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science teacher 2012 Featuring: Changing work/workplace Science 2.0 and school science Vocational pathways–what are they? IT and the future workplace Emergence of a new biology Choosing science in Norway Mechanical engineering– a paradigm shift? Science teachers as career educators National primary science week And more…

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ISSN 0110-7801


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Editorial Advisory Group: Rosemary Hipkins, Chris Joyce, Suzanne Boniface, Beverley Cooper, Miles Barker and Anne Hume

Editorial 2 From the President’s desk 3 Changing work/workplace

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NZST PublicationTeam: Editor: Lyn Nikoloff, Bijoux Publishing Ltd, Palmerston North Sub editor: Teresa Connor Typesetting and Cover Design: Pip’s Pre-Press Services, Palmerston North Printing: K&M Print, Palmerston North Distribution: NZ Association of Science Educators

Making science ‘pathway’ choices in a changing world 4 Science 2.0 and school science 5

NZASE National Executive: President: Sabina Cleary Senior Vice-President: Lindsey Connor Treasurer/Web Manager: Robert Shaw Primary Science: Chris Astall Auckland Science Teachers: Carolyn Haslam Publications: Matt Balm Executive Member: Steven Sexton Executive Member: Gerard Harrigan

What are vocational pathways? 10 IT defining the future workplace 16 Questions numbers and the emergence of a new biology 19

Mailing Address and Subscription Inquiries: NZASE PO Box 37 342 Halswell 8245. email: nzase@xtra.co.nz

The food industry 21 Mechanical engineering–a paradigm shift? 22

NZASE Subscriptions (2012) School description Secondary school

Roll numbers Subscription > 500 $240.00 < 500 $185.00 Area School - to be determined TBA Intermediate, middle and > 600 $240.00 composite schools 150-599 $90.00 < 150 $65.00 Primary/contributing schools > 150 $90.00 < 150 $70.00 Tertiary Education Organisations $240.00 Libraries $110.00 Individuals $50.00 Student teachers $45.00 Special Interest Group (includes access to secure sites): BEANZ, NZIC, STANZ, ESSE (was SCIPED) $20 per group Note: SIG fees are included all subscriptions except for individual members. Additional copies of the NZ Science Teacher Journal $32.06 per year for three issues Subscription includes membership and one copy of NZST per issue (i.e. three copies a year). All prices are inclusive of GST. Advertising: Advertising rates are available on request. Please contact Matt Balm, c/- nzase@xtra.co.nz

How can we train budding science innovators? 26 Changing face of science 29 What’s in it for me? Choosing science in Norway 30 Science teachers as career educators: a new role 34 Nematodes, ecology and nature of science 37 Primary science Sustainability in classroom science 39 National primary science week 41 Subject Associations

Deadlines for articles and advertising: nzase@xtra.co.nz NZST welcomes contributions for each journal. Please refer to the NZASE website or contact the editor (nzst@nzase.org.nz) for a copy of the NZST Writing Guidelines. Disclaimer: The New Zealand Science Teacher is the journal of the NZASE and aims to promote the teaching of science, and foster communication between teachers, scientists, consultants and other science educators. Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the various authors, and do not necessarily represent those of the Editor, Editorial Advisory Group or the NZASE. Websites referred to in this publication are not necessarily endorsed.

BEANZ 45 Chemistry 44 Physics 47 STANZ 48 Resources Ask-a-scientist 9, 18, 43, 46 Book review 47 NZST writing guidelines 4

Cover photo caption: Anybot at the watercooler (see page 16). Photograph courtesy of Bill Murvihill, from Anybots.com

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Changing work and workplace I am writing this just a few days after hearing the news that Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, has died. When the Eagle landed on the Sea of Tranquility in 1969, it seems hard to believe that every aspect of the project was purpose built! And it seems inconceivable that our laptops have more computing power than the whole of that NASA mission. For me, that moment in time – when he stepped onto the Moon – was one of those moments when I will never forget where I was…I was in a school hall with 1200 girls (and including Teresa Connor) listening to the broadcast. The NZST has a history of almost 40 years. It was launched three years after man landed on the Moon! And it is as relevant today as it was then. While technology has revolutionised the role of the editor and its publication, its basic premise has not altered. This issue had its beginnings at a meeting of the NZST Editorial Advisory Group (EAG) in October 2011. We thought it would be great to challenge ourselves, our contributors and you our readers with this provocative theme: changing work/workplace. This issue begins with Rose Hipkins outlining how the articles in this issue dovetail into the theme (p.4). This is followed by Jane Gilbert’s article about creating a learning environment that fosters risk-taking, creativity, collaboration and motivation (p.5). Karen Vaughan writes how science educators have a role in helping young people gain career management competencies (p.34); and thanks to vocational pathways, there are new ways of structuring NCEA programmes (p.10). A recent study in Norway explored why students choose to participate, or not participate, in post-compulsory science programmes (p.30). Since man landed on the Moon, technology has transformed our lives and workplace. The workplace of the twenty-first century is increasingly virtual, writes Robert Tremor, needing workers who have resourcefulness and self-motivation (p.16). Technology has also impacted on biology, and Paul Rainey writes that this had led to the emergence of a new biology that requires students to focus less on facts and more on the questions and the numbers (p.19). And Stefanie Gutschmidt comments there has been significant changes in mechanical engineering too (p.22). Kim Dirks and Denise Greenwood write about the importance of scientists being able to work in multidisciplinary teams, placing a premium on communication skills (p.29). And changes to food manufacturing, writes Steve Flint, have seen exciting new career opportunities open up (p.21). And Cather Simpson writes that science innovators need the right skills, knowledge and expectations (p.26). In this issue there are some great ideas for primary science educators: Sally Birdsall writes about sustainability in science programmes (p.39); and there is a report on the

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national primary science week (p.41). Reports from your committees include: key aspects of NoS that should be incorporated into science learning (p.45), Chemistry competition results (p.44), Science fairs and NoS (p.47) and workplace change for science technicians (p.48). There is no doubt that change is upon us all. When Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon he never imagined that the space programme technology would give us non-stick bake ware and microwaves, neither did he imagine that in his lifetime he would have more computing power in his Smartphone than the whole space programme had at its disposal. The NZASE President, Sabina Cleary, writes on page 3 of this issue that “...Following feedback from members over recent years, it was decided that this journal, the NZST, should move to an online format.” It is, therefore, ironic that back in October 2011 when the EAG chose the theme for the issue that we too would be experiencing a changing work and workplace. I extend a warm thank you to all the contributors, I have enjoyed working with you all and your support of science educators has been greatly appreciated. I would like to make special mention of John Campbell, who has allowed us to publish ask-a-scientist responses whenever space permitted. He has been a tireless supporter of the NZST. Thank you John. I extend a very warm thank to the Editorial Advisory Group for their hard work and diligence—the NZST under my editorship was committed to excellence in science education and you have supported that commitment. Thank you. I extend sincere warm thank yous to Miles Barker and Rosemary Hipkins; they have inspired, supported and encouraged me in my quest to bring the highest quality articles to your attention. Their endeavours have been selfless and their generosity of spirit has been humbling. Thank you Rose and Miles. Finally, the NZST team: Teresa Connor (sub-editor), Philippa Proctor (Pips Prepress Services) and Raymond Jones (K & M Print) – a very warm thank you for your professional commitment to ensuring the NZST was always published to the highest standard. You have all been a pleasure and joy to work with. Thank you. And to you the reader, I commend this issue of the NZST to you, and may it inspire you in your changing work and workplace. Kind regards


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making connections Contributing organisations to NZASE, such as regional science teachers’ associations, subject standing committees, science fair committees, stay viable due to long-term sustained contributions from key individuals. The medal is awarded to someone who has made a significant, long-term contribution to science education in NZ at the grassroots level affiliated to NZASE. The medal recipient in 2012 was a very deserving Carolyn Haslam. Carolyn has been an enthusiastic and committed supporter of science education for over 20 years; in various roles as part of NZASE, ASTA, and in organising a number of primary science conferences and as convenor of SciCon 2012. The NZASE AGM and forum were also held during the conference. The executive and council discussed how NZASE could continue to support the needs and interests of science educators in NZ. Following feedback from members over recent years, it was decided that this journal, the NZST, would move to an online format. The journal has been a flagship for NZASE over the past and thanks must go to the editor, Lyn Nikoloff, and the editorial board members, for their dedication and professionalism in producing a high quality magazine. The move to an online journal will provide exciting opportunities for future development of the journal and will no doubt make it more accessible to all teachers. The executive and council are also working on revitalizing the NZASE website, and looking closely at the constitution to ensure that it is relevant and meets the needs of science teachers in NZ. Finally, thanks must go to the SciCon 2012 organising committee for their hard work and enthusiasm in putting together a very worthwhile and professional conference. Carolyn Haslam, Colin North, Ian Milne, Dave Thrasher, Natalie de Roo, Kathryn Jenkin, Sandy Jackson, and Sally Birdsall all gave up many hours of their time to develop an excellent conference and I would like to thank them for this on behalf of NZASE executive, council and members. Nga- mihi nui Sabina Cleary President

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Te- na- koutou SciCon 2012, held in Auckland in early July, was a great success. The theme of the Conference, “Making Connections”, certainly lived up to its name. Educators from around Aotearoa and overseas, networked, renewed links, and shared experiences and ideas to support their work in science education. A range of prominent keynote and invited speakers provided thought-provoking ideas around a variety of topics, including the nature of science, connecting and communicating in science, innovative approaches and creative resources for teaching science, exciting pathways in science, and a very humorous look at whether it’s a good idea to marry your cousin! Throughout the conference there was a wide range of presentations and workshops that enabled educators to share their research, practice and ideas and to help implement the (new) curriculum effectively. During the conference the Peter Spratt Medal was awarded. This award recognises that the success of the NZASE is dependent on the contribution of its members.

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Carolyn Haslam was awarded the Peter Spratt Medal at SCICON 2012 for her services to the NZASE.

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making science‘pathway’ choices in a changing world This final edition of NZST for 2012 brings together a unique collection of articles with a future-focused perspective, writes Rosemary Hipkins, member of the NZST Editorial Advisory Group. At first glance, it could be tempting for busy teachers to think “what’s all this got to do with me?” The immediate work pressures that crowd out time for strategic thinking can make it hard to pull things together and make sense of what could seem to be yet more change for change’s sake. Perhaps this brief commentary will help clarify the bigger picture in which the new initiatives outlined in this edition are set. The contribution that science education makes to the health and wealth of the nation is significant, but we do need to ensure our contribution continues to be ‘fit for purpose’. The world of work is rapidly changing, and one challenge that confronts today’s secondary teachers is whether we are educating the ‘right’ students to be scientists and workers in science-support roles. These people need to be able to thrive and make a positive contribution to science as it is conducted now, not as it might have been in the past. With this in mind, the collection includes articles that illustrate changes in several fields of science, and a

commentary from Jane Gilbert that discusses why understanding such changes matters for science teaching and learning, and what all this might mean for teachers’ work. If we want to attract the right sorts of future science workers, more students need to know what working in science is really like. One obvious challenge here is ensuring that as many students as possible do have meaningful experiences of what it might mean to be a scientist. Karen Vaughan’s article on Career Management Competencies outlines how and why science teachers have a key role to play in making sure their students can make choices that are well informed in this regard. Even so, we all know that keeping students in science pathways is a big challenge. The collection tackles this issue on the home front and from an international perspective. Norway has been at the cutting edge of research on pathway choices, and Maria Vetleseter Boe explains what motivates students to stay in the sciences. Josh Williams then outlines our Government’s Vocational Pathways’ initiative, which has important implications for structuring courses in ways that really do keep meaningful pathways open for students, while also raising their awareness of their many post-school options.

NZST writing guidelines The New Zealand Science Teacher (NZST) welcomes the submission of quality articles related to science education. Topical contributions might include: discussion of the purposes of science education; responses to science articles published in the journal; curriculum issues, such as the development of Nature of Science approaches; pedagogical challenges and ideas; creative use of existing resources; classroom-based research findings and implications; and development of teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (which subsumes a focus on students’ content knowledge). The audience for the New Zealand Science Teacher is potentially wide. It includes early childhood educators, primary teachers, secondary teachers from the various discipline areas of the sciences, teacher educators, tertiary science teachers, and scientists with an interest in educational challenges and issues. The structure and tone of articles should demonstrate an awareness of the need to communicate clearly with this wide audience, in a suitable and direct magazine-style of writing. Your topic and the direction of your argument should be clearly apparent in the first paragraph and unfold logically thereafter. Informative sub-headings help to break up the text and keep readers engaged. Formal academic conventions are not mandatory. For example, the use of the first person can be desirable in the interests of clarity and audience engagement. However, this does not mean that rigour is not important. The basis for claims should be carefully developed, with supporting evidence where appropriate. Referencing should be accurate and preferably follow widely adopted APA conventions, but should also be constrained in the interests of brevity.

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Please consult past issues of New Zealand Science Teacher for format and style cues. Submitting articles for publication It is advisable to seek informed and critical peer feedback before submission. Appoint a private mentor to check that you are presenting your ideas in a concise way, that claims are supported, and that the text is free of spelling and grammatical errors. The ‘New Zealand Science Teacher’ is not a formally refereed journal, but all articles will be peer reviewed after submission, and it is common for substantive rewriting to be requested at this stage. Timely feedback from a mentor before submission will help prevent this frustration, for you and for the reviewer, and speed up the publication process. However, if you are a first-time author you are welcome to approach the editor with a view to having a mentor provided to advise you in the initial writing. Unsolicited articles are welcome, but they must meet the editorial requirements as described in these guidelines. Publication of unsolicited material will be subject to the formatting and space restraints of the current magazine edition, and may be held over for future publication. Submission of material does not guarantee publication. All articles should be 2500 to 3000 words in length, and may include up to 3 or 4 images or tables. Articles are to be submitted electronically as a text only document (no layout), including captions and their placement, using Times New Roman or Arial font (12pt, headings 14pt bold). On the first page include: title, name(s) of the author(s) and an email address to which reviews should be sent.


School science, the ‘smart’ economy, ‘networked’ science and ‘wicked’ problems: Is there a connection? Should there be? Jane Gilbert, NZCER explains: In an article in this journal last year1, I wrote about how science is asked to play many different – and often conflicting – roles in the school curriculum. The article explored how and why school science developed as it did, in the larger context of 20th century debates about public education (what public education is for, what we thought an ‘educated person’ looked like, and how learning science was supposed to contribute to that). The point of the article was to show how past thinking has produced what we have now, and to show how that thinking is constraining our efforts to reshape school science for the 21st century. In the earlier article, I referred briefly to the many and varied pressures for change in school science that are now evident. In this article, in keeping with the theme of this issue of NZ Science Teacher, I look at one of the four pressure areas I listed: changes to the work of being a scientist (and to the world of work generally). Via a quick survey of some big trends in the world beyond education, I explore some difficult issues science educators need to face, if school science education is to play a meaningful role in preparing some young people for science-related work. The earlier article had an education focus. It looked at how school science is supposed to be ‘educative’, at how, by providing access to ‘powerful’ knowledge, studying science is supposed to expand people’s mental capacities, while at the same time also providing a platform for higher level study. This article has a different starting point. Beginning from outside the field of education, it questions science education’s emphasis on knowledge as a ‘thing in itself’, arguing that this won’t build the attitudes to knowledge needed in today’s science workforce.

