaki Maunga project robin translocation at Egmont National Park. The endangered North Island robin, or toutouwai, had been extinct in the area for 112 years. This required scientific understanding about native ecosystems, predator management, bird behaviour, and monitoring systems, in order to ensure the success of the translocation project.

The Science Teaching Leadership Programme has been an extraordinary opportunity for professional learning. The understandings and experiences Fiona has gained throughout the course of the programme have prepared her well for the task of leading positive change in her school. She is looking forward to returning to Opunake Primary School in phase two, where she will have the opportunity to apply this learning.

Fiona would like to sincerely thank the Royal Society Te Apārangi, Wild for Taranaki, and Opunake Primary School for investing in her and providing this extremely rewarding journey of professional learning.