Building confidence in science

kids at beach

Scientists, students and teachers learning from each other. That’s the aim of a two-year Vision Matauranga programme Scion entered into with local Whakarewarewa School, in April 2015.

The programme is designed to forge a lasting connection between Scion and the school. Programme leader Kim McGrouther says the idea is to build the teachers’ confidence in science and for students to be comfortable talking with scientists about science. “The hope is too, that a number of students will choose science as a career path.”

To date, teachers from the school have visited Scion’s nursery and laboratories, with reciprocal visits by scientists to talk to the students about water quality and biodegradable plastics. The students also played an active role in the ceremony to mark the release of white ngutakaka back into the wild, visiting the nursery beforehand to learn about the plant and to practice pricking out seedlings.

“As part of the programme, I took two teachers and two students to the Science Communicators conference in Wellington, in November,” says Kim. “The students presented a poster titled ‘Talking to Nana and Koro’, on kawakawa and its medicinal properties. They got second place. And they were the only children in the poster session, the rest were adults from universities and CRIs.

“I joined the students at Maketu estuary recently too, to help with their estuary studies, supervising four students for the day. That was a good learning experience for me!”

For further information
Contact Kim McGrouther at
kim.mcgrouther@scionresearch.com