Science Seminar: Perspectives in the 21st Century

Date Friday 15 November 2019
Time 8:30am - 3:30pm
Location TT1.05 - School of Education, University of Waikato
Contact Simon Taylor
Contact email
Cost $90.00

Celebrating transformative science educational research, policy, and pedagogies that foster curiosity and innovation. A voice for tertiary, secondary, primary and early childhood science teachers. Where there is opportunity for interest in teacher voice and student perspectives in classroom environments, futurist learning, youth empowerment and education design in science learning.

The one-day conference encourages consultation with science educators, and organizations: WSTA, NZASE and SLH. It supports opportunity for creating positive change in classroom culture, school culture and empowering both worlds of the learner and teacher.

Tickets are $90 and are available here.

Key note presentations:

  • How can we deal with climate change in our classrooms? 
    Chris Eames - Director TEMS Education Research Centre/Associate Professor - University of Waikato 

As science educators, climate change will come into our classrooms. Whether it is through the media, through parent requests, student questions or school strikes, climate change is an issue for education and as science teachers, we need to be ready. Not only ready but willing, willing to engage in preparing our students for a world in which global warming is changing our futures.  Doing so is not a simple task as climate change is complex, politically charged and values-drenched. For students to be prepared to address climate change they will need not only knowledge and skills but values and motivation. In this presentation, I will offer some findings from recent research into climate change education that we have been doing at Waikato and a framework for dealing with climate change in our science classrooms.

  • Catching the Capabilities.
    Great Dromgool and Andrea Soanes - Professional Development Facilitators for the Science Learning Hub

So much of what we want our students to learn is caught rather than taught. So how do we as teachers provide an environment where students can “catch” the capabilities and dispositions essential to quality science education? To answer this question we ask What drives your passion for teaching science? What spark do you need to relight in your classroom?  Greta and Andrea will share stories of great accessible science!

  • Data Mining for Student Understanding
    Jason Morgan - Director of eLearning at St Peters Cambridge

Data Mining has had a bad rap recently. At its heart, it is the collecting of information in order to make better-informed choices. We all have experienced the highs and lows of formative assessment and most can certainly identify the benefit. This presentation will explore my journey into the use of data mining for student understanding. I will reflect on the tools I have trialed, and on the results. Please note that I have focused on tools that are autonomous, that is tools that once created will provide me with evidence.

  • Perspectives in 21st Century science learning: science classes as Knowledge-Building communities
    Simon Taylor - Lecturer and Secondary Graduate Coordinator Tauranga - University of Waikato

The Knowledge Building principles stand out from inquiry learning and problem-based learning practices sometimes seen in science or modern learning environment programmes. The Knowledge Building model goes further, to support students to create knowledge but also to help build a suite of perspectives, gathering ideas and questions. This unique learning environment blends paradigms of digital and reality, it provides a context for developing an integrated multimodal approach. In this specific pedagogy, the students are supported to contribute their ideas in a communal virtual space. Students can show their classmates their science inquiry over the entire course of lessons and have opportunity to disclose new ideas created as they proceed in the topic. There is also significant opportunity for Knowledge-Building classes from different schools to work on the same inquiry, and subsequently whole school inquiries to be developed  across curriculum areas.

Plus a special presentation by Chris Duggan House of Science National Founder & CEO

Chris trained as a Biochemist at Massey University and taught secondary school science, biology and chemistry for 15 years in the Bay of Plenty. Throughout her teaching career Chris had a growing sense of concern about the lack of science knowledge students had when arriving at high school. When she read an E.R.O. report in 2013 that stated over 70% of NZ's primary and intermediate schools lack an effective science programme, she decided something needed to be done. She left her middle management and teaching role mid 2013 and the rest - as they say - is history.

Chris now leads a small but effective team that develop new science resource kits, assemble kits to send all over the country, train new staff and support the growing number of regions establishing their own House of Science trusts.

As of mid-2019, over 10% of NZ primary and intermediate schools are House of Science members and over 8,000 students a week use the resources developed by the organisation.

History and background:

The science symposium/seminar series was established in 2005 and has the prime objective of providing an opportunity for science leaders in the Waikato and BoP regions, classroom teachers and science communicators to celebrate science education in a one day conference format. Support from the Waikato Science teachers Association, the New Zealand Association of Science Educators and the University of Waikato Science Learning Hub has been ongoing.