Science, innovation and New Zealand’s future Recently we have seen increasing government emphasis on science’s importance to New Zealand’s social and economic future. In current Government policy, science is linked with innovation, and this pairing is seen as a key source of future economic growth.2 In parallel with this,

the last couple of years have seen a renewal of Government interest in school science education. In 2011, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor released a paper reviewing the “state of play” in New Zealand school science education. This paper’s aim was to: consider how to ensure that young New Zealanders are enthused by science and able to participate fully in a smart country where knowledge and innovation are at the heart of economic growth and social development.3 The paper set out some of the challenges to achieving this, and proposed some priorities for future action. It seems likely that in the immediate future this high-level interest in science will result in some new investment in science education, at both school, and tertiary level. Alongside this government-level interest in science and science education, there is increasing public concern about our ability to address the complex – or ‘wicked’ – problems we (and the rest of the planet) face now and in the future.4 While these problems will not be solved entirely by science, scientific expertise will be required – in collaboration with other, very different, kinds of expertise. So: what does all this mean for school science education? Can school science, as we now know it, produce the ‘ideas’ generators’ and/or ‘problemsolvers’ the government says are needed for our future economic and social well-being? Can it produce ‘wicked’ problem-solvers, or at least foster the development of some of the attributes needed by such individuals? Should this be its aim? Whatever one might think about the current policy focus on science’s role in the linear “pipeline” model of innovation, and therefore prosperity,5 it is clear that what it means to “do” science is very different now from what it was, say, a generation ago, and that science education has not kept up with this. While it is possible that current science education programmes may produce some of the ‘ideas’ generators’ and ‘problem-solvers’ we need, if they do, this won’t be the result of what has been taught to them, or how it has been taught. At the same time, it is also clear that, in today’s context, the non-scientist

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Gilbert (2011). In February 2011 the former Ministry of Research, Science and Technology was replaced by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (MSI). MSI was established to support a “broader government focus on boosting science and innovation’s contribution to economic growth” (see msi.govt.nz). At around this time the Prime Minister appointed Sir Peter Gluckman as his Chief Science Advisor. The current Government’s linking of science, first with innovation, and then with business, employment, and prosperity was further consolidated in July 2012, when MSI was merged with the former Ministry of Economic Development, the Department of Labour, and the Department of Building and Housing to form a new “super-Ministry”, to be known as the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE). This new Ministry is designed to facilitate “closer connections between the scientists and innovators who can generate new ideas and solve problems, and the business people who can translate those ideas into income and jobs” (see: www.msi.govt.nz/update-me/ news/2012/MBIE.confirmed).

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Gluckman, P. (2011), (p.1). The term “complex problem” is now commonly used to refer to problems which are not solvable via conventional approaches, because any cause-effect relationships are clear only in retrospect, and any patterns don’t repeat. (See Kurtz and Snowden, 2003; Snowden, 2002). The term ‘wicked problem’ refers to complex problems that are difficult if not impossible to even define, using tools and techniques from one organisation or discipline. Because they have multiple causes and complex interdependencies, efforts to solve one aspect of a wicked problem often reveal or create other problems. They are common in public planning and policy, where any solution is likely to require large numbers of people to change their mindset and/or behaviours. The standard examples of wicked problems include climate change, natural hazards, public healthcare, nuclear energy and waste, but the term is also widely used in design and business contexts. ‘Tame’ problems, in contrast, while they can be highly complex, are definable and solvable from within current paradigms. See Conklin (2006) or Australian Public Service Commission (2007). There is of course a well-developed critique of this model of science and innovation – see, for example, Mirowski (2011).

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public needs an understanding of science and how it works that perhaps wasn’t so necessary a generation ago. But that’s another story. What has changed? Why hasn’t science education kept up? In the next section I look at a couple of big changes in the world beyond education: first, changes in science (how it is done, how it is reported, who is doing it, what attributes they need, and how it is connected with innovation), and then changes in knowledge (what it is, how it works, and how and where it develops). This discussion is necessarily brief: however, my purpose is to raise the issues, and to (hopefully) stimulate debate. As is probably clear by now, I don’t think school science accurately represents science work. Nor do I think it encourages – or attracts – the attributes or skills needed by today’s science professionals. Rather, it reproduces some ways of thinking that are not helpful in today’s world6, and it turns many potentially science-able students off science.7

‘Post-academic’ science The practice of scientific research has changed significantly over the last century or so; however, this is not reflected in how science is taught in schools. In the 18th and 19th centuries scientific work was usually done by individuals working on their own, pursuing their individual interests (usually in a non-professional capacity). In the 20th century this model was largely replaced by two parallel cultures: academic (university-based) scientists working alone or in small teams, largely following their own interests; and industrial scientists working in large teams on commercially driven projects. More recently, however, these two cultures have come together into what Ziman calls ‘post-academic’ science8, largely as a result of changes to the funding of universities and other public science. Post-academic scientific work takes place in large teams. These teams are usually networked across several institutions and countries. The work involves a succession of projects that must be justified in advance in order to attract funding. These projects are usually large in scale, multi-disciplinary, and multi-method. They commonly deal with highly complex systems with many interconnecting effects. Some projects involve ethical issues, some will be of interest to local communities, some will be subject to business and political influence. The scientists working on the projects are expected to be able to communicate their findings to non-specialist audiences.9 Increasingly something more than communication is required: the ability not just to ‘explain’ or ‘make accessible’ their work to less knowledgeable others, but to acknowledge, negotiate, and work with other experts – from different areas of science, from outside science, and from the interested public. The influence of this kind of post-academic science – what it is, how it is done, and, importantly, the skills and knowledge it takes to be successful in it – is not yet evident in school science.10 Similarly, the influence of 6 7 8 9

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See Hodson (2003, 2011) or Gilbert (2005) for an elaboration of this argument. See Tytler (2007) for a review of the evidence for this. Ziman (2000). One result of this is the recent development of new papers and/or whole programmes on “science communication” in our universities. For a review of research work on how the ‘doing’ of science is portrayed in schools, see Haigh et al. (2005).

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the sizeable body of work, built up over the last thirty years or more, on how scientists actually do science (as opposed to what, in theory, they say they do) is not apparent in school science. Nor is the influence of the large literature challenging science’s status as universal, objective, knowledge of reality.11 Science teachers might say “but that stuff’s not science – it’s people studying science”. In response I would want to argue that one of school science’s functions is to represent science, reasonably accurately, to young people, to give them the richest possible picture of what doing science is actually like. Research involving focus groups of leading scientists in the UK has consistently shown that, for these scientists, the way science is represented in schools is inaccurate: what they see is outdated, narrow and excessively discipline-bound. Other research shows that, in general, only young people with a personal connection to someone involved in science-related work (through family, or through outside school activities) develop a sense of what doing science is actually like.12 To me, this is a problem. Everything I’ve said above would have applied to 20th century science education. Ideally we should have been taking account of the work outlined above then. But now, more than a decade into the 21st century, there are other, much more challenging trends to take account of. There is a huge literature on these trends, which collectively have come to be known as the “knowledge age”. All I’m going to try to do here is to give some sense of just how large the issues we face are. First, I’ll describe how knowledge has changed, and then I’ll make some brief comments about what this means for science.

‘Networked’ knowledge The defining feature of the ‘knowledge age’ we are now in is that knowledge has changed its meaning. The ‘new’ meaning is very different from past understandings of knowledge, both in the everyday sense, and in the theoretical/philosophical sense. This change is highly significant for education, and for science. To very briefly summarise the large literature in this area, this change has occurred as part of some very significant world-wide economic changes, it has been accelerated by various technological developments, and it will have far-reaching social – and educational – consequences. Some commentators view these changes negatively, but, in my view there are many positives, if we can think this through properly. There is no doubt, however, that these changes call into question some of science education’s foundational assumptions. The ‘old’ meaning of knowledge goes something like this. At one level, knowledge is a body of truths that express the truths of the world. The standard philosophical view sees knowledge as a subset of beliefs. Knowledge is a set of beliefs that are both true, and justifiable. Knowledge systems are built up by experts, who, by working and thinking with the tools of their discipline, make sense of a particular aspect of the world.

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The social studies of science is a huge field. For some of the best-known early ethnographic studies of scientists’ work see: Knorr-Cetina (1981, 1999); Latour (1987, 1993); Latour and Woolgar 1979) and Traweek (1988, 1989). For an accessible summary of this body of work, see Sardar (2002). See, for example, the work described in Osborne et al. (2003) and Tytler & Symington (2006).


diversity of views? How do we deal with disagreement? Weinberger (2011) argues that, in the knowledge age, these are the wrong questions to ask. Instead of lamenting and/or trying to stop the ‘dumbing down’ of (‘old’) knowledge, he says our primary goal should be to build (and be able to recognise) ‘good’ networks that make us smarter, not ‘bad’ networks that make us dumber.17

Working in ‘third spaces’ Fostering the ability to discriminate between good and bad has, at least in theory, always been an important educational goal. However, the ‘old’ system’s approach was to teach us to do this by following certain universal principles that, we were taught, would always work. According to Weinberger, this is no longer helpful. What we need now are skills to deal with conflict and disagreement (that don’t involve appealing to ‘authorities’). And we need skills for working productively in the spaces between experts, and between ideas that make up the network. This ability to function in ‘third spaces’, to be able to connect, translate, or work across the space between different expertises, (or different cultures) is, according to some commentators, the key knowledge age skill.18 At this point it is important to make two things clear. Firstly, working in ‘third spaces’ is not the same thing as ‘communication’, ‘dialogue’, or ‘knowledge transfer’ across the space: it involves creating something completely new in the space. Secondly, this new meaning of knowledge does not mean that ‘old’ knowledge doesn’t matter any more. Nor does it mean that all knowledge is equally good, that ‘anything goes’. To work in ‘third spaces’, in the network, people have to know something, they have to bring something to contribute to the space. To think in third spaces, people have to have something to think with: i.e. they have to have some knowledge – in the ‘old’ sense. But this knowledge, on its own is not enough. People need to be able to connect with the different knowledge/expertise of others. They need to be able to articulate their contribution, and to listen to, seek clarification from, and negotiate with the others in the space. Doing this successfully requires: (i) having knowledge to contribute; (ii) well-developed thinking skills; and (iii) well-developed inter-personal skills. These are, of course, all things that could be developed, from quite an early age, in a knowledge age education system. Many teachers will say “but we do this now”,“we are required to do this now – by The New Zealand Curriculum and the key competencies framework”.19 However, words in a curriculum document don’t, by themselves, change people’s thinking or practice. If the curriculum document and the key competencies are ‘read’ using the lens of the ‘old’ understanding of knowledge, they will be assimilated back into it. We’ll see, among other things, the key competencies being talked about as ‘things to be taught’. If this happens, we won’t see any change in

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In the “developed” world. See Drucker (1993), Gee Hull and Lankshear (1996), Neef (1998), Stehr (1994), Thurow (1996), Leadbeater (2000a. 2000b) for more details on this. Castells (2000). Barlow (1994). See Weinberger (2011) for the full version of these ideas.

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This usually involves reducing and filtering the world in some way, simply to make it manageable. At another level, knowledge is facts, stuff you ‘get’ from years of experience and/or study. Knowledge is stuff you find in books, libraries and/or databases. It’s something that is divided up into different disciplines, where it is continuously added to, according to the rules of that discipline. It is something that some people have more of than others, and it is powerful – both to the people that have it (knowledge is power, and access to knowledge is liberating), and in itself (in terms of its power to explain things). Knowledge is thus a valuable resource. It is hard-won and scarce, and it is to be treasured and conserved. This meaning of knowledge is the product of a specific period in Western European history, and it is the meaning that underpinned the development of modern science, and the Industrial Age. However, the advent of the knowledge, or digital-age, has transformed knowledge. In economic terms, as part of the new ‘fast capitalism’ of the late 20th century, knowledge is the main driver of new economic growth.13 Alongside this, the development of the Internet has meant that knowledge is now generated in huge volumes, at ever-increasing speeds, and is constantly being updated, by multiple contributors. It is now unmanageable, unthinkable even, in terms of the above model. The product of this is that what knowledge is, and how it is used, has changed. Knowledge is seen, not as ‘stuff’, but as something that does stuff. It’s like a form of energy,14 or, as one commentator put it nearly 20 years ago, knowledge is a verb now, not a noun.15 Rather than being something we have, knowledge is something we do. Knowledge is no longer something that lives in the brains of experts, or in objects that contain it, like books or libraries. These are now way too small. It lives – and is created and replaced – in the spaces between experts, books databases and so on. It is no longer a ‘thing in itself’: it exists in, and is a property of, networks. Knowledge, in the knowledge age, isn’t a stable body of facts or truths, it isn’t masterable, and it doesn’t necessarily reflect the world – rather, it is networked expertise. This doesn’t mean that the network is knowledge, that the network creates meaning, or that it is some kind of conscious super-brain. It’s not. Rather, the network enables connected groups to take ideas further and faster than any individual could. The knowledge they create is in the collaborative space, not in individual heads.16 All this, if we accept it, is of course highly disruptive to most people’s ideas about education, and their ideas about science. There are a number of obvious issues with all this. Much of the material in the network, while it may be what someone believes, is wrong and/or stupid (that is, in ‘old’ knowledge terms, it is neither true, nor justifiable). And for every knowledge claim, there will be a great many other, different knowledge claims. How do we know which of them is ‘right’? How do we deal with the huge

Weinberger (2011). See, for example, Bauman (1992, 2000). The New Zealand Curriculum Ministry of Education (2007) sets out New Zealand’s national official school curriculum for all students from Years 1- 13 in English-medium schools. It emphasises five “key competencies” that should be developed in all students. These are: “thinking”,“understanding language, symbols and text”,“managing self”,“relating to others”, and “participating and contributing”.

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thinking or practice. What we will have, however, is the worst of both worlds: we will have lost the good aspects of an education system based on ‘old’ knowledge, but we won’t have replaced it with the good aspects of the “new” knowledge.

Science 2.0: ‘Open’ science and innovation Some readers might be thinking, at this point “what does all this have to do with science and/or the teaching of science?” I’d say two things in response to this: 1. Networking of scientific knowledge has changed science. Science’s shape – how it is done, and what it means to know something ‘scientifically’ – is becoming something rather different from the science we see represented in school science. It is taking on many of the properties of its new medium – the network. Like the network, science is now incomprehensibly huge. It’s also more public, less hierarchical, less filtered, and more open to difference.20 More people, many of whom are non-experts, are contributing.21 Data is ‘published’ earlier: it is accessible and transparent to all, and is being discussed in interest groups while still in ‘unfinished’ form. This new form of science, called ‘open science’ by some commentators, and ‘Science 2.0’ by others, has new and different practices, which are, according to these commentators, making scientific work much more collaborative and productive.22 This ‘open’ science is, they say, the main source of innovation in today’s world.23 This kind of science requires attributes that weren’t encouraged in the previous generation of scientists, and its development will be challenging for many in today’s science workforce. 2. If science education’s role is to represent scientific work with some accuracy, there is a problem. If we accept that something is going on here, and, if we accept that one of science education’s roles is to 20 21 22

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Weinberger (2011). See Cook (2011) for a description of “crowdsourcing” science. See, for example, Waldrop (2008), the OpenWetWare project at MIT www. openwetware.org, or the Science Commons project www.science commons. org. Weinberger (2011), Peters (2011), Peters and Roberts (2011).

represent scientific work with some accuracy, then we have a problem. At the individual, practical level, there is a problem: many young people won’t be making informed choices about whether or not to go on in science, we won’t be fostering the qualities needed in today’s science professionals, and worse, by giving the ‘wrong’ messages, we will be selecting the ‘wrong’ kind of people into science. But there is also another problem, at the policy level. If we want to be a ‘smart’ knowledge, and innovation-oriented country, and if we plan to do this by investing in science and science education, then we need better connections between the different stakeholders, and between the stakeholders and the issues canvassed here. Becoming a ‘smart’ knowledge and innovation-oriented country does not mean producing more “knowledgeable” people – more people who have been ‘filled up’ with existing knowledge. It means having more people with a new and different orientation to knowledge, people who know enough to do things with knowledge, and who can work with others to do things with it – in other words, people who are innovation-capable. This brings us back to a question I raised at the beginning of this article: to what extent are science and innovation connected? Many people would argue that they’re not – that ‘science’ is the ‘blue skies’ kind of research that contributes to new, ‘“public good’ knowledge, and that this activity should be distinct from the uptake and use of aspects of this knowledge to create new technologies and processes. If we accept what the Science 2.0 commentators are saying, this view of innovation – as a separate activity that turns the ‘finished’ products of science into something practical – is being called into question in the new ‘open’ environment. The conditions are there for science and innovation to be much more closely connected than they were in the past. What does this mean for science education? Should school science education be creating innovators? Whatever you think about these questions, what is clear is that the way we teach science now is very definitely not designed to produce innovators. The table below, paraphrasing material in a recent book by Tony Wagner, called Creating Innovators, compares the conditions

Table 1: Conditions needed for innovation Conditions that facilitate innovation

What is encouraged in our education system

Opportunities for thoughtful risk-taking, trial and error, to explore, to push boundaries

Risk avoidance, compliance, obedience to authority, producing fast, “right” answers

Opportunities to create, to actively produce new things

Passive consumption of existing knowledge

Emphasis on multi-disciplinary learning - STEM + liberal arts together

Specialisation – arts or sciences

Intrinsic motivation – “passionate play with a purpose”

Extrinsic motivation – goal is to “achieve” = scoring well on tests

Difference and unconventionality are valued

Standardisation – one size fits all, “production line” model of learning

Space to follow interests, and to develop deep knowledge in Superficial knowledge, and as a result, limited “real” those areas (conceptual) understanding Opportunities to collaborate, to work with others with different knowledge/expertise to solve problems that all participants care about.

