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Otari School - Sacha Fell

2021 | The World Around Us - Geography, Environment and Earth Science

School: Otari School

Region: Wellington

Host: Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Science

Otari School’s participation in the Science Teaching Leadership Programme will enhance and complement its current holistic science programme and approach to teaching. Having a teacher participate in this programme allows the school to refocus on science experiences for the benefit of all students, teachers and the wider community.

Otari School understands the importance of building links between the school and scientists in its community, to engage and enhance the teaching of science.  By participating in the STLP programme Otari School will make more connections with science organisations in the community and link their practices back to the school’s teaching of the Nature of Science section of the Curriculum.  The importance of the environment and sustainability at Otari School makes this placement with the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Science at Victoria University particularly relevant.

Sacha has been teaching at Otari School for more than 10 years and is committed to providing practical learning opportunities for children which include real world opportunities for them in the future and links to the community.  Sacha has taught children from a range of different year levels, learning needs and diverse cultural backgrounds. 

Sacha’s placement will involve her gaining exposure to the research and activities conducted by the School of Geography, Environment & Earth Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington. This will include opportunities to work with students and faculty staff, attending undergraduate and postgraduate lectures and laboratories and interacting with students and researchers in academia.  Where possible Sacha will also seek to gain opportunities to see how research is carried out in the field and how this links back to research in the laboratory.  She will also gain a better understanding of how data collected by scientists in New Zealand and across the world can be used in scientific modelling to make predictions about potential changes in our environment, particularly in the area of climate change.

As part of her involvement in this programme Sacha hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the Nature of Science component of the NZ Curriculum through exposure to an authentic scientific working environment and how scientists work and think in practice.  Upon returning to Otari School she hopes to better engage children with science through sharing real world examples of how scientists work and to identify and attempt to resolve community, and wider world, issues. She also hopes to find ways to weave science into other curriculum areas, including literacy, numeracy, technology and the arts.