Contexts

The contexts are the heart of the Hub, each exploring a major theme or idea and providing a gateway to related content and explorations. Each context is supported by a range of collections including multimedia files, classroom resources based on the requirements of the New Zealand science curriculum, and the stories of New Zealand’s science and technology sector in action.

Gases and Plasmas

We live in a gaseous atmosphere surrounded by plasma. This context examines the structure, properties and uses of gases and plasmas. Plasma...

Tōku Awa Koiora

This context investigates the restoration of the lower half of the Waikato River. Kaitiaki are working to restore and protect the health...

Soil, Farming and Science

What do soil, farming and science have to do with each other? Learn about the effects farming can have on the environment and explore...

Satellites

Learning about natural and artificial satellites involves ideas of gravity, circular motion and radio communication. Discover some of the...

A Fizzy Rock

Limestone is the rock that fizzes with acid. It has a biogeochemical origin, a rich agricultural history and is literally ‘fizzing’...

Toxins

Learn how New Zealand’s most poisonous creature was discovered through the investigative work of scientists. Discover what toxins are,...

Pollination

Learn about the role of flowers in the life cycles of flowering plants. Discover how flowers ensure the transfer of pollen, and meet some...

Light and Sight

Explore this context and learn more about the basics of light, how we see and how we perceive the world around us.

Exploring with Microscopes

Microscopes let us view an invisible world – the objects around us that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Learn more about how...

Rockets

Rocket science includes ideas of forces and motion, how rockets work and some of the challenges for those wanting to make rockets go faster...

Flight

What is flight? People have different ideas about what flies. In this context, we explore winged flight through birds, planes, gliders,...

Digestion Chemistry

Food’s macronutrients undergo chemical breakdown as they move through the digestive system. Learn more about the digestion process and...

Uniquely Me

How we look and act is the result of the interaction of our genes with our environment. Even identical twins, with an identical genetic...

Dating the Past

Learn how geologists find out the ages of rocks and fossils to help explain how New Zealand’s structure – and the life it supports –...

The Noisy Reef

Travel under the waves to the reefs of New Zealand to explore sound and noise – what sound is, how it travels, what changes under water...

Food Function and Structure

We all eat food because it provides the five fundamental types of materials required to keep our bodies functioning. Learn more about the...

Fighting Infection

What’s going on inside us when we get sick? What do germs have to do with us getting sick? How does our body help us to get better? How...

Ferns

Ferns are abundant in our New Zealand landscape, making them a major part of our ecosystems. In this context, we explore the science of...

Super Sense

Artificial sensors and probes enable us to overcome the limitations of our human senses and extend them in novel and useful ways, using the...

The Ocean in Action

Meet New Zealand scientists studying the physical and chemical properties of the ocean, and explore the ocean’s role in transporting...

Ceramics

Learn about the classification, structure, properties and uses of ceramic materials, and explore the world of advanced ceramics and the...

Volcanoes

How do volcanoes work? Where do they form? And what does this mean for the people that live around them? Meet the scientists finding the...

Saving Reptiles and Amphibians

What’s unique about our native reptiles and amphibians, and why are they at risk? Learn more about the science behind conservation...

Fire

What actually is fire? How does it start? How and why does it behave in different ways? How can we prevent it from starting or reduce its...

Just Elemental

Explore how elements are made and classified into the periodic table, and find out about essential elements and how we use isotopes and...

Life in the Sea

New Zealand scientists use a range of methods to learn about life in the sea around us. How do our marine organisms interact, and how do we...

H2O On the Go

In the future, water may be our most valuable commodity. Understanding the water cycle – the continuous movement of water through the...

Hidden Taonga

Scientists at Landcare Research use their collections as a reference book while they explore New Zealand’s hidden ecosystems to answer...

Space Revealed

New Zealand astronomers use different wavelengths of light to reveal information about stars and galaxies and to find new planets. Learn...

You, Me and UV

What actually is ultraviolet radiation? Where does it come from? What effects does it have on the Earth and on our bodies? Can we put...

Enviro-imprints

Since humans first arrived in New Zealand, we have had a significant impact on the environment. How have we left our mark on our land, our...

Future Fuels

The Sun is the origin for most of our energy sources. Humans have relied on fossil fuels in the past, but what will fuel our energy needs...

Nanoscience

Nanoscience is about the very small, but it could have a huge impact on our lives. New materials, products and processes are already here,...

See-through Body

Finding out what’s happening inside is a critical part of diagnosing disease and injury. New and evolving medical imaging technologies...

Earthquakes

Earthquakes help shape New Zealand and are a constant threat in many parts of the country. The more we understand about what causes them,...

Icy Ecosystems

Antarctica is the coldest, driest, windiest and highest continent on Earth. What makes the frozen continent so valuable to scientists and...

Sporting Edge

Faster, further, longer, stronger – the sporting edge. Sports science helps athletes gain the advantage by combining scientific...