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Emphasis on individual effort and “achievement”, on individual learning of pre-set, already existing knowledge.


needed for innovation with those provided in our schools.24

Australian Public Service Commission. (2007). Tackling wicked problems: a public policy perspective. Canberra: Australian Government. Barlow, J. (1994). The economy of ideas. Wired 2.03. Bauman, Z. (1992). Intimations of postmodernity. London: Routledge. Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press. Castells, M. (2000). The rise of the network society. (2nd ed.) Oxford: Blackwell. Cook, G. (2011). How crowdsourcing is changing science. The Boston Globe, November 2011. Available at http://www.bostonglobe.com/ ideas/2011/11/11/how-crowdsourcing-changing-science/dWL4DGWMq2YonHKC8uOXZN/story.html Conklin, J. (2006). Dialogue mapping: building shared understanding of wicked problems. Chichester (UK): John Wiley & Sons. Drucker, P. (1993). Post-capitalist society. New York: HarperBusiness. Gee, J-P., Hull, G., & Lankshear, C. (1996). The new work order: behind the language of the new capitalism. Sydney: Allen and Unwin. Gilbert, J. (2005). Catching the Knowledge Wave? the Knowledge Society and the future of education. Wellington: NZCER Press. Gilbert, J. (2011). School science is like wrestling with an octopus. New Zealand Science Teacher, 126, pp. 28-30. Gluckman, P. (2011). Looking ahead: science education for the twenty-first century – a report from the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, April 2011. Available at: http://www.edrsr.co.nz/site/glennvallender/files//Gluckman%20 Science-education-in%20NZ.pdf Haigh, M., France, B., & Forret, M. ( 2005). Is ‘doing science’ in New Zealand classrooms an expression of scientific inquiry? International Journal of Science Education, 27(2), 215-226. Hodson, D. (2003). Time for action: science education for an alternative future. International Journal of Science Education, 25(6), 645-670. Hodson. D. (2011). Looking to the future: building a curriculum for social activism. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. 24

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Finally... All I’ll say here, in conclusion, is that if we think it is important to: (i) engage more young people in science; (ii) foster the attributes and dispositions to knowledge our science professionals of the future will need; and (iii) create our future innovators, then doing more of what we do now (even if we were to do it better) is very definitely not enough. I hope we’ll see some thoughtful, robust discussion of these issues – in the ‘spaces between’ scientists, educators, policymakers, and the interested public. For further information contact Jane.Gilbert@nzcer.org.nz References

Knorr-Cetina, K. (1981). The manufacture of knowledge. Oxford: Pergamon. Knorr-Cetina, K. (1999). Epistemic cultures: how the sciences make knowledge. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. Kurtz, C. & Snowden, D. (2003). The new dynamics of strategy: sense-making in a complex-complicated world. IBM Systems Journal, Fall 2003, pp.1-23. Latour, B. (1987). Science in action: how to follow scientists and engineers through society. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. Latour, B. (1993). We have never been modern. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf. Latour, B. and Woolgar, S. (1979). Laboratory life: The social construction of scientific facts. London: Sage. Leadbeater, C. (2000a). The weightless society, New York: Texere. Leadbeater, C. (2000b). Living on thin air: The new economy. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Ministry of Education (2007). The New Zealand Curriculum. Wellington: Ministry of Education. Mirowski, P. (2011). ScienceMart: Privatising American science. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. Neef, D. (1998). The knowledge economy. Boston MA: Butterworth Heinemann. Osborne, J., Ratcliffe, M., Collins, S., Millar, R., & Duschl, R. (2003). What ‘ideas about science’ should be taught in school science? a Delphi study of the 'expert community’. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(7), 692-720. Peters, M. (2011). The changing atlas of world science: towards an open science economy. Unpublished paper. Peters, M. & Roberts, P. (2011).The virtues of openness: education and scholarship in a digital age. Boulder CO: Paradigm Press. Sardar, Z. (2002). Thomas Kuhn and the science wars. In: R. Appignanesi (ed.), Postmodernism and big science. Cambridge UK: Icon Books. (pp. 87-233). Snowden, D. (2002). Complex acts of knowing: paradox and descriptive self-awareness. Journal of Knowledge Management, 6(2), 1-28. Stehr, N. (1994). Knowledge societies. London: Sage. Thurow, L. (1996). The future of capitalism: how today’s economic forces will shape tomorrow’s world. New York: William Morrow. Traweek, S. (1988). Beamtimes and lifetimes: the world of high-energy physics. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. Traweek, S. (1989). Particle physics culture. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. Tytler, R. (2007). Re-imagining science education: engaging students in science for Australia’s future. Camberwell: Australian Council for Educational Research. Available at http://www.acer.edu.au/documents/AER51_ReimaginingSciEdu. pdf Tytler, R. and Symington, D. (2006). Science in school and society. Teaching Science: The Journal of the Australian Science Teachers Association, 52(3), 10-15. Wagner, T. (2012). Creating innovators: the making of young people who will change the world. New York: Scribner. Waldrop, M. (2008). Science 2.0 – is open access science the future? Scientific American (May 2008). Available at www.scientificamerican.com/article. cfm?id=science-2-point-0. Weinberger. D. (2011). Too big to know: rethinking knowledge now that the facts aren’t the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room. New York: Basic Books. Ziman, J. (2000). Real Science: What it is and what it means. New York: Cambridge University Press.

See Wagner (2012).

Why are waves always parallel to the beach? John Falloon, Ardgowan School. John Campbell, a physicist at the University of Canterbury, responded: Because the speed of waves in shallow water depends on the depth of water. In deep ocean water waves build up due to the interaction of wind blowing over the sea. A particle of water just goes up and down as the wave passes by. In this case the important distance parameter is the distance between wave crests, which we call the wavelength for short. The speed at which waves in the deep ocean travel depends on this wavelength. The wave speed is proportional to the square root of the wavelength. The longer the wavelength, the faster the wave travels. We observe this after the ocean has been calm. The first sign of a distant storm is often the gentle swells with a large distance between wave crests. An oily ocean. In shallow water, say where the depth is less than ten times the wavelength of the wave, the bottom has increasing influence on the up and down motion of the passing water

wave. The motion of the water particles now goes in and out whilst going up and down. A particle travels in an oval fashion. It is then the depth which becomes the important length parameter and the wave speed depends on the depth of the water. The wave speed is proportional to the square root of the water depth. The shallower the water, the slower the wave travels. The next time you are at the beach measure the wave speed of unbroken waves at different depths of water. This can sometimes be done whilst keeping dry by walking along a pier. If the wave comes in at an angle from deeper water, the part of the wave closest to the beach slows down, allowing the rest to catch up until the entire wave crest is travelling at the same speed; i.e. has the same depth of water under it. Hence, for gently sloping sandy beaches the waves are always parallel to the shore. There are moves to sink artificial reefs near beaches such that the depth of water above the reef changes slowly along the beach. This would give a uniform shoulder for board riders to ride. Send questions to: questions@ask-a-scientist.net New Zealand Association of Science Educators

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What areVocational Pathways? Vocational pathways are designed to provide new ways to structure and achieve NCEA, as Josh Williams, Youth Guarantee Vocational Pathways’ Manager, at the Ministry of Education, explains: The vocational pathways are a central element of the Youth Guarantee programme. Five new sector-based pathways have been developed, through a partnership between educators and industry representatives, for construction and infrastructure; manufacturing and technology; the primary industries; the services industries; and social and community services. The pathways are designed to provide new ways to structure and achieve NCEA, with a focus on achieving NCEA Level 2, or equivalent qualification. They describe the learning and achievement valued by broad sectors of the economy. They do three things: (1) describe the different sectors to students: what they are, what they do, the roles and occupations in each sector, why they are important, and, how The New Zealand Curriculum key competencies relate to the sector; (2) recommend assessment standards valued by industry, including achievement standards, generic standards and sector-related standards; and (3) provide work and study maps which identify a wide range of roles and occupations that relate to the sectors, and the qualifications associated with these roles. The vocational pathways provide young people with a tool to understand a wider range of opportunities in further study and work. They enable learners to have a clearer sense of purpose and direction for their learning, and make more informed choices about next steps. While all three elements are important, I hope to show how the interplay between these elements will personalise the vocational pathways for young people, and make them meaningful in a wide range of education settings and circumstances. I’ll also describe how the Sciences have been reflected across the draft vocational pathways and how we propose to use the pathways to assist educators to design and deliver relevant and engaging programmes of learning.

Development of the vocational pathways The vocational pathways resulted from agreement between the needs of industry skills’ development, and educational research into engagement and motivation. It resulted in a modest proposal, by the Industry Training Federation (ITF), to create a coherent framework for foundational vocational education in New Zealand.i By 2009, a significant number of New Zealand’s Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) were involved in formal or informal clusters, such as the Services Industries Training Alliance (SITA), the Built Environment Training Alliance (BETA), the Primary Sector Group, and the Competitive Manufacturing Group (CMI). It did not take these clusters long to identify that, when it came to Levels 1 and 2, there was a large number of competing products, and industry standards at foundational levels attesting to similar skills and knowledge. Additionally, when ITOs considered the foundation level skills and capabilities that employers in their industries were looking for, they tended to mention a lot of the same things: literacy and numeracy, communication, adaptability, 10

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willingness to learn…and I’m pretty sure “turning up on time” got several mentions. Sometimes these skills and capabilities cut right across the board. Noticeably though, many seemed common to related industries, within broadly defined “sectors”. At foundational levels, they reasoned, employers were looking for “soft” skills and key competencies, Curriculum-based learning, and technical or industry-specific skills – usually in that order, and preferably a bit of each. More specifically, many ITOs were concerned that some of their standards, developed for the particular industry purposes, for delivery in specific contexts, were being offered out of context, or in a haphazard fashion. Clearer, sector-based pathways were needed to provide a clearer framework for the education system – spanning senior secondary and foundational tertiary education and training. This would be an opportunity for industry to collectively work to make the pathways clearer, and recognise the essential role of employers in such a project. The new pathways would represent ‘demand-side’ descriptions, from the standpoint of five large and important sectors of the New Zealand economy. They identify outcomes valued by whole sectors at a foundational level, articulated through the assessment standards already in place. For the learner, the new pathways would provide a simple marker of which standards are valued and how they provide students with a ‘line of sight’ for future opportunities. Around the same time, education policy and research seemed to be heading in the same direction: the Youth Guarantee programme has a vision for an education system that develops a strong foundation for every student from which they can succeed and progress. Society and the economy require all young people to have a broad educational platform – a meaningful foundational qualification and meaningful pathways – whether this is delivered in the secondary or tertiary sectors, or both at once. Recent research, such as the Education Employment Linkagesii research programme, and the longitudinal NZCER


Value lies in the eye of the beholder In 2010, young people enrolled in New Zealand’s secondary schools achieved 3,733 different versions of assessment standards. It was very well-meaning! These standards were delivered as part of efforts to provide more and more options to increasingly diverse students. These were all registered and quality-assured assessment standards. In achieving them, young people have developed great skills, knowledge, and competencies. But who would know? Professor Martyn Sloman, education and training researcher and academic, and teaching fellow at the University of London, tells us that when it comes to recognising the value of learning and training interventions, “value lies in the eye of the beholder”v. Closer to home, my old boss in the Ministry used to say “qualifications need to transact”. He meant that unless someone recognised and valued the qualification, and knew what it represented, then it wasn’t much of a qualification for anything. I think the same goes for standards. As Cathy Wylie, Rose Hipkins, and Edith Hodgens noted in NZCER’s On the Edge of Adulthood, a specific intention of the NCEA was to open up multiple pathways through the senior secondary school, providing more flexibility in the subject combinations available to students with different learning needs and different beyond-school pathways in mind.”vi It’s true, and that flexibility is a key strength of the system: NCEA develops a profile of what every student knows and can do, so they can be recognised and rewarded for this. It allows for the recognition of a wider range of skills and knowledge. It is extremely configurable, given that any of the 1,937 current Levels 1 and 2 standards on the NZQF can count. But just because one can make an NCEA out of anything, it doesn’t necessarily follow that one should. When students are achieving so many different standards, in and out of the contexts for which they were designed, it is very difficult for end users such as parents, families, tertiary education recruiters, and potential employers, to recognise the value of what has been achieved. Potentially, that’s a lot of potential going unrecognised.

What are the vocational pathways? The vocational pathways are a co-ordinating framework for a great many of the standards already being delivered every day in our schools and early tertiary providers. They can support course design within and across New Zealand Curriculum areas, and integrate academic and sector-related learning. Using the five vocational pathways, students will have a way to plan, structure, and achieve NCEA knowing which of their credits will be valued from the perspective of five sectors, covering around three-quarters of the workforce. The five initial pathways do not cover everything – about 75% of the workforce is the best estimate – and other pathways may be developed in time. Think about University Entrance: universities in New Zealand negotiate an entrance standard for young people who would like university to be their post-school destination, currently defined as a certain number of credits from an approved list of subjects. Similarly, the vocational pathways establish lists of recommended standards from the perspectives of five sectors of the economy, each with a large number of roles and related study possibilities. A certain number of credits from these recommended standards would be a good idea for young people who would like these sectors to be the post-school destination for them. Having these published lists of recommended and strongly recommended standards for these sectors should also provide course and programme designers with more assurance that the standards they intend to assess against in foundational vocational programmes are indeed the ones valued by these sectors. Example 1: Imagine you are 16 years old, aiming for NCEA Level 2, and achieving a few ‘Ms’ and ‘Es’, but you’ve never heard of a thing called an Agronomist. The vocational pathways tell you that the standards that you tend to be getting ‘merits’ and ‘excellences’ for, are strongly recommended by the Primary Industries, and that one of the things in that sector is called Agronomist. You now know such a thing exists, can find out what it does, that you need a degree to be one, and you know which subjects and standards you need to focus on now and next year to keep that possibility alive and well. Example 2: Let’s take a Year 11 student doing Level 1 Science, and this whole NCEA thing has been a bit hit-and-miss so far. One afternoon, when the class is working on acids and bases, the student blurts out “why are we learning this?” The vocational pathways identify that the acids and bases standard is recommended for Primary Industries, Construction and Infrastructure, and Manufacturing and Technology. They identify a wide range of real-world roles and occupations related to these sectors that – if the student works hard and achieves Level 2 NCEA – they can give themselves the best chance of accessing. So the vocational pathways currently do two things: firstly, they establish which of the many available assessment standards are fit-for-purpose as part of a broad and enabling qualification. That leaves a much shorter (yet still eminently flexible) list of standards, meaningful to whole sectors, to assess programmes of learning. Secondly, they ‘tag’ assessment standards with zero or more bright colours, currently up to five, depending on which sectors recommended them. This is where the real power of the pathways comes in, because it brings together the recommended standards, students’ real Records of Achievement, and further work and study possibilities. The pathways are currently in consultation with the education sector and industry, and there is still much to be

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Competent Learners’ research provide evidence that the following sorts of issues are real: one of the main reasons students lose motivation and disengage is being unable to see the relevance of their learning. Students ask “What is this for?”,“Where will I use this?”,“Why am I learning this?” and are unconvinced by the answers. Lack of relevance leads to boredom, boredom leads to disengagement, disengagement leads to drop-out, often accompanied by a fair bit of disruption along the way. Secondly, Competent Learners provides additional evidence that achieving Level 2 NCEA provides a minimum platform for progression and success in further study and the world of work. Achieving 60 credits at Level 2, plus 20 credits at any other level, attests to a young person equipped to participate and benefit from further study and training, and having the foundation skills for employment. Coincidentally or otherwise, that is the strategic purpose statement of NCEA Level 2, and always has beeniii. Industry agrees – the 21st century workforce is a rapidly changing and increasingly sophisticated place. Students with less than Level 2 NCEA might well successfully gain employment, but perhaps not the sort of employment that will allow for progression, and for building successful careers. The Built Environment Skills Strategy – an industry-led skills’ development plan for the Construction Sector released in 2011 – identifies the proliferation of foundational qualifications as an issue for the sector, and includes industry promotion of NCEA Level 2 as the minimum entrance qualification for most roles in the sector.

