House of Science launched in Tauranga11/12/2013
A new initiative aims to inspire young people in the world of science.
Chris Duggan (left, at the launch) is a former secondary school science teacher who has established The House of Science, launched on 3 December 3 in Tauranga.
The resource facility aims to inspire and enrich the educational experiences of young New Zealanders and their teachers.
From next year, Chris will offer professional development in science for both primary and secondary teachers, in addition to after science-based school and holiday programmes for primary and secondary students.
“Science is an incredibly exciting and important subject and it’s alarming to see so many students lose interest in it at such a young age. I want to help connect schools, tertiary institutions and industry so we can all make science more accessible, fun and engaging for kids,” says Chris.
After conducting a random survey of 100 students who attended the Tauranga Careers Expo in August, Chris found that many had become disengaged with science before they even entered secondary school.
“New Zealand needs more scientists and people working in science-related fields, so it is imperative we find ways to improve this situation,” she says.
This year, Chris has found funding to develop science resource kits for schools to borrow for their class lessons. She says suitable, durable resources can be expensive and many schools struggle to fund their own.
A range of different kits will cover themes in biology, chemistry, physics, and food science, including a full-sized human skeleton, animal skeletons, and human x-rays; equipment to construct solar and wind-powered energy generators and dynamos; a class set of digital USB microscopes; and pulleys, ramps, force meters and scales for construction themes.
The House of Science is based at the University of Waikato’s Coastal Marine Field Station at Sulphur Point, where Chris will run the student-based programmes starting next February.
For member schools she will also provide eight professional development sessions for teachers every term, and provide a vital link to local industry to help teachers enrich the curriculum with targeted field trips. Chris will also be available to offer advice on many different science subjects. These include science fair ideas, and science curriculum resources for home-schooling families.