Science investment sought

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STEM SUPPORT: Financial investment from Mid Canterbury businesses is being sought to help pupils with science learning.
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Principals in Mid Canterbury are seeking business funding to increase scientific literacy in their pupils.

It will help them bring House of Science resources to primary and intermediate schools in the district.

House of Science, run by a charitable trust, supplies schools with science kits covering all topics on the science curriculum as well as lesson plans and resources. The initiative requires $50k to set up and includes a part-time worker and 10 kits.

Principals Andrew Leverton of Allenton, and Claire Maria of Chertsey have been in talks with House of Science business manager Sandra Kirikiri from Tauranga.

She spoke recently at the Mid Canterbury principal’s hui in Ashburton.

Her talk garnered plenty of interest with many schools already aware of the value in the programme.

Leverton said for a lot of primary school teachers, unless they had a strong science interest, found science lessons difficult to run.

‘‘Often schools don’t have the resource allocation to go out and buy, or they have got some science resources that are in the back cupboard,’’ he said.

‘‘The good thing about House of Science is the kits are delivered, they’re fully stocked ready to go, teachers do the lessons which are inside the kits and that will take a barrier away from the teaching of science.

‘‘To get it off the ground in Mid Canterbury what we do need is funding from local businesses.’’

Allenton School principal Andrew Leverton is among the Mid Canterbury principals seekingbusiness funding to increase scientific literacy in their pupils.

He said Mid Canterbury had plenty of industries working in fields of science so hopefully there was some interest from businesses.

The learning encompassed STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – which all fuels Mid Canterbury, he said.

There were 40 different kits available but schools need local businesses on board to support the programme. Nationwide sponsors DairyNZ and Genesis Energy were already on board, he said.

‘‘It’s only a goer if we can get local (business) interest,’’ he said.

Businesses can either make a donation to go towards the start up fund or they can sponsor a single kit for $3000 a year with naming rights on the kit.

Maria said the resource was a game changer for teaching and learning in science, a topic often neglected because it was difficult to resource.

‘‘This initiative however relies on donations from businesses in our community. We need $50k, to set this up and we would like to have it up and running for next year,’’ she said.

Each kits contain at least five hands-on experiments for pupils in years 0-8.

Any business, or individuals, in a position to help can contact Leverton or Maria directly through their schools or check out the House of Science website at houseofscience.nz