• iceberg
  • boy with flowers
  • checking water quality
  • planet eclipse
  • solarsystem model
  • rangitoto trees
  • kids with test tubes
  • kids with earth
  • snowy mountains
  • 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


National Primary Science Week at BBI

National Primary Science Week encourages students at Bucklands Beach Intermediate to share ideas

Bucklands Beach Intermediate School really got in to National Primary Science Week this year.

The International Baccalaureate School had a specialist science teacher until the end of term 1, 2012. Now the science programme is led largely by Stuart Read (Year 8) and Mark Stevenson (Year 7) and the subject is taught within various units of inquiry.

“It’s been a real learning curve for us all, with this new way of doing science in our school, but we are abuzz with the balance of theory, practical activities, and experiments,” says Stuart.

“The kids really get into the practical side of learning science. Our last experiment involved an exothermic reaction: glycerine on potassium permanganate and how this releases energy.”

National Primary Science Week at Bucklands Beach Intermediate kicked off with the decision to include ‘bite-sized’ science facts in the student notices, read aloud each morning.

The tidbits, which spanned themes as diverse as climate change, cheetahs, and outer space, became a popular start to the morning with children earning small chocolate prizes for remembering them later in the day.

Stuart says the children embraced National Primary Science Week in a collaborative manner. Alongside the regular science classroom work, the children had an extra chance to get scientific in their lunch break. Each child was invited to bring a working science model to school to display and demonstrate.

Under teacher supervision, the children gathered at lunchtime to talk science with their peers.

“One child had made a device to measure moisture levels in soil and another shared his love for beetles and shrimps. We learned a lot that day.”

The most dramatic invention was a large homemade potato gun that could send a potato soaring across a rugby field.

“The kids just love hands-on stuff, anything that involves making things, but also, they love thinking about really complex stuff like time travel and quantum theory.”

Stuart cites Minutephysics as one of his favourite online resources for getting kids inspired in science.

“There are heaps of amazing resources out there. Minutephysics has videos that seem really complex but the kids lap them up and really seem to understand them.”

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