Mike’s News Apr 8

8 Apr Solar eclipse visible in parts of USA (not here)
8 Apr Deadline to apply for scholarships to attend the RASNZ May conference in Nelson
8 Apr NiF PLD, 4-6pm, MoE Office, L1 102 Rosedale Rd, Albany, Auckland. Register here
9 Apr NiF PLD, 1-5pm, MoE Office, 16 Bishop Dunn Pl, Flat Bush, Auckland. Register here
9 Apr 7:30pm PLD for CB1.1 & 1.3 Bio: General Q & A. Link
10 Apr Deadline to enter Beamline for Schools. https://beamlineforschools.cern
10 Apr National quiet hour 10am – turn down the lights & turn down the noise. Info here
10 Apr 4pm PLD for AHS1.2 Place & Purpose: writing and marking tasks. Link
11 Apr 4pm PLD for AHS1.1 Life Processes: writing & marking tasks. Link
12 Apr International Day of Human Space Flight www.un.org/en/events/humanspaceflightday/
12 Apr Deadline to apply for Auckland zoo’s Tuatara Club
15-22 Apr International Dark Sky Week. Info here
17 Apr World Haemophilia day http://www.wfh.org/en/page.aspx?pid=492
17 Apr International Bat Appreciation Day. Info here
22 Apr Earth day www.earthday.net
Moon NM Apr 9      1Q Apr 16      FM Apr 24      3Q May 1

Check PLD links https://ncea.education.govt.nz/support-workshops-level-1-subjects-and-wahanga-ako

  1. Earth Day Webinar on Breaking Down Microplastics. Fr 19 Apr 1pm ET (Sat 20 Apr 6am). 90mins
  2. The SciPad Denis Hogan Chemical Education Award is presented annually to a chemistry teacher who has contributed significantly to chemistry education in NZ. Nominations are now open and will close on 30 June. https://nzic.org.nz/awards#hogan


  1. Mātauranga Māori:
  2. Professional reading/watching/listening:
  3. Student opportunities:
    • CrisisLab Challenges yr9-13 Wellington students to use a provided sensor kit & some data and coding skills to develop a tsunami alert device. Register by 1 May here. Info here. Article here.
  4. Teacher opportunities:
    • Blake Inspire Teacher Program fully funded for primary & intermediate teachers to develop their environmental knowledge. Five days in Auckland in Jul or Sep hols. Apply by 13 May.
  5. Digital tools:
    • With no phones at school this might be demo only (or hwk). This free online workshop gives educators the opportunity to engage in dozens of experiments that make use of the sensors on their smartphones. July 22-26, 8:30-3:30 PST (4:30am-11:30am Jul 23-27 NZT!). Info here
  6.  Podcasts:
  7. The latest NZASE newsletter has eight A4 posters of Māori scientists, designed to be useful for all levels https://nzase.org.nz/resources/?resource=scientist-profiles.


  1. Biology:
    • Do a moss safari to find microscopic organisms e.g. nematodes, tardigrades, mites, rotifers & gastrotrichs. Teaching resources here & here (go to PhilipHarris when given a choice).
    • Clade Race (Zombie version) activity teaches about the principles of cladistics & phylogenies
  2. Agricultural and Horticultural Science:
    • Smedley station and cadet training farm,1143 Smedley Rd, Tikokino, has open days from 2pm onwards on 8 & 9 June www.smedley.ac.nz
    • Lincoln uni offers free On-Farm Workshops in the Waikato Weeks 2 & 3 of Term 2 Register your interest here https://forms.gle/6Szhs2DHD1sGR7No8 (Health and safety forms provided)
  3. Earth & Space Science:
  4. Chemistry:
    • An activity from Kim Beaton on green hydrogen
    • Article and video on the difference between science based on evidence or eminence.
  5. Physics:
  6. Primary & intermediate:
    • Free Remote learning science resources from UK’s ASE
    • Video of the work a parent titmouse bird does building nest & caring for her young over 60 days
  7.  Science:
    • Practical to make a model waste-water treatment system
    • Article on the science of sunscreen
  8. New standards
    • Healthy Chocolate is a resource that explores concepts of evidence and validity (S1.4)
    • Practical : how warming water causes sea level rise (S1.2) . Use as a model or a fair test


  1. The Minister of Education has announced that the NCEA Change Programme will be rephased by 2 yrs to better align it with the curriculum. The new NCEA L2 standards due 2026 will now roll out in 2028 & L3 qualifications, due 2027, will now be 2029. More info here. [Rob Mill, MoE]

Professional Learning & Development (PLD) Opportunities

  1. Apply for Regionally allocated PLD by 17 May. You’ll be notified of the outcome by wk 8 so you can contact a PLD facilitator & plan to start delivery next term. Schools can use this PLD to support the implementation of NCEA (in the ‘Local Curriculum Design’ priority).
  2. Kohia Teacher’s Centre. FtF =face-to-face. P=primary, I = intermediate, S = secondary
  3. Hive Mind, free online PLD from Science in a van with the Science Learning Hub, is on Zoom at 4 – 4:45pm Th 30 May. Come along to hear what yr 1-10 teachers from all around Aotearoa are up to and share planning tips & tricks. Get the resources from the last one here. And Register Now
  4. Learning Network NZ, Cnr Universal/Soljan Drives, Henderson, Auckland
  5. NIWA Auckland City Sci & Tech Fairs are putting on PLD about Science Fair Th 9 May 4-5:30pm, in person at King’s School Remuera or online. RSVP to get directions or link. Science Fair PD
  6. NZASE will be running PLD clusters for secondary teachers in term 2. Mike is seeking a venue in Auckland & 1 in Wellington. If you can help please email mikhal@actrix.co.nz 

Cheers, Mike

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