• 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

Teacher Education in Science

Primary Science Week 2014 set to sparkle

Look to the stars for this year’s Primary Science Week.

Inspire young minds with out-of-this-world science in May.

Primary teachers across the country are encouraged to bring the night sky into the classroom and even engage with a collaborative science project as part of the week.

As a professional development opportunity for teachers, it’s about celebrating science through understanding, investigating, communicating, participating, and contributing.

Primary Science Week runs from May 19–25, (week three of term two) and focuses on all things astronomical. The event is run by the New Zealand Association of Primary Science Educators and is supported by Auckland’s Stardome Observatory and the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Coordinator Sterling Cathman says the week is the perfect opportunity to get young students thinking about the wonder of space science.

“The theme is particularly awe-inspiring and has the ability to capture young imaginations,” says Sterling.

The national initiative is in its fourth year and has grown in popularity and participation over time, says Sterling.

“The most important thing about this initiative is to focus on sparking the students’ imaginations. They’re natural scientists, and as teachers, we have the ability to nurture that quality. We really need to foster their innate curiosity and enthusiasm.”

Shadow Stick Investigation

This is a nationwide, collaborative project that can be undertaken by anyone. It all starts with the following question: Shadows at midday will be longer, the further south you are. Why?

If it’s sunny where you are on May 21, follow the instructions given here to record your shadow stick information. Send your data in (via this Google document) and the results will be collated, graphed, and returned to your class.

“It would be great if we could get a good set of data for this investigation,” says Sterling. “So I’m really hoping that teachers and students join in with the experiment.”

NZST note: look out for another article about the results in late May.

Further resources

Curriculum support

NZAPSE has put together this great list of online astronomy resources

Regional programmes: check out this site to see what’s happening where you are

Regional contact points

Complete list of astronomy science teaching resources (pdf)

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