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Papanui High School - Ian Reeves

2018 | Volcanoes and earthquakes – New Zealand and global contexts

School: Papanui High School, Christchurch

Host: Geological Sciences Department, University of Canterbury 

Region: Canterbury

Papanui High School is focused on developing scientifically literate students that can think critically and contribute meaningfully to the wider community. Over the past few years, the science department has been focused on improving students’ understanding of the Nature of Science. The school is currently exploring different ways to best meet the needs of their junior students and the Science Teaching Leadership Programme is a great opportunity to improve the leadership of science in the school and provide a richer science experience for the students by building links with scientists in our community.

Ian has been teaching for seven years, predominantly science and biology, but has been branching out into physics and earth and space science the last couple of years. He has a research background working in ecology, conservation, and climate change for a number of years before becoming a teacher. This makes him passionate about bringing real science into the classroom and building learning experiences that students can connect to the real world.

Ian’s placement in Geological Sciences at the University of Canterbury will involve participating actively in the research and teaching activities within the department. He will be working with a variety of staff and postgraduates to support and learn about their research into the science of volcanoes and earthquakes. Some key areas will be exploring how drilling into magma chambers can be used to increase geothermal energy production and/or trigger volcanic events, the development of game based learning tools around magma chambers, research into the role of field trips in supporting learning in science, and the creation of artificial lava flows in the lab.

One of the key goals for Ian in this placement is to develop a greater understanding of the contexts for volcanic and seismic research in New Zealand and abroad in order to transfer some of these ideas into the classroom. In addition, it will give him a greater perspective on the Nature of Science in the earth science context.