Murrays Bay Intermediate School- Alex Tava
2017 | Dem bones! Dense or brittle?
School: Murrays Bay Intermediate School
Murrays Bay Intermediate School highly values science education as it will enable their students to participate as critical, informed, and responsible citizens in a future society in which science plays a very significant role. The school believes that science pedagogy should have a strong emphasis in the Nature of Science strand, which will help students understand the way scientific knowledge is developed and how science relates to their lives and the everyday context of the wider world. Alex Tava is the second teacher from Murrays Bay Intermediate School to participate in the Science Teaching Leadership Programme, following Gareth Kruyen. As a large school of over 1000 students, there will be clear advantages to having two teachers developing the school’s curriculum approach, and supporting professional development of teaching staff.
Alex Tava is a Year 8 teacher at Murrays Bay Intermediate School, where she has taught for four years. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Auckland, and a Diploma in Primary Teaching from the University of Auckland. Alex is passionate about developing reflective practice and metacognitive thinking in her classroom, and aims to support students in developing the skills required to be a self-driven, independent learner. Alex believes Science in schools should be relevant and accessible to all learners. She enjoys providing learning experiences that allow students to engage with the world around them and to consider how science is part of their everyday lives.
Alex has been hosted by Dr Pamela von Hurst from the School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition at Massey University. During her placement she has had the opportunity to attend a range of undergraduate lectures on a variety of subjects related to nutrition. Alex has also been involved in research projects alongside Dr von Hurst and her colleagues, including The GLARE Studyand The Children’s Bone Study which investigated the role of antioxidants in modulating blood sugar for people with prediabetes, and the bone health of children in relation to a number of other factors respectively. Alex has been involved throughout the research process for both of these studies, from the recruitment and screening processes, as well as data collection and data entry. This involvement has seen her develop an understanding of both Type 2 Diabetes and Osteoporosis, as well as the role of nutrition in reducing the risk of these conditions.
Alex’s experiences with Massey University have allowed her to recognise the importance of nutrition in building and sustaining a healthy body throughout our lives. She has been able to experience the Nature of Science first hand, gaining an appreciation of the fluid nature of knowledge about nutrition, which is continually reviewed, revised and built upon by the scientific community through ongoing research about our bodies and the nutrients required to gain and maintain good health.
Alex has grown in her confidence and capability as a teacher and leader of Science through the Science Teaching Leadership Programme. She would like to thank Dr Pamela von Hurst for providing such rich experiences and opportunities for learning; The Royal Society Te Apārangi for facilitating targeted professional development and Murrays Bay Intermediate for their ongoing support throughout the programme. Alex is looking forward to returning to the classroom and working with her colleagues to further develop an effective, engaging Science programme for students.