3.1 Extending our engagement – Annual Report 2017
House of Science
By partnering with House of Science, we enabled the Tauranga- based charity to begin their nation-wide roll-out of their science box scheme. House of Science provides science resource kits and professional development to schools and teachers. The new MacDiarmid Nano-Chem boxes are based on our longstanding Kōrero programme (and include experiments with light, acids and bases and magnets), enabling us to extend the reach of Kōrero to many more students and teachers.
The MacDiarmid Nano- Chem boxes are now available at eight branches of House of Science (West Auckland, Western BOP, Eastern BOP, Rotorua, Manawatu, Hutt Valley, Wellington and Nelson) and were used in over 60 classrooms in 2017, reaching more than 2600 students, including 774 Māori (30%) and 208 Pasifika (8%).
In some centres the Nano-Chem box has been booked out every week of the school year, and House of Science is seeing repeat use, with half of the schools having seen the box at least twice.
Again we worked with MacDiarmid Investigator Dr Michelle Dickinson to extend our ‘Kōrero with scientists’ programme into regional New Zealand, in cooperation with her ‘Nanogirl Live!’ stage show.
Lab in a Box
With an eye to redressing the urban/rural divide in science teaching resources, University of Otago Professor Peter Dearden conceived of Lab in a Box, a mobile science laboratory inside a 20-foot shipping container. Lab in a Box can be taken anywhere in the country and comes full of science gear and is accompanied by a teacher, and is able to reach isolated rural communities and schools.
In 2017, Lab in a Box came to the North Island for the first time and we added a Nano-Chem box plus some lab coats for the kids. Lab in a Box spent time at schools in the wider Wellington area, then traveled to Rotorua, Taupo and the East Coast. 23 groups of students (401 in total) used the Nano-Chem box over this time.