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Figure 1: Sample vocational profile. done to make them relevant and a key planning tool for students.

Vocational profiles One specific proposal is to use the pathways to develop ‘vocational profiles’ (figure 1). These will provide the facility for any student to see how many of their credits are valued by which sectors. These will in turn be linked to the work and study maps, to show students which work and study possibilities relate most closely to the students’ strengths and achievements to date. This profile can be used ahead of time to inform subject and course choices, and retrospectively, to provide a simple visual of the ‘shape’ of any NCEA. As well as being useful for planning purposes, the vocational profile will also provide a simple visual construct to report to end users, such as potential employers, when a student has achieved in areas their sector has identified as valuable, and if they have undertaken learning that relates to an industry like theirs.

Academic versus Vocational Is there an elephant in the room? There is, and its name is ‘parity of esteem’. Like many – but not all – developed nations, we make a distinction between ‘academic’ and ‘vocational’. I hope I don’t speak out of turn by invoking Stuart Middleton at this point, who suggests that this distinction is not particularly real or useful in 2012.vii Henry Morris, the creator of Village Colleges in the United Kingdom called it ‘the dismal dispute’ way back in 1922viii. It is also interesting to note that countries that do not stigmatise vocational education and training are currently experiencing relatively lower levels of youth unemployment.ix UK think tank DEMOS calls on the education systems of developed countries to offer “equally clear educational offerings”x to students who do not go on to degree-level study when they leave school – currently 68% of New Zealand school leavers. Harvard University’s Pathways to Prosperityxi makes the case that there is an essential role for employers and industries in developing a genuine multiple pathways framework for senior students.

even five of the pathways, representing common content. I hope readers are not surprised to learn that many the standards in the Sciences Learning Area fall clearly in the latter group (see pp. 13-15). Remember too, that these are drafts, and we are spending the next little while talking to educators and industry alike to make sure we have got them right – our guiding principles have been deliverability, and credibility. Certainly, three out of five of the vocational pathways could be described as heavily STEM focused. My impression would be that after literacy and numeracy, knowledge of the natural and material world, the environment, and the properties of things, are highly valued across the sectors in all five pathways, which has resulted in science subject being heavily recommended for the vocational pathways. One next step is the production of contextualised assessment resources, and teaching and learning guidelines, to show how the New Zealand Curriculum can use contexts derived from the pathway sectors. We think that, for many students, such resources will provide more motivating and engaging ways to achieve the standards that have traditionally been delivered. There is certainly more than one way to skin a standard. For further information, to explore the pathways, download material and provide feedback visit: www.youthguarantee. net.nz. The draft vocational pathways for NCEA Levels 1 and 2 have now been released for sector consultation. For further information contact Josh.Williams@minedu.govt.nz

References i

ii iii

iv v vi

vii viii ix

What about science? Many assessment standards appear in more than one pathway. Many others are recommended for one sector only. A smaller number of standards appear in three, four, or 12

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x xi

http://www.itf.org.nz/assets/Media-Statements/Media-Statement-2010/ ITF-Media-Release-Conference-28-7-10.pdf http://www.eel.org.nz/documents/EELReport02.pdf http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/nzqf/search/viewQualification. do?selectedItemKey=0973 http://buildingvalue.co.nz/sites/default/files/skills_strategy_booklet.pdf http://tinyurl.com/dyj5vvt http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/ece/2567/35121/35122 In the interests of transparency, I should note that the next sentence begins “This has been contentious for many reasons”! http://www.stuartmiddleton.co.nz/?p=1299 http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et-morr.htm http://www.businessinsider.com/europe-youth-unemployment2012-3?op=1 http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/theforgottenhalf http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news_events/features/2011/Pathways_to_ Prosperity_Feb2011.pdf


Sciences Achievement Standards in the draft vocational pathways. R=Recommended SR = Strongly Recommended

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IT defining the future workplace Still dreaming of the utopian workplace that was envisaged for humankind in the ‘60s and ‘70s? The age of robots and computers offering to take on the drudgery and monotony of our work environment and leaving us with copious leisure time? Asks Robert Amor, Department of Computer Science, University of Auckland. The concern in the ‘60s and ‘70s was how the workforce could adapt to a rapid increase in leisure time and whether we would all die of boredom. Well, that future didn’t happen, but there are signs of what IT might deliver and what our more immediate future might hold.

New generation of digital natives Significant changes will be driven by the new generation coming into the workforce as their world view is alien to those of previous generations. This is well illustrated by the Mindset List which captures the world view of students entering college in a particular year. Here are some IT-related items which help give an insight into this new generation: • they have grown up with websites and cell phones, causing adult experts to constantly fret about their alleged deficits of empathy and concentration • their school ‘blackboards’ have been getting smarter • music has always been available via free downloads • they have often ‘broken up’ with their significant others via texting, Facebook, or MySpace • they will not go near a retailer that lacks a website • email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail • GPS satellite navigation systems have always been available • personal privacy has always been threatened • bar codes have been on everything, from library cards and snail mail to retail items • ‘Google’ has always been a verb • they are wireless, yet always connected

The workplace is virtual A wide range of technologies is already changing our notion of ‘turning up to work’, and, for those who work with international colleagues, also that of ‘normal hours of work’. With pervasive high-speed broadband, connecting with colleagues is possible anywhere and at any time. Internet-based telephony and video-conferencing (e.g. Skype) is already in widespread use for social communication and is fast becoming a major tool for organisations as well. This makes working from home a simple reality, and supports at least part of the original utopian hope with great flexibility in when and where work is completed. Align this with the emergence of cloud-based services for managing an organisation’s documents (e.g. Dropbox), emails (e.g. Gmail, as employed for email for all students at the University of Auckland), and even analysis and simulation tasks, and the need to ‘turn up to work’ vanishes. Think of the benefits to society from this enhanced mobility of the workforce. For example, less traffic on the roads will lead to a reduction in congestion, pollution, greenhouse gases, and even the need for expanding traffic infrastructure. Greater productivity will flow from the 16

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workforce who will have an extra 1–2 hours per day available without that tedious commute. Large technology companies in the USA, such as IBM, already report that around 40% of their workforce does not go to the office on any particular day. However, as we are social beings, there are downsides to this trend as well. Workers feel isolated at home and tend to miss the minor social activities that take place during a normal work day, such as staff room discussions or conversations in the lift. The sense of community, teamwork, and belonging dissipate without maintenance of interactions with other colleagues. This is the direction of ongoing development in technologies for the virtual workplace. We are seeing the emergence of both virtual and physical avatars to enable interactions which are lost with the virtual office. Virtual avatars in a virtual environment (e.g. Second Life) allow the illusion of all participants being in the same place during a meeting. To regain the interactions lost in current technologies, avatars can be personalised and given the ability to gesture and be expressive. Some even organise work parties populated purely by avatars in an appropriate virtual setting. There is also research on physical avatars to be your proxy in the workplace. Think of a screen on a pole driven by a motorised base (e.g. Anybot’s QB telepresence robot—see Figure 1). These systems allow the remote worker to participate in meetings and water cooler conversations with a physical presence. With your facial expressions visible and control over the speech and movement of your avatar, more ‘natural’ conversations can be held with colleagues. How does the virtual workplace change the skills required of our students? Given their flexibility and adaptability to technology, it would seem that they’ll fit right in to this virtual workplace. However, workers need to be very motivated and organised to be able to cope with the openness of such unstructured conditions. Procrastinators could well get lost in such an environment. Self-motivation and resilience are also required, to cope with the isolation that can be the consequence of a virtual workplace.

Democratisation of information (and expertise?) The ownership and control of information is undergoing a very rapid transition from being closely held and guarded to an expectation of openness and availability, especially through the Internet. While this is happening everywhere, think back a decade to the availability of maps and direction finding. Information was tightly held by a select number of organisations whose products had to be purchased before the consumer was able to utilise the information. Contrast that with today, where online maps are a standard free feature on all smartphones and through the Internet. Government departments are releasing their data to the populace (see the Mix and Mash competition which demonstrates the possibilities accruing from more transparent access to government data). This has also changed business models for a wide range of services available through the Internet. Wikipedia has wrested control of encyclopaedic knowledge from an individual organisation to an organisation of individuals. Similar changes are happening with music and film where, instead


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of a few companies controlling an industry, the ability to produce in these domains is now possible for any tech-savvy amateur. Software availability is similarly affected, especially with the work of the open-source community. Open and free versions of many significant tools have been gifted to the world by teams of passionate developers and by many large corporations. For example, the Linux operating system, the Java programing language, the OpenOffice equivalent to Microsoft Office, etc. The change that is now becoming evident in the workplace, and in the work that is undertaken, is a move to social technologies which intrinsically support the democratisation of information. In the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) domains that I research in, this manifests in a move to cloud-based systems which increases information fluidity. Information about buildings which previously would only be visible to one company on a building project is now being shared across all companies on the project through the open and company-neutral Internet systems which host the building information. The technological support for open sharing of building information provides the opportunity for better designs, as all professionals have significantly improved access to all relevant data about the building. Workers coming into these organisations will need to be very flexible and adept at learning new skills and techniques. By accessing and learning from open sources of information, repositories of data and freely available tools, they will be able to answer questions and develop solutions with an expertise which goes well beyond their basic training. They will apply research skills to identify new approaches to problems which are appropriate to their work context, and help continue the transformation of products and tools which serve this new open market.

It is a new kind of work, fluid and turbulent

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Figure 1: Anybot’s QB telepresence robot.

During the term of the last Labour government we had the ‘Catching the Knowledge Wave’ conference, which had the goal to “…examine New Zealand’s future in a world where learning, innovation and knowledge will be key factors for determining the social and economic success of our nation.” This is a continuing trend, with around a third of the workforce in developed nations now creating for a living. The impact of this change is that almost every manufactured product is now valued on the knowledge that is built into the product, rather than the amount of material which goes into it. Think, for example, of Fisher & Paykel’s FabricSmart™ washing machine, or the latest release from your favourite car manufacturer. This also means that many traditional roles in organisations are morphing and blending a range of skills. So a company which made ear tags for stock now has an electronics’ division which designs the RFID component which goes in the plastic ear tag, and a software team who write the stock management support system which is sold alongside the ‘intelligent’ ear tags. What we are starting to see in the marketplace is the impact of these creative workers who can apply a wide range of knowledge and skills to enhance traditional products or dream up entirely new product categories. Although our ‘digital natives’ (those who have been exposed to digital technologies for the whole of their lives) are being trained for this creative era, they will have to share it with a very diverse workforce. For example, current surveys in the USA indicate that 34% of workers have no intention of retiring. Increasing globalisation means that many workplaces will combine numerous ethnicities. The creative workplace will be enhanced with workers with extensive life experience as well as significantly different world views and perspectives. New Zealand Association of Science Educators

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Business in an instant Aligned with the creative workplace is a growing expectation of constant availability and instantaneous business. This trend derives from the ever increasing access to the Internet and all the services that it provides. It is estimated that there are 500,000 newcomers to the Internet every day, the vast majority accessing it from a mobile phone or smartphone. This creates a rapidly growing market which addresses potential clients and consumers on every continent. With the Internet always on, there is a growing expectation of instant response to every problem and request. Clients look for instant answers to questions, so call centres operate around the world without stop. Anything and everything can be ordered online, from books and reports which provide necessary information, to simulation or rendering services which will provide graphics and models, to consultants on any topic you require expertise, to workers for hire with specific capabilities. Think outsourcing, but at an individual level and available in the instant that you need the answer or work done. Support for this trend is seen in the growth of cloud-based services, microbusiness models and micropayment systems. Workers with specific skills that they can market online are able to sell these on a small scale to clients anywhere in the world. Ask your most fanatical Minecraft students about who is getting paid to develop content for the game, and you will discover a scattering of students around the world with unique skills selling their services to the company.

Everything is seen (but who cares?) The intelligence which is becoming widely available within the workplace is not just static data, but real-time information on everyone and everything around you. Pervasive security and video cameras aligned with powerful feature and face recognition systems now make it possible to track much of what happens in the world. In the construction industry, it is becoming possible to automatically recognise who is on site and what they are doing at any particular time. It is also possible to identify what has been constructed over the day and whether it is exactly where it should have been constructed. While this may invoke fears of Big Brother when utilised to measure productivity on site, it

also has benefits in ensuring safety of workers in what is an intrinsically unsafe environment. Our ‘digital natives’ seem to be less concerned about the implications of these privacy trends than previous generations. Their open Facebook and Twitter feeds reveal a plethora of personal information for all the world to digest. So will they protest intrusive tracking systems in their workplace if it benefits their work? This information about the world is starting to be fed directly to individuals in a very private way. Augmented Reality (AR) provides an interface to this information flow which is tailored purely for a single recipient no matter where they are (e.g. Google Glasses). The real world can be overlaid and augmented with current and relevant information tailored just for you. AR examples being developed include a contacts’ management system which will label every face in view with their name, company and date last contacted.

Finally... The trends discussed above try to paint a picture of a changing world which will continue to become more frenetic and virtual. The utopian dream of a leisure society freed from the shackles of work by robots and computers is at odds with all the trends seen over the last few decades. The notion of unlimited relaxation is no longer the goal, as work insinuates itself into wherever and whenever people go, and the division between personal and professional becomes increasingly blurred. What we see is a world of work no longer bounded by place, but full of excitement and possibility, where creative people will have the ability to drive great innovation by building upon access to the world’s intellectual capacity. For further information contact: trebor@cs.auckland.ac.nz

References Anybots (2011) Anybots Inc, Retrieved from: http://www.anybots.com/#about on September 2011. Mindset list (2012) Retrieved from: http://themindsetlist.com/ on August 2012. Mix and Mash (2012) Mix and Mash competition, Retrieved from: http:// mixandmash.org.nz/ on August 2012. NewWorldOfWork (2012) Nine trends defining the future world of work, Retrieved from: http://www.newworldofwork.co.uk/2012/01/27/ ten-trends-defining-the-future-world-of-work/ on August 2012. O’Neill, M. (2009) Future Work and Work Trends, Knoll Workplace Research, 16pp. ZDNet (2011) 5 trends driving the future of work, Retrieved from: http://www. zdnet.com/blog/emergingtech/5-trends-driving-the-future-of-work/3058 on August 2012.

ask-a-scientist createdbyDr.JohnCampbell Why are some planets made of gas, and some solid? Anna Brettell, Rangi Ruru School. Alan Gilmore, an astronomer at the University of Canterbury's Mount John Observatory, responded: The answer goes back to the origins of the Solar System. Most of the stuff that made the Solar System went into the Sun. It was mostly hydrogen and helium, with small traces of all the other chemical elements. A small fraction (about one-thousandth) didn't get gathered into the Sun. It was left circling the Sun in a thick disk. At first the gas in the disk was very hot, particularly near the Sun. Only some metals and minerals condensed into dust

at the high temperature. Gradually, the dust close to the Sun gathered together and formed the small rocky inner planets: Mercury to Mars. The heat drove the gases and vapours outward to the cooler regions. There, dust and ice also gathered together into small planets. As soon as they were big enough, about Earth size, these solid planets began attracting the plentiful gas. Soon, the solid core was surrounded with a great depth of hydrogen, helium and other gasses. So that is why we have small rocky planets close to the Sun and big gassy planets far from the Sun. As the inner planets cooled down, comets from the cold region brought ice and frozen gases tomake their atmospheres and the oceans.

