Real-life scientists inspire primary students23/05/2013
Scientists support teachers at National Primary Science Week
National Primary Science Week is in full force, with schools around the country taking part in special activities and events.
2013 is the third year for the event, which was established by The New Zealand Association of Primary Science Educators to promote the subject.
In Nelson, The Cawthron Institute is getting involved by holding a drawing competition for students with the theme ‘What will the next generation of scientists look like?’
Some great entries have been received already, says Cawthron Community Educator Jo Thompson.
“With the competition, we’re aiming to inspire primary students to think about science in a creative way,” she says.
“Scientists these days have to be broad thinkers. They have to be creative and global in their approach. We want to foster primary school students to think about science in this way,” she says.
The Cawthron Institute is New Zealand’s largest independent research centre. Jo’s role is to reach out to the wider community, and she spends her time running workshops, giving talks, and conducting tours of the Institute’s facilities.
Tours can be held for the general public, but they’re often for interest groups, such as students of the Rotary Club.
“The tours we run are so great for getting people interested and excited about science,” she says.
“At the moment, I’m teaching biology workshops for Year 13 students. It’s very busy, but amazing to see the children working in a real-life science environment.”
Jo says National Primary Science Week is important because it supports primary teachers in their work to interest children in the subject.
“I think primary teachers are really overwhelmed at the moment. Many of them need support and help with their workload,” she says. “Science changes so quickly- it’s a massive task to keep up with what’s happening in the science world.”
“Here at Cawthron, we’re happy to help by providing resources. We want to acknowledge how hard their job is, and let them know they’re not alone,” she says.