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  • 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.

    Rights: Christopher Kyba, CC BY-NC 4.0

    Exploring the night sky

    A young person uses the Loss of the Night mobile phone app to log information and learn about light pollution in her area.


    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.

    Online citizen science projects Planet Hunters and Agent Exoplanet are another way to work as an astrophysicist.

    Rights: NASA

    Our Solar System

    An illustration of our Solar System showing the sizes of planets relative to one another. The planets are not shown at the correct distance from the Sun.

    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.

    Our bodies

    What could be more interesting than learning about our bodies and how they work? The Science Learning Hub has a range of resources on cells, genetics, immunity and digestion.

    Rights: © 2005 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

    Human digestion chemistry

    The human digestive system and related hormonal controls allow the processing of food to supply energy and nutrients to the body.

    We have some great resources that cover some of the big ideas in science.

    There are also cross-curricular opportunities – have a look at Literacy in immunology and consider adapting Drama with microbes.

    Mātauranga Māori

    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.

    Discover ngā hekaheka – Māori knowledge and use of fungi and test your knowledge in this online or paper-based quiz.

    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.

    Related content

    We can also help with learning at home for:

    Peruse these articles for engaging ideas if you have learners of different ages.

    Useful links

    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.

      Published 1 April 2020 Referencing Hub articles
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