Are there any dinosaurs alive today? Crystal Steventon, Tikipunga Primary School. Michael Eagle, a geologist at Auckland Museum, responded: No. The nearest relative perhaps is the primitive reptile, the Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus). It is the sole survivor of the Rhynchocephalia, which have otherwise been extinct

for about 100 million years. These reptiles date back to the Triassic period but are not true dinosaurs. They are descended from the Eosuchia, ancestors of snakes and lizards. It is thought that all true dinosaurs became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period. Send questions to: questions@ask-a-scientist.net.

New Zealand Association of Science Educators


A new synthesis of biology is gradually emerging, although its formulation is anything but complete. Teaching this new synthesis poses an immense challenge, writes Paul B Rainey from the New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study and Allan Wilson Centre, Massey University at Albany, and Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Germany. Biology sits at a poignant place in the history of its own development. The nineteenth century was the time of demystification and formulation of basic concepts of organisms: their constitution and evolution. The twentieth century saw biology infused by physics and the development of a top-down reductionist approach that began with discovery of the gene and was driven by physiological and molecular explorations of cell biology. Numerous critical advances were made, but by the century’s end one was left wondering about the nature of the organism. The first part of the twenty-first century has seen an explosion of technological advances that deliver data on an unprecedented scale, and leave many with a sense that the strictly reductionist perspective has left us short-changed. What of organisms? Are organisms more than molecular machines? What of emergence? What of life as more than a simple linear understanding of nature? What of evolution – that process that separates the animate from the inanimate? A new synthesis of biology is gradually emerging, although its formulation is anything but complete. Teaching this new synthesis poses an immense challenge. The organism, which molecular biology has shown is comprised of numerous nano-machines, needs to be placed back in context of its environment, its history and its evolution. While this might seem a reasonable and readily achievable goal, there are at least two major hurdles to traverse. Firstly, the vast array of ever accumulating facts about biological systems. Secondly, the need for numerical and computational literacy. This leaves one wondering how to progress: what to teach and how to teach. Teaching facts alone is not only unnecessary, but typically fails to deliver understanding. The volume of factual information now available to the biological sciences is so vast that a single brain simply cannot maintain it or make sense of it. Moreover, the capacity of any one individual to remain abreast of the latest seminal developments in biology and related disciplines – for all but a minority of exceptional individuals – has been exceeded. At this point one might reasonably despair. But to the contrary, there is reason for optimism. This is the moment where change is not only possible, it is inevitable. As to the facts, they sit in books, in papers, in data repositories and these days most are available electronically. Accessing factual information is no longer a problem; the challenge is to know how to extract the appropriate information, and this firstly requires that we know how to formulate the right questions.

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We need to teach the questions As teachers of biology, we need to teach the questions. The moment students see that there are questions – questions that don’t necessarily have answers, but toward which they can contribute – is the moment of engagement. By teaching questions, students are offered a glimpse into the inquiring nature of the mind, and to many this is both alluring and irresistible. They also learn something important and general about science: science attempts to make sense of the natural world and it does this by defining questions, developing theory, constructing hypotheses and performing empirical tests. In teaching the questions, students begin to understand that the search by science for truth is, in essence, endless. The questions remain, while each theoretical and experimental exploration leads to deeper understanding. At this point one might reasonably inquire as to the nature of the guiding questions. Here, biology has a rich and central foundation that was scientifically articulated by Charles Darwin. It is from this foundation that questions of importance emerge. For the most part, these are questions about origins. Traditionally, the origin of species, but questions concerning origins can be directed at any level of scale and complexity. Everything from the origins of the first self-replicating metabolisms, to origins of the hereditary material, cells, chromosomes, sex, multicellularity, eusociality, language, culture – even the origins of emergence. The moment we begin asking questions concerning origin there is a natural flow. We establish a framework. Upon this framework it becomes possible to order facts and formulate sub-questions. For example, we may wish to question the origin of form in the deepest sense of phenotype. We recognise that central to form is the genotype-tophenotype map (development). This takes us to the nature of information and its translation. We contend with DNA and the processes that take information in the form of a nucleotide sequence and translate this into protein and so on to the physical constitution of organisms. En route, we might consider the origin of the genetic code and why it is as it is; the nature of proteins and how they function. There exists an almost endless opportunity for inquiry, learning and ultimately understanding. What a difference to understand the processes of transcription and translation in the context of the origin of form, as opposed to learning the central dogma as fact devoid of the rich biological context within which form makes sense. This marks an important message: once foundational questions are asked from an evolutionary perspective, facts become readily prioritised, ordered and established in our minds in a meaningful and concrete manner. This rarely ever happens – other than temporarily for exam-cram – when facts are presented outside of the appropriate evolutionary context. It might appear that I am advocating a return to the nineteenth century with focus on organism and form devoid of understanding of molecular mechanism. Not at New Zealand Association of Science Educators

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all! Today’s biology is vastly enriched by the foundational discoveries of molecular biology, but we now need to place mechanistic details in context. Teaching questions is central to this objective. It stimulates thinking; it generates ideas and new perspectives. It produces biologists who are not afraid to cross boundaries and who are confident in the value of their own ideas. Mostly, it fosters creativity and an ability to see concepts in abstract form.

Biologists must be numerically literate The need for abstraction leads to the second and arguably greater challenge for training today’s biologists. Biologists need to be numerically literate: they need skills in mathematics, statistics and computing. While math and biology have a long and productive history (grandfathers of the Modern Evolution Synthesis such as Fisher and Wright were as much mathematicians as biologists; molecular biology was born through the efforts of physicists such as Luria and Delbruck) the last few decades have led to undergraduate degree programmes in biology that are devoid of any significant numerical component. Indeed, students often choose biology precisely because it frees them from the ‘harder’ quantitative sciences. Fortunately, matters are beginning to change. It is increasingly clear that biology needs mathematics in order to integrate data from empirical studies and to express general – often abstract – truths. Mathematics stands to gain from this integration too. Indeed, mathematics has been cross-fertilized by discoveries in biology. Take, for example, statistics and stochastic processes – both have their origins in biological processes. Biology needs statistics to aid experimental design and analysis. The advent of genomic technologies and their application to organismal biology not only generates data sets of vast proportions, but analysis of such data sets has required

the development of new statistical approaches. In order to deal with the mechanics of data acquisition, collation, manipulation and analysis, biologists need computers and they need to be conversant in appropriate programing languages and know how to script.

Training a new kind of biologist There is not space here to outline a programme for a new kind of biology, but by stressing the need to teach key questions – particularly those pertaining to origins – much that is desirable follows naturally. Biology immediately expands its horizons and drops unhelpful divisions between sub-disciplines and even between entire disciplines. At the same time the curriculum becomes more manageable because while there are hundreds of thousands of facts, there are a relatively small number of central concepts. Answers to questions acquire a numerical component because broad and general questions are often those that find greatest possibility in abstraction. Students learn how to think, how to question, how to obtain answers, and through this they develop understanding. Facts augment understanding rather than being the goal of learning. In concluding, I recognise that the challenge in training a new kind of biologist is considerable. Universities need to change the nature of their degree programmes and encompass a greater breadth of the natural sciences, but without change wrought during earlier, and arguably more informative years, the efforts of universities alone are likely to be insufficient. The changes most likely to make a difference are those implemented at secondary school – even primary school – where the inquiring mind is at its most fertile and malleable. For further information contact: p.b.rainey@massey.ac.nz

continued from page 20 international standards and to develop smart ways to produce foods economically. New Zealand leads the world in food manufacture and future food technologists will be needed to continue smart developments to keep us at the forefront and meet the challenges to supply consistent, high quality foods to the world. This involves thinking outside the square and being allowed to try new things. The reason I believe we have been so successful in New Zealand is our ‘can do’ and ‘let us give it a go’ philosophies. We have faced challenges that no one else in the world has had to face. One example has been the need to extract the components contributing to flavour of butter manufacturing in New Zealand. This was a problem for us in making an acceptable product for the UK market. New Zealand cream naturally contains grassy taints, something that is not present in cream produced in Europe where the animals are grain fed for much of the year. The solution to this problem was the development of the vacreator, a steam stripping device that was developed in 1923, by Lamont Murray. This equipment had two functions: the pasteurisation of cream, and the removal of flavours that would taint the butter 20

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manufactured from this cream. This became common in all butter factories in New Zealand and was also sold internationally.

Food technologists in the future... The food technologists of the future must have a good solid scientific and engineering education but, in addition must be willing and be given the freedom by their employers, to explore new ideas. Companies are reluctant to spend too much money on research and development, preferring to acquire technologies rather than develop them themselves. If we want to continue with our good track record and lead in food, we need to be given the opportunity to explore novel ideas. Along with this is the need to be inquisitive and passionate about the food industry – traits that are difficult to develop but which some individuals find come naturally. For further information contact: S.H.Flint@massey.ac.nz

References Baldwin, A.J. & Hancock, P.S. (1994) Evaluation of a personal change facility. Dairy, Food and Environmental Sanitiation, 14, 1, 18-23. Mettler, A.E. (1994) Present day requirements for effective pathogen control in spray dried milk powder production. Journal of the Society of Dairy Technology, 47, 95-107.


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the food industry Most of us simply accept that food is available to us at the supermarket, manufactured to standards that ensure it is safe and wholesome. Much of what we see on the supermarket shelf has been around for many years. For example, bread, milk, cheese and eggs – some of our more basic foods are anything but new. However, the manufacture of these foods has changed dramatically. Here are some of the main changes: 1. Consolidation of manufacturing plants Probably the biggest change has been in the production of larger volumes of product from any manufacturing plant. Approximately 30–40 years ago, each city or provincial centre had a milk processing plant producing fresh milk for the local community. Similarly, many towns had their own bakery for fresh bread, and even regional soft drink manufacturers were common. Today, the amalgamation of companies and consolidation of manufacturing plants have resulted in the construction of the largest dairy manufacturing plants in the world, right here in New Zealand. This is all driven by the economics of operating large manufacturing units. Such economics are associated with maximising the use of plant and in minimising transportation costs and infrastructure. 2. Automation for consistency of product Product produced by a larger plant is more consistent than product produced by several smaller units. This is attractive to the manufacturer by being able to guarantee consistent product to customers. Consistency of product is further enhanced by sophisticated automation systems that become viable in larger manufacturing plants. Automation also reduces costs of manufacture (see Figure 1). Process control systems in our dairy manufacturing plants are well advanced and the modern dairy manufacturing plant is operated through a control room consisting of many computer systems monitoring the process and product, and enabling a few people to control the whole process from a central location. These systems monitor

Figure 1: A modern food manufacturing facility at the Massey University Food Pilot plant. Photograph courtesy of Steve Flint.

everything from the supply of raw material to the dispatch of final product and everything in between. The skills required by the staff operating food manufacturing plants have changed from largely manual labour skills to the operation of a computer. 3. Food safety standards One of the most important changes in food manufacture is the change in food safety standards that have been imposed on food manufacturers. Food manufacturers are required to have risk management plans in place that cover all operations. Everything from the design of the building, equipment, operation of the plant and training of staff all ensure that any risk to food safety is minimised. While manufacturers have no doubt always considered food safety important, many of the systems and procedures we see in a modern food manufacturing plant have evolved during the last 30 years. For example, food process workers have worn white overalls for many years – but these appeared to be more to protect their clothing rather than to protect the food and maintain hygiene inside the manufacturing plant. Historically, food workers would wear their ’protective’ clothing outside the manufacturing plant as well as in the plant. Today this is strictly forbidden. Food workers need to pass through what is known as a ‘red line’ control system. This is an entrance to the food manufacturing plant where people entering the plant need to put on overalls, hats and footwear that is dedicated to the food manufacturing area. They will be required to wash and sanitise hands and often walk through a sanitised foot bath before entering the food manufacturing plant. These procedures are now mandatory and an accepted part of working in a food manufacturing plant. Food manufacturing plants are under positive air pressure to prevent the intrusion of pathogens. The manufacturing environment is monitored on a regular basis to ensure that it is free of pathogens. Every manufacturing process has to undergo a hazard analysis critical control point assessment where all possible hazards in the manufacturing process are documented, eliminated if possible, and if not, controlled by strictly monitored control points in the manufacturing process (Baldwin and Hancock, 1994; Mettler 1994). 4. Packaging All the changes mentioned above are largely hidden from the general public. One change which is more obvious is in packaging. Many of us will remember being able to purchase loaves of bread from the local dairy that did not have any packaging. This was the standard way of purchasing bread. Today, bread is normally wrapped in plastic. Tamper-proof packaging is common for many foods, and many products have multiple wraps, ensuring they are protected from the environment to maintain freshness and safety. 5. Developing new and improved products The changes to food manufacture have impacted on New Zealand more than on many other countries. As much of our production is exported, we have had to meet tough

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The manufacture of foods has dramatically changed in the past thirty years, as Steve Flint, Massey University explains:

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mechanical engineering – paradigm shift? There has been a paradigm shift in mechanical engineering as Stefanie Gutschmidt from The University of Canterbury explains using this example of development of new types of motors: When asking prospective students and their parents during university Open Days or Career Expos what they associate with the term Mechanical Engineering, they often reflect a traditional picture of greasy hands, noisy engines and technical drawings. A few of them appreciate that the noisy and dirty aspects have vanished from modern Mechanical Engineering, but no one really recognises that, in fact, a paradigm shift has taken place.

The traditional view of engineering

The word mechanical originates from Greek.  (mechane) comes from the root word  (mechan) and means machine. It broadly refers to any device that carries out a function. This meaning originated from fine arts and the theatre, where in a play the "deus ex machina" (the god out of the machine) appears at the end of a play to solve a problem. Today's meaning and the related word mechanics is the scientific (lat. scienta=knowledge) study of mechane – the study of machines from which university majors like Applied Mechanics derive. The word engineering is derived from the Latin roots ingenium (cleverness) and ingeniare (to devise) from which we get the familiar word ingenuity1. The meaning of the word engine, however, has changed very much. While it used to mean any product of the mind or innate mental power, today it has a completely new meaning as in e.g.

“search engine” (computer terminology). This examination of the root words reveals two things: first, the interesting connection between art/creativity and producing/solving something; and second, the scope of an engineer’s duties (ancient and modern alike). Picture of dirty hands and noisy machines The rise of engineering as a profession dates back to the eighteenth century at the time of the Industrial Revolution, when the term engineering became more narrowly associated with mathematics and science applied to building innovative machines. Clearly, the meaning of the word engineering has been shaped and redefined over time by many factors, including increasing knowledge, skills and applications, which emerged from the four Industrial Revolutions. Engineering before the scientific revolution (end of Renaissance era to mid-18th ct.) was defined by practical artists and craftsmen, whom with imaginative tinkering, produced many marvellous devices. Names like Leonardo da Vinci come to mind. During the first Industrial Revolution (18th–early 19th ct.) engineering was no longer the domain of practical artists but became that of scientific professionals. Yet the most significant change during that era was the discovery and use of different, much more powerful energy sources than human or animal muscle power. For the first time, machines were powered by other machines (steam engines) and thus replaced muscle power, which gave birth to many new engineering branches. It is my personal view that the

Figure 1: Making screws in France in the third quarter of the 18th century. Ref: L’Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers…receuil de planches sur les sciences, les arts libéraux, et les arts méchaniques, avec leur explication (Paris: 1762-1772), vol. 9, plate 12.

