• iceberg
  • boy with flowers
  • checking water quality
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  • solarsystem model
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  • kids with test tubes
  • kids with earth
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  • teens in physics class
  • Rainbow Clouds

    Refraction and diffraction of light through ice crystals in the clouds

  • Philippa On The Ice

    Philippa On The Ice Philippa Werry at an Antarctic research camp 2016

New Zealand Science Teacher

Science Curriculum/Scientific Literacy

A Nature of Science unworkshop

Teachers of junior science are encouraged to join a unique professional development session on April 17.

flax keteAre you a science teacher looking for some inspiration? Look no further than the Nature of Science ‘Un-workshop’, taking place in Auckland on Friday April 17.

What is an ‘un-workshop’? Co-organiser Ian McHale says the basic plan is for a welcoming workshop based on the ‘un-conference’ idea, wherein the participants, rather than visiting experts, drive the content.

The following whakataukī encapsulates this idea:

Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou
ka ora ai te iwi

With your food basket and my food basket
the people will thrive 

“Rather than having an outside speaker we would like to invite teachers to bring their expertise around the nature of science and share it with their colleagues,” he says.

Participating teachers are invited to bring a resource or idea they would like to discuss or share with the wider group. The first half hour will be spent asking teachers to offer possible breakout groups. Ian describes the plan:

“Some similar ideas may combine, and some ideas will be popular and some less so. Then we will split into the first groups, don’t be offended if no-one comes to your group, just go and find another discussion. Don’t stay if it isn’t what you want, move to a different session, no-one will be offended if you move. The number of sessions will obviously depend on what participants offer. “

Science facilitators for Team Solutions Northern region Natalie De Roo, Ian McHale and Mike Stone will organise the breakout sessions, but will not be facilitating the whole event. 

The un-workshop should be an ideal opportunity for teachers and leaders of junior science (years 9-10) to share and discuss how they focus on the Nature of Science strand, rather than traditional content in addition to how the capabilities can be used to build students’ Nature of Science skills.

Attendees should expect to get out as much as they put in, says Ian McHale. “If we all bring full baskets to share we should have a NoS feast.”


What: Junior Science Un-workshop
When: 9.30am  – 1.30pm, Friday 17 April, 2015
Where: Hobsonville Point Secondary School

To register: Please email n.deroo@auckland.ac.nz or i.mchale@auckland.ac.nz

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