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Practical experiences of science

A distinctive feature of science learning – one that students look forward to – is its strong practical aspect. Practical learning takes place both within school laboratories and through fieldwork.

  • Building skills for lifelong learning, especially learning focused on scientific inquiry

Students’ experience of authentic science situations can be particularly valuable. For this reason, schools are encouraged to develop ongoing relationships with people involved in various science-related careers or endeavours. These could include, but are not limited to:

  • students’ parents, whānau, iwi, or other members of the local community who have specialist knowledge and experience
  • experts from local facilities, such as hydro power plants, wind farms, water or sewage treatment plants, electrical substations, fish hatcheries, factories, or medical laboratories
  • education officers from the Department of Conservation, regional councils, zoos, and wildlife sanctuaries
  • practising research scientists in universities, wānanga and other learning institutions.

To avoid creating the impression that “real science” only happens in a lab, students should be exposed to a variety of people and situations in science. Science learning could also take place at local environments that students access every day such as moana, bush reserve, lake, pond, or active slips

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Last updated October 14, 2013