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Ultrasonic Motor: The Vibration Motor

Figure 3: Canon bar-type motor15. image of greasy hands, meshing gears and noisy engines, technical drawings and big halls stems from that era when engineering had such a dramatic impact on society and its way of life. During the second Industrial Revolution (century before WWII) chemical, electrical, and other science-based engineering branches developed electricity, telecommunications, cars, aircrafts, and advanced mass production technology. During the information revolution (after WWII) microelectronics, computers, and telecommunications produced information technology3 and created an exploding amount of new and emerging engineering branches, such as bio-mechanical engineering, mechatronics, nanotechnology, to name just a few. The following section describes such an engineering paradigm shift that was brought about by a specific demand for new and innovative applications.

[1]

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Figure 2: First concepts of piezoelectric motors; left) Lavrinenko 19647, right) Barth 19738.

In conventional electro-dynamic motors (developed at the end of the 19th century and still widely used today) the transfer of electrical energy into mechanical energy is based on the electromagnetic force of electric conductors4, 5. While these motors still dominate the industry, significant performance improvements cannot be expected except through new discoveries in magnetic or superconducting materials. Furthermore, tiny conventional electromagnetic motors smaller than 1cm3 are rather difficult to produce with sufficient energy efficiency. Therefore, a new class of motors using high power ultrasonic energy was invented approximately sixty years ago. Ultrasonic motors made with piezoceramics, whose efficiency is independent of size, are superior in the mini-motor area. In contrast to their electro-dynamic counterparts, piezoelectric[1] ultrasonic motors (USM) are characterised by a two-stage energy transfer. Initially, the electrical energy is transformed by piezoceramic elements in high-frequency mechanical vibrations of an elastic body, the so-called stator. The surface points of the stator undergo elliptical motions, which in the second stage of the energy transfer are passed on to a second body, the rotor, by means of friction forces at a contact zone. The resulting motion can either be rotational or translational. This novel and innovative electro-mechanical driving principle was first documented by Williams and Brown in a patent in the 1950s6, but never reached technical implementation. Similarly, the concepts by Lavrinenko (1964)7 and Barth (1973)8 did not gain practical significance either (Fig. 2). Only the work by Sashida (1982)9 led finally to a motor that left the laboratory and later, modified by Kanazawa et al. (1993)10 led to industrial mass production, where the motors found application as the lens drives of Canonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s auto-focus cameras (Fig. 3,15). Inspired by this breakthrough, piezoelectric-ultrasonic drives and actuation The name piezoelectric is made up of two parts; piezo, derived from the Greek word piezein which means pressure, and electric for electricity derived from the Latin word electrum. In a piezoelectric material (e.g. a ceramic) the application of a force (pressure) results in the generating of an electric field in the material, which is known as the direct piezoelectric effect (first discovered by Pierre and Jacques Curie in 1880). In piezo-driven actuators such as ultrasonic motors the inverse piezoelectric effect is usedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;an electric field in a piezoelectric material generates a force (pressure) and a motion.

Figure 4: Development of Canonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bar-type USM over time.

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concepts experienced rapid development during the last decade of last century. An excellent and more detailed overview about the development of ultrasonic motors is provided by e.g. Sashida11, Ueha12, Uchino13, 14 and Wallaschek15. Current research efforts are focusing on reliability, cost and design optimisation and efficiency as well as the development of micro and nano USM applications in nano-position control and medical devices.

Canon’s U400 USM In 1992 Okumura15 first built a prototype of a motor which is now well known for its reliability and application in Canon’s autofocus lenses and digital cameras. The U400 ultrasonic motor (Fig. 4) developed from the U1000 USM in 1992 to the U400 series in 1997 (Fig. 4). The main difference between U1000 and U400 lies in the vibration generation by their piezoelectric actuators. While in the U1000 type the mechanical vibration is generated by a stack of five single-layered piezo elements (each piezo layer having a thickness of 0.5mm), the U400 uses a multi-layered piezo actuator of 27 layers (layer thickness 0.11mm). The main advantage of multi-layer versus single-layer piezoceramics is the lower input voltage. While the U1000 type requires an input voltage of 38V the input voltage for the U400 type is reduced to 15V. (The voltage is in inverse proportion to the number of layers). An overview over the various types of USM which were developed since 1992 is given in Table 1. Design and Working Principle of the Bar-Type USM The overall dimensions of the Micro I-type motor are 27mm (length) by 11mm (diameter). All parts are assembled onto the shaft and held by the mounting plate fixed at one end of the shaft. The design of the shaft divides the motor assembly into two parts: the mobile (rotor) and the fixed

(stator), respectively. This distinction is important to better understand the working principle explained below. Figure 5a shows an exploded view of the bar-type piezoelectric motor. The rotor, coil spring, pinion, and mounting panel are assembled onto the mobile part of the shaft. The rotor does not touch the shaft, but is centered on the stator by its conical design. The pinion runs on top of the material of the mounting panel and is driven by a form-locked connection with the rotor. All remaining parts: the stator, piezoceramic and metal blocks, are built in from the fixed side of the shaft. The inner flange of the stator touches the shoulder of the shaft. The stator-sided parts are pressed together against the flange of the shaft and secured by metal block 2 on the other side (screwed fastening). The piezoceramic is clamped between stator and metal block 1. The rotor-sided parts are pre-stressed against the stator by the coil spring and secured by a nut (screwed fastening and lock tight). The two metal blocks at the end of the stator’s side are there to stiffen this side of the motor and to maintain a resonance frequency of 37kHz which corresponds to the bending motion of the assembly. The stator is a cylindrical body with a stepwise varying cross section to drive larger amplitudes at the contact area. The non-symmetric design of the stator prevents the motor from squealing. The bending motion of the stator is generated by the piezoceramic, which undergoes an oscillating vertical motion. While one bending motion is excited by a high-frequency cosine wave, the other is generated by a sine wave. Both signals are standing waves and mutually perpendicular (in time and space). To explain this graphically Fig. 5b depicts the piezoceramic-stator system at different times (figure exaggerates scale of deflections). The upper part of the stator generates a wobbling motion[2]. [2]

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To observe the principle, mark a coin with a line and spin it on a flat surface. Observe the rotation of the line, which imitates the motion of the rotor.


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Figure 5: Exploded view of Canon’s U400; a) exploded view of the design; b) simulation of stator motion.

A surface point of the stator’s top disk undergoes a motion on an elliptical trajectory. The rotor motion is generated by means of frictional contact between stator and rotor at the contact point or zone. The rotor speed is equal to the speed of the surface point of the stator at the instant of contact. In summary, these types of motors have the following advantages compared to their electro-dynamic forerunners: 1) low speed and high torque – direct drive (no gears needed); 2) quick response, wide velocity range, excellent controllability, fine position resolution’ 3) high power/ weight ratio and high efficiency; 4) quiet drive; 5) compact size and light weight; 6) simple structure and production process, and 7) negligible effects from external magnetic or radioactive fields, and also no generation of these fields.

References

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While we clearly see in this example a complete paradigm shift from traditional engineering practices, nevertheless, it is the traditional creative (‘mechan’) thinking to solve problems, the scientific (‘scienta’) understanding and not least God-given engineering (‘ingenium’) talents that still define the essence of Mechanical Engineering today and in any age! For further information contact: stefanie.gutschmidt@ canterbury.ac.nz

continued from page 29 based on reality, and how do we dispel the ‘mad scientist’ stereotype? Professor Brian Cox, a British particle physicist, ‘science popularizer’ and BBC science presenter, has been highly successful in boosting the number of students taking science subjects at British schools by communicating his passion for the sciences to the general public, aided by his smooth look (having been a member of a rock band resonates well with young people!). Aside from a Brian Cox (surly we can find one of our own?),

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Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Random House, Inc. 2006. Edwin A. Battison, Screw-Thread Cutting by the Master-Screw Method since 1480, EBook #31756, 2010. http://www.creatingtechnology.org/history.htm (This web page provides additional references on the history of engineering.) Beitz, W.a.K., K.-H. , Dubbel, Taschenbuch für den Maschinenbau. 17th Ed, Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 1990. Gerthsen, C., Gerthsen Physik, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 1997. Williams, A.a.B., W., Piezoelectric Motor, in US-Patent, pp.439-499, 1942. Lavrinenko, V.V., Piezoelectric Motor, in Soviet Patent, 1964. Barth, H.V., Ultrasonic Driven Motors, in IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, 1973. Sashida, T., Trial Construction and Operation of an Ultrasonic Vibration Driven Motor (in Japanese). Oyo Buturi, 51: pp.713-720, 1982. Kanazawa, H.a.T., T. and Maeno, T. and Miake, A., Tribology of Ultrasonic Motors. Japan Journal of Tribology, 38: pp.315-324, 1993. Sashida, H.a.K., T., An Introduction to Ultrasonic Motors, Oxford: Oxford Science Publications, Claredon Press, 1993. Ueha, S.a.T., Y., Ultrasonic Motors: Theory and Applications, Oxford: Oxford Science Publications, Claredon Press, 1993. Uchino, K., Piezoelectric ultrasonic motors: overview. Smart Materials & Structures, 7(3): pp.273-285, 1998. Uchino, K., Piezoelectric actuators ultrasonic motors - Their developments and markets. ISAF '94 - Proceedings of the Ninth IEEE International Symposium on Applications of Ferroelectrics, pp.319-324, 1994. Wallaschek, J., Piezoelectric Ultrasonic Motors. Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, 6(1): pp.71-83, 1995. Okumura, I. A designing method of a bar-type ultrasonic motor for autofocus lenses. IFToMM-Jo International Symposium on Theory of Machines and Mechanicsms, 1992.

one of the most effective means of dispelling the ‘mad scientist’ stereotype has been shown to be with school visits to science labs, or visits by scientists to schools. Studies in the USA and around the world have shown that children consistently draw quite different pictures of scientists (perhaps ones wearing a wide range of different hats?) after having the opportunity to meet ‘real’ scientists, so it is vital that schools continue to provide these opportunities to our students. The ever-persistent white lab-coated ‘mad scientist’ stereotype must be dispelled. For further information contact: k.dirks@auckland.ac.nz New Zealand Association of Science Educators

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how can we train budding science innovators? The science innovators of the future need to have the right mix of skills, knowledge and expectations, as Cather Simpson, Director of the Photon Factory, the University of Auckland explains: In New Zealand, the path to economic prosperity is to be paved by scientific innovation. Advanced technology, underpinned by scientific discovery, presents an excellent opportunity to our economy, which has lagged in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita rankings compared to OECD countries for some time[1]. One needs only look at Thomas Edison (lightbulb, phonograph), Nikola Tesla (AC power, induction motor), Bill Gates (Microsoft), and Stephanie Kwolek (Kevlar) to see the attraction. According to a new U.S. Commerce report, science and technology innovation are clearly linked to higher wages, employment growth, improved profitability and productivity, and more business start-ups[2]. The late Sir Paul Callaghan, for whom the new Advanced Technology Institute[3] is named, advocated improving New Zealand’s economic lot by moving excellent Kiwi science from lab to market more effectively – to grow ten times as many high-tech companies as we have now[4]. The New Zealand Government has embraced these ideas, and taken steps to improve the transfer of knowledge from scientists and innovators to industry. Most recently, the Ministry for Research, Science and Technology transformed into a ‘group’ within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Under the current Government, then, science formally sits under the mantle of economic goals that will make our nation more prosperous and provide a better quality of life for all New Zealanders – certainly a worthy challenge! Of course, innovations are made by people; if this big economic transformation is to occur, it will not be made by government agencies, new policies, or the renaming of ministries. It will be accomplished by the people sitting in our schools and universities right now. As important, the new focus on high-tech industry presents excellent opportunities for these young people to live and work here in challenging, satisfying jobs in the future. To meet these ambitious goals, the young people we train now need to have the right mix of skills, knowledge and expectations. How should we guide our young scientists and engineers to ensure that they are ready to make this positive vision a reality? For what kinds of careers should we prepare them? Is it even possible to train people to be creative thinkers in science and technology? The answer to the last question is, I believe, is an emphatic ‘Yes!’ and we are testing ideas about how to nurture an innovative mindset – coupled with training for the modern workplace – in the Photon Factory at The University of Auckland.

What will the job market look like? When Kiwis born in 2000 graduate from high school, they will face a new landscape of career choices; the job market has changed dramatically over the last 30 years[5]. We no longer join a company, get trained on the job, work our way up the ladder, and retire from there. Currently, the average 26

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48–55 year old American has held over 11 jobs since he or she was 18 years old[6]. Companies no longer invest in employee training because, with high employee turnover, they cannot collect return on that investment. Instead, firms hire those who have the talents when they need them – they manage talent rather than grow it. An important consequence of this shift is that the responsibility for one’s ‘career’ has moved into the hands of the employee[5, 7]. The people who succeed in this environment are adaptable problem solvers. They have a firm grounding in the basics, ready willingness to learn (and apply) new ideas and a strong work ethic. A university degree, once a resume bonus, is now virtually a resume necessity; in New Zealand, you are over twice as likely to be unemployed if you do not have a bachelor’s degree[8]. Some fields of study are better than others, when it comes to job security and income. Top starting salaries and low unemployment rates are enjoyed by U.S. graduates with engineering, physics, or maths degrees[9, 10]. Psychology, fine arts, social sciences and humanities graduates suffer 8–20% unemployment rates, by comparison. Even the popular business administration and management major leaves a graduate facing about three times the unemployment rate of a physical sciences graduate. New Zealand has a somewhat different economic situation, but the basic trends hold[11].

Training students to be science innovators These data indicate that the most valuable piece of advice to give to a young New Zealander is “get a university degree.” Maths and science are the tools of innovation, and so the second most valuable piece of advice is “don’t stop taking maths and science!” These fields open doors, and the modern job market is all about versatility and changing professional directions. Professor Grant Guilford, Dean of Science at The University of Auckland, sums it up this way: “Today's high school students can expect up to 4 major career changes during their lives. There is a very good chance that in the latter parts of their careers they will be employed in areas they didn't envisage. In fact, such is the pace of technological and social change, that it is quite likely they will be undertaking roles that we haven't yet conceived of as a society. With this in mind students need to get a very good foundation in literacy, numeracy and the sciences so they can adapt to and take advantage of new opportunities as they arise. They should avoid specializing too early. It is also very important to understand the importance to employers and wider relationships of 'life skills' like communication, teamwork, diligence, creativity and leadership to name just a few.” The highly fluid career path presents an interesting challenge to those of us tasked with preparing young people for success in the workforce. How do we train students to succeed in multiple careers? We need to focus on the following core knowledge and values:


Innovation in the Photon Factory Since opening in 2010, the Photon Factory has become a test bed for science innovation. Our core mission is to bring the rich versatility of high-tech, short laser pulses to academic and industry innovators. These laser pulses allow us to make very small (0.001mm or smaller) features in virtually any material – we can be creative on a very tiny scale. The Photon Factory has grown rapidly, to over 25 people in 2012, most students in Chemistry, Physics or Engineering.

