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Paraparaumu Beach School - David Parr

2020 | Oceans of Data

School: Paraparaumu Beach School

Host: NIWA Wellington

Region: Kāpiti

In 2019 Paraparaumu Beach School began the process of redesigning its school curriculum to better reflect their community’s aspirations for their children’s future. As part of this, the school wants to focus on authentic, values and place-based learning experiences coupled with pedagogical changes and increasing levels of student agency. A strong emphasis on and integration with science, with its focus on the natural world and how we interact with our knowledge of our world, will assist the school to achieve these goals. 

David has five years of primary teaching experience. He has witnessed the increased engagement and development exhibited in students who have been provided authentic science-based learning experiences. He enjoys integrating science into all areas of the curriculum and wants to further explore how the Nature of Science learning area objectives can be integrated. He is looking forward to getting as much out of the programme as possible so that he can support and inspire his fellow staff members to build a culturally-responsive, science-focused curriculum. 

David is hosted by the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere Research in Wellington (NIWA). NIWA is a Crown Research Institute that specialises in marine, freshwater and atmospheric research. David is planning to learn about how data are gathered from our oceans, analysed, and how knowledge and understandings from this process are communicated to the wider community. He hopes to deepen his understanding of the role our oceans play in our climate. David is particularly intrigued by the autonomous ocean glider programme and the effect of the increase in data gathered by this platform on our knowledge of the ocean environment. He is initially placed within the physical oceanography group but the placement programme includes opportunities to work across the breadth of research underway at NIWA Wellington. 

On completion of this placement, David hopes to have a deeper knowledge and understanding of the Nature of Science, marine environmental research and some associated fieldwork and data analysis skills.