Concoctions, creations and creepy crawlies galore… science sure does sound fun, especially to kids naturally full of curiosity.
Maintaining that curiosity however is no simple task – especially with a lack of funding and support in primary and intermediate schools for science.
House of Science Tauranga aim to change that. The not-for-profit provides science resources to primary schools, education programmes to children aged 5 to 13, and professional development for teachers - ensuring children in the Western Bay get all the education, encouragement and opportunities they need to foster a lifelong love of science.
On a sunny weekday afternoon, children from the after-school education programme gather at The Elms for some hands-on scientific learning, exploring the native plants and bugs that can be found throughout the grounds.
Raring to go with magnifying glass and insect identifier checklist in hand, children sprawl across the gardens, taking close inspection of the leaves, flowers and soil for any sign of movement. Each insect discovery leads to frenzied excitement and screams of ‘Look what I found!’ as the House of Science team watch over, explaining the critter’s characteristics, habitat, and role in the ecosystem.
The education programmes cover everything from the fundamentals of science such as physics and chemistry, to more specialised topics such as robotics. A qualified teacher and teaching assistants ensure that topics that might be briefly covered at school are covered extensively in a fun, hands-on way.
Pam Basset, General Manager of House of Science says that what children learn while they’re young can impact their interests later in life. Sparking that interest in science can open a whole lot of future career possibilities.
“Trips like this, combined with hands-on lessons in the classroom, build the foundation for a child’s learning for life.”
TECT has supported House of Science since its establishment in 2013, with another grant of $50K awarded this year; ensuring they can continue sparking kids’ curiosity in science.
Wayne Werder, General Manager of TECT says that as the local hub for science education in the Western Bay, House of Science Tauranga is invaluable asset to the community.
“We are proud to support House of Science Tauranga - they have a real impact on children, providing opportunities to learn science at a level they may never have had access to before.”
To find out more about House of Science Tauranga, visit www.houseofscience.nz/tauranga