This team has now successfully worked with New Zealand companies like Next Window, Rakon, Fisher & Paykel, Izon and others. Projects range from making better locking nuts, to improving designs for solar thermal energy harvesting, to exploring new designs for GPS chips. A project to develop fibre-laser based surgery in troublesome tissue has yielded very promising results for Intuitive Surgical (USA). We have filed one patent of our own, and two companies have patents with Photon Factory inventors. In addition, we have over a dozen academic research projects within our group and through far-reaching collaborations. Of course, we have a lot of high-tech equipment and infrastructure. However, the key to the Photon Factory is the people. We have a multidisciplinary team of mostly students and a collegial and intellectually stimulating environment in which they can work to solve important science and technology problems. The diversity is critical for our success. The mixture of skills and attitudes among the engineers, chemists and physicists allows us to innovate in an increasingly large and complex array of problems for industry and in basis science discovery. It also affords students with multiple opportunities to lead some projects and to provide team support to others. Everyone is there for a short time except me, the Director. Hence, the Photon Factory is a miniature, kinder and gentler model of the job market that these students will face in a few short years. Virtually every one of them has said something like “I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to help, because I don’t know much about XXX.” at the start. By the time they leave, though, they are experts in something new, in learning from failure and persistence, and have the confidence that comes with that experience. Some of our projects encourage learning through trial and error (e.g. fourth year research projects) and testing new ideas and models (e.g. concept testing for industry). Others require a targeted solution delivered to industry on their time scale. The mix provides the students with both exploratory learning opportunities and real-world experience. One illustration of how we work in the Photon Factory is the story of our start-up company, Engender. Just over

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Maths and science basics: 150 years ago, Louise Pasteur, inventor of the rabies vaccine and pasteurization, said “chance favors the prepared mind.” Tomorrow’s new hires must have strong, solid foundations in general knowledge, upon which to build when facing new challenges. For novel technological innovation, students need basic science and mathematics. Rapid, flexible learning: Just as importantly, though, they also must be experts at rapidly building upon that foundation, at accessing and incorporating new knowledge at sufficient depth to innovate. Excellent and diverse research skills, then, are important tools students need for the modern workplace. Strong study ethic: Our students need a clear message that investing in learning the hard stuff pays off. Thomas Edison famously stated that “genius is 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration.” Or as Terry Pratchett’s marvelous teacher Ms. Tick put it in Wee Free Men: “if you trust in yourself … and believe in your dreams … and follow your star … you’ll still be beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy.” The recent trend in some schools to reduce homework is counterproductive to our long-term economic goals, and to the success of our students in the modern world. Embrace failure: Students need to leave school with the confidence to succeed and a healthy appreciation for failure. Albert Einstein asserted that “anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Research shows that people who are more afraid of failure are less likely to be entrepreneurial[12]. Teamwork skills: Our young people need to learn to balance leadership with teamwork, self-confidence with a willingness to listen to others. The American President Harry S. Truman once said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” This maxim is a bit unreasonable in an intellectual property economy. However, the underlying statement about how groups work together effectively is an important one.

Figure 1: (Above) The Engender bovine sperm sorting phase 1 prototype, developed in the Photon Factory in 2012. (Right) The ultrafast laser and micromachining technology used for this project, and others. New Zealand Association of Science Educators

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Figure 2: Some members of the Photon Factory in 2011 demonstrate laser machining. Top left panel: the material is an ordered crystal lattice. Top right panel: the focused laser pulse hits the sample, exciting the electrons and nuclei in the irradiated zone. Left panel: the material is ablated, leaving a clean void in the material.

a year ago, a venture capitalist brought us five major problems facing the New Zealand dairy industry, and asked if we could help solve any of them. We are a high-tech laser lab, so our ability to contribute was not obvious. I took a look, though, and chose to approach the challenge of a better way to sort bovine sperm by sex. The current technology exposes sperm to damaging shear stresses and electric fields, and is rather expensive. I thought the Photon Factory expertise in constructing and using micro-scale devices might be valuable in coming up with an alternative. I gave the challenge to a team of Photon Factory students, and a week to come up with ideas. They had several; one of which was promising. My postdoctoral researcher and I developed that idea further, and then formed a team with the right combination of skills to build a prototype (Figure 1). The idea has been patented and a start-up company called Engender formed. The first phase is complete, and we are now starting phase two, with a new team of students. We are on track to demonstrate that we can sort sperm by the end of this year. Even though it is yet in its early stages, the Engender story illustrates how innovation can be encouraged, perhaps taught. The opportunity to make a difference to a real-world problem, by applying one’s skills and knowledge, is a powerful positive incentive to the members of the Photon Factory. They have a great time, while learning to be the high-tech innovators of the future (Figure 2). Student positions within the Photon Factory are now sought after. However, the measure of true achievement will be when these students are hired by high-tech companies – or start their own – and they succeed as adults.

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For further information contact: c.simpson@auckland.ac.nz

References [1]

[2]

[3]

[4]

[5]

[6]

[7]

[8]

[9]

[10]

[11]

[12]

See: www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/government_finance/central_ government/nz-in-the-oecd/gdp-per-capita.aspx, www.nzinstitute.org/index.php/nzahead/measures/gdp_per_capita, www.oecd.org, Last accessed online 2-Apr-2012. "The Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the United States" (2012) a report prepared by The U.S. Department of Commerce in consultation with the National Economic Council. See: www.msi.govt.nz/update-me/major-projects/advanced-technologyinstitute, Last accessed online 28-Aug-2012. Sir Paul Callaghan (2009) speaking at "Today's Basic Science Inspires Tomorrow's New Technology – What's the Right Balance for New Zealand?" a debate at the University of Auckland, sponsored by Stratus. Capelli, Peter. (2008). Talent on Demand. Managing Talent in an Age of Uncertainty. Harvard Business School Press, Boston Massachussetts. “Number of Jobs Held, Labor Market Activity, and Earnings Growth Among the Youngest Baby Boomers: Results from a Longitudinal Survey” (July, 2012) Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Capelli, Peter. (1999). The New Deal at Work. Harvard Business School Press, Boston Massachussetts. Statistics New Zealand, Household Labour Force Survey (1991-2010, June Quarter). http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/indicators/main/educationand-learning-outcomes/1911 (last accessed 30-Aug-2012). http://www.payscale.com/best-colleges/degrees.asp (last accessed 30-Aug-2012). http://graphicsweb.wsj.com/documents/NILF1111/#term= is a very comprehensive, searchable spreadsheet of university majors, payscale, and unemployment rate in the U.S. See the Jobs and Tertiary Education Indicator for an interactive tool and extensive data tables: http://www.dol.govt.nz/services/lmi/tools/jtei.asp (last accessed 30-Aug-2012). Arenius, P.; Minniti, M. (2005) “Perceptual Variables and Nascent Entrepreneurship” Small Business Econ. 24:233-247. http://rossdawsonblog. com/weblog/archives/2012/07/global-insights-into-fear-of-failureentrepreneurial-activity-and-gender-balance-in-entrepreneurs.html (last accessed 30-Aug-2012). Bosma, N.; Levie, J. (2009) “Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 2009 Executive Report” http://igitur-archive.library.uu.nl/ socgeoplan/2011-0906-200603/GEM%202009%20Global%20Report%20 Rev%20140410.pdf (last accessed 30-Aug-2012).


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We recently asked a seven-year-old girl do draw a picture of a scientist for us. What she drew was a European man, in a white lab coat holding a magnifying glass, wearing glasses, who was bald and had stubble. Despite not having a television at home, and a mother who is a scientist (who the girl has never seen wearing a white lab coat!), the ever-persistent ‘mad scientist’ stereotype prevailed. Apparently if you set any primary or secondary child the same task, they invariably come up with the stereotypical image (usually donning crazy hair rather than being bald – stubble is optional!). If you ask adults to describe a scientist, they often come up with characteristics such as eccentric, persistent to a fault, a workaholic who hides away in a lonely lab. This suggests a person who is lacking in interpersonal skills – someone who is unable to work in teams and is a poor communicator. Unfortunately, this perception, reinforced by pop culture and the media, carries through both children and their parents when selections of subjects are made at high school and ultimately the choice of career path. It is a real deterrent, especially for girls, in pursuing careers in science.

Communication is vital While 30 years ago it may have been possible to work essentially in isolation, this is rarely the case now. Bar subject knowledge, above all else, a scientist is required to be able to communicate. This includes communication with other scientists, with people from the funding bodies upon which their research (and sometimes their job) depends, with ethical committees, with the media, and with regulatory bodies, to name a few. It takes more than a love of science to be successful as a scientist. Scientists need to be hard-working, creative, independent thinkers who are comfortable with leading. They also need to be good at technical writing. They need to be planners, marketing experts and sales people! Scientific knowledge, as well as the technology used to solve scientific problems, is constantly evolving. Scientists need to be comfortable with adapting to this constant change.

Working in cross-disciplinary teams More and more, scientists are required to be work in teams, often cross-disciplinary. These teams are sometimes large, in order to address many of the complex cross-disciplinary scientific problems that cannot be fully solved by a single person, or indeed by a single discipline. Cross-disciplinary problems in particular are inherently difficult because of this need to communicate between disciplines. Care and time need to be taken to learn about all of the relevant subjects so there is sufficient overlap that each other can be understood – specific jargon that arises needs to be learnt and an appreciation of the scientific problem from diverse points of view needs to be developed. From this, an appropriate framework can be built on which a hypothesis and shared goals can be achieved. Even simply coming up with a cross-disciplinary hypothesis that everyone agrees upon can be challenging.

Some of the greatest breakthroughs in science have occurred at the boundaries between disciplines, or when taking knowledge and methods from one discipline and applying them to another. Being able to build cross-disciplinary teams and work successfully in these environments is an important and necessary part of being successful in science. This is a far cry from the white lab-coated scientist working alone in a quiet corner.

Example: Environmental hazards Arguably, more so than in any other area of science, the cross-disciplinary communication challenge exists in the field of environmental hazards. New Zealand has seen firsthand the unpredictable nature of natural forces with Christchurch’s major earthquake and aftershocks, in particular. In August, attention was focused on volcanic risk, with geologists keeping a very close eye on Mount Tongariro following its recent eruption and White Island, which has been showing signs of heightened volcanic unrest. While geologists clearly play a central role, a crossdisciplinary co-ordination is required to manage the risks of possible future eruptions. Geologists need to work with meteorologists who are needed for modelling the airflows in the vicinity of the volcano to identify the areas of possible ashfall. Public health physicians need to be on alert to deal with considerations associated with fallout of volcanic ash including water contamination. Engineers need to be available to deal with possible infrastructure damage. The media are involved in communicating to the public, keeping everyone informed at all stages in a way that is appropriate for the scale of the risk or event. Prior to any natural disaster, there is also an important role to play in achieving better community resistance to natural disasters through better preparedness. This can be achieved through school and community programmes, perhaps supported by public health which has the skills in community development that could support civil emergency management. While managing the risk of future eruptions, and indeed most natural disasters, is largely a scientific problem, minimising its impact on the community is clearly cross-disciplinary in its nature and requires scientists to be able to communicate broadly and work in large teams across a range of disciplines.

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The changing face of science places a premium on communication skills and working in multidisciplinary teams as Kim Dirks and Denise Greenwood, of the School of Population Health, The University of Auckland explain:

Dispelling the myth of the stereotypical scientist So how do we go about ensuring that the next generation can make more informed decisions about careers in science

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what’s in it for me? choosing science in Norway In Norway, a study was conducted to find out why students chose to participate, or not participate, in post-compulsory science and the results are relevant for NZ, as Maria Vetleseter Bøe, of the Norwegian Centre for Science Education, University of Oslo, Norway explains: Introduction What is important to upper secondary students who choose to study science? What do they expect their new science courses to be like? And what are their plans for further education and for future employment? Questionnaire responses from Norwegian 17-year olds indicate that young people choose science based on values that are typical for rich developed societies such as Norway and New Zealand: most students wanted to follow their interests and realise themselves, while ensuring that every door to higher education was kept open.

From ROSE to Lily The Relevance of Science Education (ROSE) study investigated attitudes to science among 15-year olds in more than thirty countries. One of the most striking findings was that students were less likely to like school science and to want to become a scientist the more developed their country was (Schreiner & Sjøberg, 2007). It appeared as if school science was failing to meet the interests and priorities of young people in rich developed societies. Following these results from ROSE, we initiated the Lily study in Norway to investigate young people’s choices to participate, or not participate, in post-compulsory science. In Norway, New Zealand and many other developed countries, government, industry and educational institutions have expressed concerns that too few young people choose to study science and technology. Establishing the nature and scope of this problem is no straightforward matter, as there are several ways to investigate participation trends, and available statistics are often incomplete and difficult to compare (Bøe, Henriksen, Lyons, & Schreiner, 2011; Hipkins & Bolstad, 2005). However, there appears to be a shared wish to understand more about students’ science choices – both in school, higher education and when they enter the workforce. Firstly, such understanding can inform initiatives to recruit future skilled scientists. And maybe more importantly, such understanding may help us give science students a well-informed choice at upcoming decision points.

Overview of the Lily study Norway offers two main strands of upper secondary education: Vocational Training and General Studies. Within the General Studies strand there are three study programmes: Specialisation in general studies; music, dance and drama; and sports and physical education (see Figure 1). Specialisation in General Studies is by far the 30

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Figure 1: Norwegian upper secondary school system, General Studies strand. Vocational Training is not presented here. Grey dotted boxes represent programmes that were outside the target group of the Lily study. most popular, with 82% of the students in 2011–2012 (Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, 2012). The Lily study investigated the subject choices of students in Specialisation in General Studies. In Norway science becomes voluntary for the first time in the second year of upper secondary school, Year 12. In Year 11 all students follow the same compulsory courses. But prior to starting Year 12, the students choose one of four programme areas for the next two years: Natural science and mathematics (henceforth Science), Languages, social science and economics (henceforth HumSoc for Humanities and Social science), Arts, crafts and design, or International Baccalaureate (Figure 1). In 2011-2012, 42% and 54% of the students were enrolled in the Science and HumSoc programme areas, respectively (NDET, 2012). The remaining 4% were students in Arts, craft and design or International Baccalaureate. These students were not in the target group of the Lily study. In this article I present data from 1628 respondents – 895 girls and 733 boys – who attended Science or HumSoc in Year 12 in 2008. 47% and 61% of the Science and HumSoc students, respectively, were girls. The students came from all over Norway. The questionnaire asked a range of questions concerning the students’ choice of programme area. In practice, choosing a programme area means choosing a group of subjects from which you can select your courses for Years 12 and 13. The Science programme area offers courses in physics, chemistry, biology, Earth science, technology, ICT, and mathematics; whereas HumSoc offers, for example, foreign languages, history and philosophy, social science, politics, economics and marketing. When this article refers to the students’ choice of Science, therefore, it specifically refers to the choice of the Science programme area and a combination of three (most often) courses from within this programme area (students are allowed to take one course from another programme area). The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training (2012) reports that the most popular subjects in the Science programme area are mathematics, physics, chemistry and


What are students’ expectations? In the work with the Lily project we have drawn on a model for educational choice developed by Eccles and colleagues (Eccles et al., 1983; Eccles & Wigfield, 2002). In short, their model proposes that students' choices to take, or not take, a science course, for example, are influenced by two main aspects: their expectation of success in the course, and the value they believe the course to have for them. This value has four dimensions: • Interest-enjoyment value: Will the course be interesting, will I enjoy the lessons? • Attainment value: Does the course fit with the kind of person I am, will it help me confirm my identity? • Utility value: Will the course help me reach some other goals, such as admission to university? • Relative cost: Will the course be difficult and demand a lot of work? We can picture students asking “can I do this?”, on the one hand, and “what’s in it for me?” on the other. In the Lily study, therefore, we have largely investigated data with these two questions in mind. Of course, many other factors influence science choices. These include previous experiences with science both in and outside school, socio-economic status, support from parents, teachers and peers, cultural stereotypes and constrains, to name a few. According to the model, these factors affect choices by influencing the students’ expectation of success in a course, and the value they attach to the course personally. How consciously the students reflect on this influence, however, is another story.

explains why many students have lower expectation of success in science than in other subjects, even students who are high achievers in science (Lyons, 2006). This brief review provides a good – albeit not very optimistic – starting point for the discussion of our findings in the Lily project. In the Lily study we rely on students’ self-reports, given for a period of around thirty minutes, at one point in time. This means that we only have a snapshot of the students’ thoughts about their choices. We know from previous research that educational choices develop over time, that they are constantly renegotiated, and that the stories students tell themselves and others about their choices change along the way. Nevertheless, in the next sections I hope to demonstrate that snapshots can provide interesting insights all the same.

