Mike’s News Jul 1

29Jun – 6 Jul Matariki
1 Jul STEM educators expo at MOTAT in Ak, 4:30-7pm
2 Jul ESS Scholarship tutorials begin 7 pm. To join Students need to contact Jenny
2 Jul SLH National Summit – Science education: Fit for purpose. Novotel, Ak Airport.
3-5 Jul Mātauranga Māori Science & Design Fair Sudima Hotel, Wgtn
10-12 Jul UoA Women in Engineering 3 free days of activities. More info here. Questions here.
11Jul World Population Day www.stats.govt.nz , go to Schools Corner
12 July Deadline to apply for Science Teaching Leadership Program. Info here.
Moon NM Jul 6      1Q Jul 14      FM Jul 21      3Q Jul 28

Talks that may be relevant for us

  1. Resources for Matariki
  2. Science Learning Hub’s winter school holiday event listings across the country. Tell your students.
  3. NZ Geothermal Week 1-6 Jul is held in Taupo & around the Taupo Volcanic zone to showcase and celebrates this thriving industry. https://www.taupo.biz/nzgeothermalweek


  1. Mātauranga Māori:
    • This webpage uses text and video to explain some key concepts (kaitiakitanga and whakapapa) in drawing on mātauranga Māori when caring for the environment.
    • 6 new geothermal kupu have just been published by the Māori Language Commission
  2.  Pedagogy:
  3. Professional reading/watching/listening:
    • Resource to use with teachers exploring cognitive load in the classroom.
  4. Student opportunities:
    • Young Rutherfords’ holiday courses (Auckland)
  5.  Digital:
  6.  Literacy:
  7. The latest NZASE newsletter has a articles on Science Learning Spaces for anyone and Māori dyes and Aurora for members only as well as a profile of scientist Jan Eldridge. Sign up for the newsletter or find resources or join NZASE here https://nzase.org.nz/.


  1. Biology:
    • TED talk on why it’s so hard to cure the common cold
    • Science now knows eye colour is polygenic not a simple monohybrid cross. Teaching otherwise can end up with students upset, thinking they are adopted (or worse!).
  2. Agricultural and Horticultural Science:
  3. Earth & Space Science:
  4. Chemistry:
  5. Physics:
  6. Primary & intermediate:
    • 3 seasons of Magic School Bus https://www.youtube.com/@VictorNelvanaShows/playlists
    • A science book you might like to read
      • The Violinist’s Thumb by Sam Kean explores the wonders of DNA in stories. Very readable
      • What science book would you recommend for teachers or students?


  1. Info about the common assessment activities https://www2.nzqa.govt.nz/assets/NCEA/Subject-pages/2-Universal-documents/L1-Submitted-External-Assessment-Guidelines-V1.0.pdf

Can you help?

  1. Mandy Gunderson is completing MEd research into how teacher integrate sustainability into the science curriculum. If you could spare 10-15 mins for a chat about your junior sci or senior bio teaching that incorporates sustainability, please contact her at ag360@students.waikato.ac.nz
  2. Lisa Hooker is looking for a pdf copy of Living things by V. Slaughter. This book has lots of simple biological diagrams. If you can help please contact hookerlisa@gmail.com

Professional Learning & Development (PLD) Opportunities

  1. Science Learning Hub webinar, Exploring mātauranga in the classroom, Th 1 Aug, 4:00–4:45 pm. Chloe Stantiall and Greta Dromgool share their experiences exploring mātauranga as pākehā educators in English medium classrooms. Useful for teachers of years 1-10.
  2. Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts are holding a hui 9-10 Jul at Microsoft House, Level 5/22 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Ak CBD. Info here. Register here
  3. Resources from NZASE’s term 2 PLD are available to all here. There are some real gems in the discussion summary, which also lists all the places you can go to get help with the new standards. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1gypbqQsezk-P3fkN07J4YnMS2yYLOoF6?usp=sharing
  4. Maungatautari is running a native plant identification workshop 17 Jul. Complete this form to be sent details when finalised


  1. Flowers for dissection – check the school grounds. Agapanthus, fuchsia, Gladioli nanus, camelia, rhododendron, daffodil, hibiscus. Ask local florist to donate not so fresh flowers.

Although I will continue to produce Mike’s News for a few more years, the time has come to retire from PLD facilitation – it is now almost 20 years since I was in the classroom. I got my gold card in March and thought I would need to see the year out, but now I have the opportunity to hand the responsibility on to someone eminently qualified. Linda Haycock was in the classroom last year, has facilitation and pilot school experience and is much more patient than I have been recently. As you will be in very capable hands I do not feel I am leaving you in the lurch. Many thanks for all the encouragement and support over the years. From 22 Jul Linda will be NZASE’s new PLD facilitator, available at lindahaycock@gmail.com.

Cheers, Mike

Mike’s News is brought to you with the generous support of NZASE and Warp Computers