Explore as a

Share our content

Wanaka Primary – Karina Sharpe

2017 | A window into wildlife around Wanaka

School: Wanaka Primary School

Host: Department of Conservation, Wanaka

Region: Central Otago

Wanaka Primary School feels privileged to have another one of their teachers embark upon the Science Teaching Leadership Programme. Sharon Pendlebury took part in the programme in terms one and two in 2016, and Karina will work alongside Sharon to continue the advancement of the school’s science curriculum plan, helping students to engage critically with science and build upon their knowledge and capabilities. The school is looking forward to the continuing passion and excitement that Karina will bring to their school science learning as they further delve into real-life science initiatives. Karina’s work will also create further engagement with the community and links with environmentalists and science organisations.

Karina’s 17 years of teaching experience have been largely spent teaching Year 5-8 students from a diverse range of levels, cultures and backgrounds. Prior to this, Karina earned a Bachelor of Science, majoring in psychology, where her primary focus was on childhood development. Karina is passionate about the STEM subjects and enjoys looking for ways to implement science and technology into her programme that are hands-on, stimulating and topical.

During the Science Teaching Leadership Programme, Karina was fortunate to be hosted by two organisations: The Department of Conservation in Central Otago and Plant and Food Research in Clyde. 

At the Department of Conservation, Karina was based at the Wanaka office and hosted by Anita Middlemiss. Anita, along with other Conservation Rangers and Managers provided Karina with the chance to observe and participate in a wide variety of Department of Conservation roles.  She has learnt about the protection, restoration and research work that is happening in Central Otago and has enjoyed having the opportunity to work on some of her own research projects. Karina’s highlights include studying the endemic Cromwell Chafer Beetle and developing a Toyota Kiwi Guardian site for the Otago Central Rail Trail. 

At Plant and Food Research, Karina was hosted by Jill Stanley and Claire Scofield. Benefiting from the expertise of all scientists and technicians at the Clyde Research Station, Karina was given a detailed overview of the many processes required to develop and grow orchard fruit in preparation for the commerical market. Karina is grateful for the wide range of opportunities Plant and Food Research provided her with, particularly since new concepts were always explained to her in a way that was interesting and easy to understand.

Karina would like to thank Anita Middlemiss and the Department of Conservation in Central Otago as well as Jill Stanley, Claire Scofield and Plant and Food Research in Clyde for sharing their time and hosting her.  She would also like to thank The Royal Society Te Apārangi, The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and Wanaka Primary for providing her with this valuable opportunity.