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Lincoln Primary School - Julie Wan

2020 | Wondrous water

School: Lincoln Primary School 

Host: NIWA, Hydrology department 

Region: Wellington 

Lincoln Primary School and its wider community are passionate about science. The school is committed to providing engaging programmes of work within an authentic and meaningful context. Julie is the first teacher from Lincoln Primary School to participate in the Science Teaching Leadership Programme. Having a teacher on this programme will enhance the leadership of science and the students' understanding of the Nature of Science within the school. Lincoln Primary School is working towards developing deeper connections with the scientific world, and building relationships with scientists in our community. This is an exciting opportunity for both Julie and our school.

Julie has had over 15 years primary teaching experience and has worked across all levels of the primary school. She is passionate about developing curious students who know how to access and use various learning tools to answer their questions. She is committed to making programmes of work relevant and meaningful for students to ensure they are thoughtful and responsive students. Julie is excited about what science offers and is looking forward to growing her knowledge and understanding of the Nature of Science along with the Science Capabilities. 

Julie has been hosted by Dr James Griffiths who is Group Manager of the Hydrological Processes department at NIWA in Christchurch. Her placement has involved attending and participating in field trips, using modelling to predict flooding and water flow, understanding the importance of the New Zealand Water Model and the impact of irrigation practices on farming.

These experiences have deepened Julie's knowledge of hydrological processes and understanding of hydrological models.  Her knowledge of the Nature of Science has been significantly enhanced by participating and observing scientists at work. This new knowledge will enable her to connect and relate the real world science that she has been immersed in with the teaching of science and the capabilities in the school setting.

A highlight for Julie has been seeing the collaboration between scientists from various organisations. She was involved in a catchment hillslope project looking at the impact irrigation has on hillslopes and stream water quality. During this time Julie saw many scientific dispositions that were all focussed on robust testing to inform and improve land and water management and to advise changes in farm systems management.

Accompanied with these experiences at NIWA Julie learnt a lot from attending a leadership development course at Otago Business School and participating in many Nature of Science workshops. These experiences have deepened Julie’s knowledge and understanding of science practices and leadership.  She is excited about sharing her knowledge and leading science back at Lincoln Primary School and motivating and engaging students in authentic science.

The Science Teacher Leadership Programme has provided Julie with a deeper knowledge of the Nature of Science and how this can be successfully taught and shared with students, colleagues and the wider community. Julie would like to thank her host Dr James Griffiths, NIWA, Royal Society Te Apārangi and Lincoln Primary School for investing in her and for the support and encouragement they have provided .