Thanks to a grant from the Waikato Farmers Trust, over 130 new students a week have been able to undertake science through innovative and engaging education kits.
Since the application from House of Science in April 2020, the organisation has taken on an additional 7 schools and now 34 member schools have joined the education initiative. Last year, 344 resource science kits were booked, and this year 602 bookings have been made so far this year.
The science resource kits purchased through the Waikato Farmers Trust grant, have proven extremely popular with both teachers and students.
“I loved how each group had their own set of things for the week. I didn't have to do much "teaching", the kids took the inductions and went for it.” – St. Columba’s Catholic School
There are three different kits, which introduce students to important scientific issues, including ‘Climate Change’, ‘Super Sense’, and ’Sweet and Sour”.
The Climate Change/ Huringa Āhuarangi kit introduces the Earth's system 'Jenga' to ocean acidification, and students learn about the importance of plants as the 'lungs' of the earth. Thermometers in jars are used to simulate the greenhouse effect and there are some engaging experiments to demonstrate the importance of water to our planet.
Through the Super Sense/ Nongo Nui kit, students use their sense of smell to identify pairs of identical scents and try to identify what the scents are. Links between smell and long-term memory are also discussed.
The Sweet and Sour/ Te Reka me te Kawa kit educates about acid and base chemistry in foods that students will be familiar with. The kit includes the use of test tubes, indicators, colour changes and fizzing that highly engages students. Younger students make sherbet and experience chemical reactions in their mouth, while slightly older students can observe pH paper change colour with the variety of chemicals in their student kits.
“The ability for us to purchase the three science resource kits has been more than “just adding to our library”, it has enabled our member schools to teach additional topics in fun and engaging ways, and helps increase the science literacy of our Central Waikato students,” says Catherine Fredricks, General Manager, House of Science.