The annual Primary Science Week provides an opportunity for all New Zealand schools to engage in science learning and the 2020 theme is Sounds of Aotearoa.

Run by the New Zealand Association of Primary Science Educators (NZAPSE), this years Primary Science Week will cover anything to do with the science of sound, music and hearing.

The challenge

The Primary Science Week challenge is to make your own musical instrument. There are examples on the Primary Science Week 2020 website and more activities and resources will be added, so keep an eye on it.

Challenge your students to make their own musical instruments using recyclable materials and items found around the home.

Each musical instrument should be able to change pitch as well as volume. To encourage the making of a range of instruments why not sort them into the types of music groups found in an orchestra, i.e. strings, brass, percussion and woodwind.

Make a video or your students work and share it.

For further information, activities and to see how your can be involved, go to:

Related content

We have set up a Sound Pinterest board for more ideas for Primary Science Week 2020.

View the range of content under our Sound topic, remember you can use the filters at the top to look for content aimed at primary level. You might like to start with the article on human hearing and hearing sound.

Try one of these sound activities:

Look out for exciting new resources aimed at lower levels coming soon.

Extend the learning

We have a collection of physics content exploring sound waves aimed more at secondary level. The articles are superbly illustrated with diagrams to enhance student understanding and provide ample opportunities for practising the science capability ‘Interpret representations’. After learning the basics, use the investigations for hands-on learning. They support the ‘Gather and interpret data’ capability and provide real-world experiences for using mathematical skills.



Professional learning

We have lots of resources to support primary teachers, why not start with these below:

  • Professional development for primary teachers – this article lists our professional development sessions (with resources) under various topic headings.
  • Chemistry in the primary classroom – is one of our recent webinars and is aimed at building your confidence with teaching chemistry, included are some fun demonstrations.
  • Junior science – covers our science resources that have been written specifically for the junior school (level 1 and 2) to develop science ideas on a range of topics.

See all events