• 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

Learning in Science

Happy digging! Primary Science Week 2016

Primary Science Week 2016 runs from 16 May - today! - through to the 20th, and the focus this year is on soil science.

soilSoil is literally the stuff of life - without it, according to one soil scientist, we’d be “hungry, thirsty, naked, homeless, and breathless.”

Some of the remarkable properties and abilities of soil that make life possible include:

  • Keeping us warm and dry: while there might not be an obvious connection between soil and clothing, think about the fact that so much of our textiles depend on it: wool and silk producing animals - sheep and silkworms - eat plants grown in soil, and the cotton plant comes directly from the ground.

  • Soil keeps us breathing: without the nutrients in the soil in which oxygen-producing plants grow, there would be no breathable air

  • Soil is a habitat for a wide variety of life, including many of the microorganisms on which we depend

  • Soil is the great recycler: organisms in soil break down waste, and dispose of other organisms that have died. Without soil (and the insects and microorganisms that make their home in it), we would literally be knee-deep in excrement and dead bodies!

Think about this: in a single teaspoon of soil, there are more living things than there are people on the entire planet! Soil really is the fundament of life on earth.

The New Zealand Association of Primary Science Educators (NZAPSE) website lists lots of activities and experiences that you can get your class involved in. Go here.

For great starter information on soil, check out the Science Learn website page: Soil means life

The NZAPSE Primary Science Week page is also bursting with links to experiments, other sites, and various resources so you can create an authentic learning programme for your budding soil scientists.

Happy digging!

Find out about what’s going on in your region:

Auckland – Find out what’s happening here

Hamilton – Find out what is happening here

Tauranga – Find out what is happening here

Wellington – Find out what is happening here

Christchurch – Find out what is happening here


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