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Logan Park High School – Yvonne Caulfield

2017 | Earth Science – seismic, sediment and sea-level in Dunedin

SchoolLogan Park High School

HostUniversity of Otago, Department of Geology, Te Tari Tatai Arowhenua

Region: Otago

The Logan Park High School science department is a positive, creative, progressive and collaborative team. While our department has a good retention rate of students in the sciences, with many students choosing to opt for senior studies, we are working hard to engage and retain young women and Maori students. As a school, we are involved in the ‘building on success’ Maori achievement programme and have a close relationship with the Otago University Literacy advisors and Logan Park High School (LPHS) English department to assist with scientific communication.

Our focus is co-educational engagement, sustainability and a further development of our School values, specifically critical thinking skills which is demonstrated through the above average NCEA and Scholarships results we achieve. We are an Enviroschool and have a great reputation for being cohesive and innovative with regards to our LPHS curriculum with its theme of ‘Past, Place and Future’.

Yvonne has ten years successful secondary teaching experience in Junior Science and Senior Biology. She has taught students from a diverse range of backgrounds, cultures and abilities. She has a back ground in Photography and Design and is passionate about Science Communication. Yvonne is excited about teaching the necessary capabilities required for students to successfully engage in the Nature of Science at Logan Park High School.

Yvonne was hosted by Associate Professor Andrew Gorman by the Geology Department at the University of Otago in Dunedin. During this time she has participated in general research and other activities of the department. She has taken the opportunity to attend lectures, teaching laboratories, post graduate seminars and engage in interactions with undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as academic teaching staff. She has had the opportunity to take part in field trips to both the Catlins area with third year students participating in the Advanced Field Studies paper, and to sea on the University of Otago’s research vessel. This voyage was a highlight of her time with the Geology Department as she participated in Continental shelf sediment gathering and mapping of the ocean floor using typical Geophysics research techniques.

During her time at the University of Otago, Yvonne has learnt the importance of data gathering, careful observation and patience. The process of gathering data is vital for modelling purposes and takes time, to both gather and to process. Being a scientist requires a multidisciplinary skill set as it is important for scientists to be able to write grant applications, research and publish, and in an academic environment, to teach.  Yvonne has also had the opportunity to participate in the Curious Minds “What lies beneath” project looking at the changing ground environment in South Dunedin. She has viewed core samples taken from the area and has met a diverse range of individuals working on the project. During her time on phase one of the Science Teaching Leadership Programme, Yvonne has gained a firm foundation of knowledge of the Nature of Science with regards to Earth Science research and field skills.

The Science Teaching Leadership Programme has provided Yvonne with an amazingly, enriching and positive learning experience. She looks forward to her return to Logan Park High School to share her new skills and experiences with students and staff and to continue to develop her relationship with the Geology Department. She would like to thank the Royal Society Te Apārangi and staff in the Geology Department of University of Otago, especially Associate Professor Andrew Gorman for his mentoring, enthusiasm and kindness during her time there.