Science is everywhere, so it’s a great subject to learn from home.
You can start by thinking about what science skills you want to develop, knowledge you want to learn or just what you are really interested in – the Science Learning Hub has something for everyone. Below are some ideas to get you started. Check out the Related content or Useful links, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you can’t find something that suits you.
While New Zealand is experiencing lockdown conditions due to COVID-19, use common sense when going outdoors. Keep the activities in your own garden or incorporate them into your daily walk, while remembering to stay in your personal bubble.
The night sky is an excellent topic for learning from home.
Start by discovering some background information in Space revealed – introduction – this article describes the work of astrophysicists, it includes a video explaining black holes and provides ideas for activities that simulate work carried out by scientists.
- In Hunt the planet, students plot graphs of light measurements from stars, searching for dimming that indicates the presence of a planet.
- Is anything out there? asks students to consider evidence for life and examine data to decide on the likelihood of life on certain extrasolar planets.
- Combine these activities with the Connected story Defending the dark, which explores light pollution and practical ways to minimise it.
If you are wanting to bring it back to this Solar System, have a look at the resource Shrink the Solar System where students create a scale model of the Solar System and use a range of measurements from mm to light years.
Navigating by the stars teaches students the cardinal points of a compass and how to use the Sun and star constellations to identify cardinal compass points. Constellations in the night sky explores cultural legends and star constellations, and How’s your memory? uses traditional tātai arorangi to learn about the star compass.
And best of all, get students observing the sky and recording their observations – you could start by using the activity Observing natural satellites.
We have some great resources that cover some of the big ideas in science.
- Cells: Introduction to cells and Inside a cell.
- DNA: Introduction to DNA.
- Immune system: Fighting infection – introduction, The wars within, Fighting infection card game, Making snot and Spreading diseases.
- Medical research and ethics: Exploring medical research and Ethical dilemmas in fighting infection.
Science is a tool that lots of different cultures use. Explore mātauranga Māori and science in this introductory article.
Watch videos investigating Māori world views and methodologies within the scientific community.
- Preserving harakeke taonga
- Taewa and psyllid resistance
- Reviving toheroa
- Kaitiaki of the Kiwi
- Revitalising Māori astronomy
- Restoration of a wooden pare
- Sea sponges and rongoā
- Insects and forest ecosystems
- Restoring mauri after the Rena disaster
Students’ understanding about science and mātauranga as a knowledge system can be developed through discussion of the information within our Rongoā Māori article and the Connected article The science of rongoā. In the activity Using rongoā Māori, students learn about rongoā Māori through a silent card game, and the article Harakeke under the microscope explores the differences between harakeke varieties on the microscopic scale and explores how mātauranga Māori can shed light on scientific research.
See our Pinterest board – full of activities, articles and more to help teachers, schools and/or parents setting up online learning at home.
Visit the Learning from home government website for more activity ideas.
Kids Greening Taupō has great ideas for getting kids outdoors and connecting with nature.