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  • Socio-scientific issues bring science learning to life. Our new content combines two vexing societal issues – new gene technologies and their potential uses for pest management.

    RNA interference

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a natural process where small RNA molecules ‘silence’ or decrease the activity of specific genes by preventing them from making proteins. Scientists have been able to modify the process that temporarily silences genes. The New Zealand BioHeritage Challenge has proposed the use of RNAi to manage pest populations like the varroa mite and to address the threat of myrtle rust to our native trees. Alongside the science, the team researched te ao Māori considerations for novel biotechnologies like RNAi.

    Rights: The University of Waikato Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato

    Exploring ideas about genetic modification

    Concept cartoons help students consider a range of viewpoints, justify their own ideas, clarify their thinking and consider others’ ideas.

    RNA interference – a context for learning provides pedagogical support and curriculum information for educators interested in exploring the social, ethical and biological implications of RNAi. The activity RNAi – making science-informed responses uses concept cartoons and provocative statements to help students consider a range of viewpoints about RNAi and genetic technologies. The activity is useful across curriculum levels and supports NCEA level 1.1 Demonstrate understanding of a science-informed response to a local issue.

    Primary teachers – planning for term 4

    We hope that you are able to take time off during the term break. When the urge to plan hits, here are some options to consider. These resource curations have been designed specifically for primary classrooms:

    Rights: Manatārua: The University of Waikato Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato

    He hoahoa mō te tinakutanga o te pātaka-rua

    Ngā wāhanga o te kākano me te tinakutanga o ngā tupu pātaka-rua. Te pīne hei tauira. He maha ngā momo rākau pātaka-rua kei roto i ngō tātou ngahere, pērā i te kawakawa, i te manakura me te tītoki.

    Go here to download a PDF of this diagram.

    Ngā hoahoa/whakaahuatia nā Designua, 123RF Ltd.

    View in English

    Alternatively, check out some of our collections – they are full of great ideas and hands-on activities – all in one place!


    While you are perusing the site for planning, check out our events section. It’s full of education and science events across the motu. We have a listing for the Spring school holidays 2023 – it has lots of ideas to keep the young ones engaged and learning.

    If you have an event you'd like us to feature, please email us.

    Save the date – 26 October we will be running a webinar focussing on antimicrobial awareness. More information will be coming out soon.

    Update to a Hub favourite

    Yes, the Hub team has favourite content! We’ve always had a soft spot for the vegetable caterpillar and the animation that shows how it becomes mummified. We are so excited to now have a te reo Māori version – Te anuhe whakapokongia. Enjoy!

    Te anuhe whakapokongia

    Ko tēnei pakiwaituhi i whakaatu i te anuhe e kaingia i te āwheto, he momo hekaheka.

    Whiriwhiri kōnei kia kite i te tuhinga me ngā manatārua.

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    We offer added value through our social media. Contact us about creating collections or boards tailored to your needs. We can help foster connections between the education and science communities.

    Your feedback

    We hope you enjoy using the Science Learning Hub – Pokapū Akoranga Pūtaiao in your teaching and would love to hear from you. Your comments, ideas and feedback can be emailed to

    Noho ora mai

    Science Learning Hub – Pokapū Akoranga Pūtaiao

    Published 21 September 2023 Referencing Hub articles
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