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Continuing teachers' science education

We have expanded the Sir Paul Callaghan Science Academy to help teachers continue their science education and focus on skills that reflect science and pūtaiao in the National Curriculum.

What is the Sir Paul Callaghan Science Academy?

Teachers play a key role in cultivating students’ curiosity about the world around them. Since 2012, the Sir Paul Callaghan Science Academy has been developing ‘champions of science’ for New Zealand primary and intermediate schools.

The Academy sessions consist of a intensive four-day professional development programmes that are free* for nominated teachers of Years 1–8 students. Participants are nominated by their schools for their potential to develop new science teaching initiatives and inspire and mentor their colleagues, and in turn their students.

The participants hear from a host of skilled presenters and guest speakers on a range of science teaching themes, such as the nature of science, investigative skills, hands-on skills, science for citizenship, and the interconnected nature of science.

The programme doesn’t end with the course. The website allows alumni to continue to share ideas and experiences and Academy staff remain in contact to support graduates. As participant Janine Fryer of Pukekohe Intermediate says, “It...resparked my love of teaching and also provided me with an ongoing resource bank to share with my colleagues and students.”

* Individual schools will still need to pay teacher release time (if any), accommodation, travel and meals.

Academy Dates 2017

  • Timaru Tues 18 – Fri 21 April (school holidays)
  • Rotorua Tues 11 – Fri 14 July (school holidays)
  • Wellington Tues 18 – Fri 21 July (school holidays)
  • Auckland Tues 22 – Fri 25 August
  • Christchurch Tues 12 – Fri 15 September
  • Hamilton Tues 3 – Fri 5 October (school holidays)
  • Gisborne Tues 10 – Fri 13 October (school holidays)

Register here if you are a primary and intermediate teacher who would like to take part.

How does this fit with A Nation of Curious Minds?

The academies are now “zero course fees” and available in more areas. One of the actions in A Nation of Curious Minds: He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara was to expand the successful Sir Paul Callaghan Science Academies – so that’s what we’ve done. We have worked with the Sir Paul Callaghan Academies and the Roadshow Trust to offer “zero course fees” and schedule significantly more Academies.

Who was Sir Paul Callaghan?

Sir Paul Callaghan was a New Zealand physicist who, as the founding director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology at Victoria University of Wellington, held the position of Alan MacDiarmid Professor of Physical Sciences and was President of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance.

Sir Paul was President of the Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ), a founding director and shareholder of Magritek, a technology company based in Wellington that sells nuclear magnetic resonance and MRI instruments. He was a regular writer and public speaker on science matters.

His 2009 book, Wool to Weta: Transforming New Zealand's Culture and Economy, dealt with the potential for science and technology entrepreneurialism to diversify New Zealand's economy.

In 2001 Sir Paul was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and appointed a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2006. In 2007 he was recognised with a World Class New Zealander Award and was knighted on 14 August 2009. In 2010 he shared the New Zealand Prime Minister's Science Prize and the next year he was named Kiwibank's New Zealander of the Year.

Visit the Academy website to find out more