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“What’s in it for me?” What, according to the students, were important motivational factors when they chose Science? The respondents answered a set of items asking about how important various factors were for them when they chose their programme area, either Science or HumSoc. Based on how the students responded, the items were grouped into compound variables. These variables measured the importance students placed on interest-enjoyment, utility for university admission, self-realisation, fit to personal beliefs, expectation of success, and relative cost. The items included in each of these compound variables are shown in Table 1. 1. Interest and self-realisation As Figure 2 demonstrates, most of the students in both Science and HumSoc agreed that interest and self-realisation were important factors in their choice. This indicates that they chose subjects they believed would be interesting and give them the opportunity to realise themselves. Elsewhere in the questionnaire, both student groups indeed expressed high expectations for the programme

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biology. This is also the case among our respondents: 77% of the Science students had physics among their select subjects, 75% had chosen chemistry, and as much as 90% took one of the mathematics courses. And 35% had chosen biology, while 23%, 21% and 6% took technology, ICT, and Earth science, respectively. It may be surprising that only 35% of the Science students had chosen biology. A closer look revealed that biology actually was a relatively popular choice among HumSoc students, as their one course from outside the HumSoc programme area. The total number of biology students, therefore, was higher than 35% of Science students suggests, but both physics and chemistry had more students.

What is a student’s relationship to science? Given this focus on the value that students attach to science, it makes sense to look at what the research literature says about students’ relationship with science. As seen in the ROSE study and in other research reports, young people in developed countries tend to find school science uninteresting and personally irrelevant (Osborne, 2008; Schreiner & Sjøberg, 2007; Tytler, 2007). Moreover, their interest tends to decrease as students advance through school (Osborne, Simon, & Collins, 2003). It is worth noting that interest in the topics per se may be quite different from interest in school science as experienced in the classroom. In terms of identity, science students and scientists are often stereotypically portrayed. Many students reject such a stereotypical science identity (Schreiner & Sjøberg, 2007; Taconis & Kessels, 2009), and struggle to see themselves in science (Lyons & Quinn, 2010). Science courses are often required for entrance to many higher education programmes. It is not surprising, therefore, that utility for future careers often emerges as an important reason for choosing these subjects in upper secondary school (Hipkins & Bolstad, 2006; Lyons & Quinn, 2010). The subjects are perceived to carry significant costs, however, and to be particularly difficult and demanding (Tytler, Osborne, Williams, Tytler, & Clark, 2008). This partly

Table 1: Compound variables with questionnaire items. The question was “how important were the following factors for you in your choice of programme area?”, on a scale from not important (1) to very important (4). New Zealand Association of Science Educators

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Figure 3: Importance of potential aspects of a future job, mean scores for Science boys (dark grey) and Science girls (light grey). Scale: not important (1) to very important (4).

Figure 2: Importance of motivational factors, mean scores for students in Science (dark grey) and HumSoc (light grey). Scale: not important (1) to very important (4). area they had just entered, in terms of exciting, meaningful and enjoyable coursework. This is good news for the sciences, because it implies that teachers get many motivated and engaged students in the classroom. The challenge is to meet their expectations, and help these students maintain their interest and continue with science through secondary school and beyond. The expectations students have may be more or less realistic, and their enthusiasm will most likely be put to the test when they encounter the difficulty and workload that students often associate with science and mathematics subjects. Moreover, parts of the students’ interest may come from popular science on television, from science-related issues in society, or from out-of-school activities. Depending on the curriculum, classroom practices and teachers’ own interests, the students’ preferred topics may be more or less visible in a physics classroom, for example. 2. Strategic choices The Science students among our respondents indicated that the utility for admission to university was important for their choice. Several of the courses offered by the Science programme area are required for getting in to tertiary studies in science and technology, as well as medicine. Taking these courses, therefore, keeps many doors open. Other programme areas offer fewer gate-keeping courses. This probably explains why utility was less important to more of the HumSoc students. It is important to note that for many of the Science students, the choice was both a strategic choice and an interest-based choice. Nevertheless, some students have probably entered upper secondary science primarily to keep many options open. How can these students be encouraged, for example, in physics and mathematics classrooms, to choose a science and technology path among all those options they are keeping open? One important job, I believe, is to ensure that they have a well-informed choice. No one should opt out of science on false premises. Students who lack information – or have misleading stereotypical impressions of what science and scientists are – do not have a well-informed choice. Students who wrongfully believe they are not able to do science or that their identities are ill fit to science careers, do not have a well-informed choice. 3. Science perceived as a difficult and demanding option This study found evidence to support the well-documented impression that science and mathematics subjects are perceived as difficult and demanding. However, very few students who had chosen Science said that avoiding difficult and time-consuming courses was important to them. New Zealand Association of Science Educators

Among HumSoc students, on the other hand, a fair share (though not the majority) said that this was important, implying that some students opted out of science because of expected difficulty and workload. I would not argue that we should downplay that science and mathematics can be demanding. The rumour that they are particularly difficult may be well earned. What is important is to give students a realistic impression of what it takes, and of what they are capable. Teachers are powerful supporters of students’ expectations of success and feelings of mastery. Perhaps the difficulty of science could be portrayed not only as a cost, but also as a positive challenge, an opportunity for the students to use and develop their talents? The students’ expectation of success in terms of good marks also played a role in their choices, though it was not as influential as interests. And not surprisingly, girls were more likely than boys to worry whether they were good enough.

What kind of job do you want? I described above how the students in our study chose upper secondary science largely based on interests and wishes to realise themselves, but also to keep many options open for higher education. Then what were their plans for further education and future employment? The questionnaire included several questions in that area, and here I will focus only on the Science students’ responses. One of the questions read simply “What kind of a job do you want?”, and the students could write their answer on a dotted line, or check a box labelled don’t know. As many as 44% of the Science students chose the don’t know box. Among the remaining 413 Science students – who did write an answer – 26% aimed for engineering and 33% wanted to become doctors or have other health-related jobs. Perhaps surprisingly, 20% of the Science students aspired to non-science occupations, within law or business, for example. The remaining 21% were spread out on jobs in ICT (5%), architecture (3%), natural science (4%) and on replies that were hard to categorise (8%). The most frequent reply, then, was actually don’t know, followed by well-known occupations such as doctor and engineer. A look at the responses of boys and girls revealed typical patterns: Four in five aspiring engineers were boys, whereas three in four upcoming doctors or health-care workers were girls. Similar differences were found in their inclinations towards higher education. Far more boys than girls agreed that they would like to study technology, while more girls than boys wanted to study medicine. Discouragingly, very few of the Science students wanted to become teachers in science or mathematics. In a few years there will be a serious shortage of science teachers in Norway. If teaching is a calling that matures later than age 17, perhaps more of them in time will consider this as a career choice. 1. Self-realising, enjoyable and secure job The fact that so many Science students were undecided


regarding career aspirations underscores the importance of demonstrating to them the range of possible career options within science and technology. But what are they after in a future career? The students answered a large set of questions about what would be important to them in future employment. Not surprisingly, students in both Science and HumSoc valued having an interesting and meaningful job where they could use their talents and develop themselves. More than 85% of the respondents said that this was somewhat or very important. The students were not, however, indifferent to more materialistic concerns such as getting a secure position or making a lot of money. More than 80% said that this was important to them. To attract students to pursue careers in science and technology, therefore, we need to give each student the opportunity to discover how their specific talents can be used in jobs that they are interested in and care about. In Norway we can also emphasise how science and technology graduates are much sought after, making this a safe educational choice. However, current economic downturns in Southern Europe remind us that even jobs in science and technology are vulnerable. The job priorities mentioned above were the same for Science and HumSoc students and – with a few small exceptions – the same for girls and boys, on average. There were, however, aspects that were more important to Science than HumSoc students, and some results demand that we look at girls and boys separately. As we may expect, Science students placed more importance than HumSoc students on having a future job that involves research or technology development. Around half of the Science students said that doing research or creating new knowledge was important to them. I see this as a quite promising proportion considering the range of challenges within science and technology where new knowledge is needed. Moreover, the fact that many Science students aimed for jobs that involve research implies that teaching approaches focusing on the nature of science as an on-going field of knowledge production may be motivating. Several studies have found that more boys than girls are interested in technology, whereas more girls than boys are interested in science topics related to human health

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Table 2: Compound variables with questionnaire items. The question was “how important are the following factors for you in a future job?”, on a scale from not important (1) to very important (4).

and concerns in society (see review in Bøe et al., 2011). The Science students in this study showed similar tendencies. Far more boys than girls indicated that technology development was important to them in a future job, and more girls than boys wanted an idealistic job (see Figure 3). These variables are also compound variables – see the items they consist of in Table 2. 2. Idealism or technology I have already noted that more boys than girls wanted to pursue engineering, and more girls wanted to become doctors. This difference appears to be linked to the gender differences in valuing idealism and technology. In fact, those who valued idealism in a future job were more likely to want to study medicine, while those who valued technology were more inclined towards studies in physics and technology. We may nod in recognition of these results. We may also pause to wonder why this is. In a society where young people feel free to choose whatever they want and create their own identity, what makes girls and boys still choose in a traditional way? Our results cannot answer that question, but our perspectives tell us where to look. Are there expectations in culture, expressed directly and indirectly by parents, peers, teachers and the media, that affect what interests girls and boys and which jobs they identify with? If so, can we work to counteract stereotypical ideas? In a US study, Hazari and colleagues (2010) investigated how college students’ inclinations towards careers in physics depended on their experiences in high school science. Girls who reported that sometime during science lessons they had had a discussion about female underrepresentation in science, were more likely than other girls to want to study physics. No difference was found among boys. Their study demonstrates that just having a discussion about girls and science challenges the traditional patterns. It is one example that shows how teachers, parents – all of us – are powerful participants in young people’s decision making.

Conclusion: follow your heart and head into science The results from the Lily study build nicely on the impression from ROSE. The students relate to science in ways that are characteristic of the society they live in. Those who chose not to continue with science did so because their interests and priorities led them elsewhere. And those who did choose science based their choices on interests and abilities, and on what felt meaningful and self-realising to them. However, they also came across as strategic towards future opportunities and job security. For young people to choose science, therefore, science must convincingly answer their question “what’s in it for me?” A recent Norwegian newspaper article about educational choices ran the headline “Follow your heart or your head?” (Aftenposten, 10 April, 2012, my translation). So-called experts who were interviewed argued that we should advise young people to choose what is sensible rather than follow their interests, they should choose science. This annoyed me in several ways, but most of all because it said that a choice of science is a choice away from your interests. Young people in developed societies such as Norway and New Zealand want to follow their hearts. They should learn that many of them can follow both their hearts and their heads into science. For further information contact: g.m.v.boe@naturfagsenteret.no

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Science teachers as careers educators: a new role Science teachers are well-positioned to help young people gain career management competencies for an ever-changing workplace, as Karen Vaughan, NZCER explains: Introduction Secondary schools aim to develop young people to be “confident, connected, actively involved lifelong learners” (New Zealand Curriculum, 2007). This future-focused vision for young learners guides the everyday work of teachers in classrooms, workshops, and laboratories around New Zealand. Science teachers, specifically, are charged with helping “students explore how both the natural physical world and science itself work so that they can participate as critical, informed, and responsible citizens in a society in which science plays a significant role” (Science essence statement in the New Zealand Curriculum, p.17). Both the NZC vision statement and the science essence statement signal important ideas about what it means to prepare young people for the world beyond school. They refer to young people as lifelong learners, who explore the natural physical world and science itself, in order to participate in society. These statements suggest a change to the work of science teachers, away from the content-dominant focus we have been used to throughout much of the 20th century and towards something that specifically foregrounds purposes of learning science such as preparation for citizenship. This article argues that the purposes for learning science now connect with those of career education. It proposes that science teachers use the disciplinary lens of their subject to play a more active role in helping young people develop the career management competencies needed to manage the inevitable changes and multiple decisions required throughout their working and learning lives.

Contemporary work demands While the purpose(s) of school is not just about preparation for the world of work, there is little doubt that work comprises a central part of people’s lives in terms of the time, commitment, and (financial, social, psychological) rewards involved. Participation in work is linked to a raft of inter-related positive social and economic indicators, including the development of communities of practice, which are critical to the development of high level skills and mastery, productivity, and identity development. However, the nature of work has been changing dramatically. Firstly, the overall range and balance of occupations has changed with a decrease in unskilled, labouring jobs and a rise in technical, engineering, executive, and service sector jobs. Secondly, the nature of occupations is changing. The rapid development of digital technologies, together with industrialisation in the ‘developing’ economies, has increased uncertainty and competitive pressures on businesses. These shifts place new demands on most people in terms of their knowledge and their technical and behavioural skills, including demands for individual (and organisational) capability to continue changing to meet as-yet-unknown, new demands. These shifts mean that young people face a world where occupational flexibility, multiple career changes, geographical mobility, rapid technological change, and 34

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unpredictability in the labour market are the norm. They are all likely to be engaged in tertiary level formal learning after leaving school, at different points of time in their working lives, either at tertiary education institutions or in their workplaces through the industry training system. These new norms herald complex reconceptualisations of what it means to build a career, moving away from career as static entity to career as “evolving sequences of life experiences” (Arthur, Inkson & Pringle, 1999). These sequences may, for some, be “protean” in form – managed by the learner rather than only by the organisation for which they work (Hall & Mirvis, 1996) – and they may involve working in organisations with structures that are more fluid and flat than rigid and hierarchical. It is no longer a question of young people receiving career guidance in order to enable them to make a single vocational match based on their aptitudes (often based on narrow school achievement and/ or extracurricular interests). Instead, young people today must think in terms of managing life, career, work and learning decisions throughout life.

Career education in schools But what has this got to do with teaching science? So far, not very much. Since the inception of vocational advisory and personal counselling roles in schools in the 1948–62 period, career education has been considered separate from other departments or curriculum areas, including science, in the school. Each secondary school’s designated careers’ advisor is in charge of implementing a programme of activities to meet the school’s obligations under the National Administration Guidelines. These specify that schools must provide appropriate career education and guidance for all students in Year 7 and above, especially for those at risk of leaving school unprepared for the transition to the workplace or further education/training (NAG 1(f ), Ministry of Education, 2010). How schools actually do this is up to them. In practice they typically rely largely on the commitment and capability of the careers’ advisor and, in larger schools, the careers’ team1. Career education is regarded as their domain and typically distinct from the rest of the curriculum. That team’s work generally includes providing information about tertiary education and employment; encouraging students to use planning resources and tools; co-ordinating work experience and structured workplace-based learning; organising tertiary campus visits, visiting speakers, and parent-teacher-student evenings on in-school options; offering one-on-one guidance sessions; and managing networks with community, industry, and tertiary organisations. This work is funded within the Operations’ Grant and supported by professional development for careers’ advisors, and a suite of resources from the Ministry of Education and its Crown Agency, Careers New Zealand.2 1

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Typically known as the Transition Team, Pathways Department or Careers Department. Careers New Zealand provides dedicated support for careers’ advisors and schools through workshops, resources (print and online) such as job and interest inventories, guides, questionnaires, planning tools, and posters relating school subjects to occupations and required qualification levels (the “Where to?” series). Careers New Zealand also most recently led the development of career education benchmarks for secondary schools, and is currently putting together a set for tertiary education.


The emergence of career management competencies There is potential for career management competencies to reframe career education in a way that better serves young people as lifelong learners and participants in society. It is likely that you have not heard of career management competencies. They have only recently been introduced through the Ministry of Education’s (2009) updated guide to Career Education and Guidance in Schools: a document that is usually only read by the careers’ team. However, the suggestions for implementing career management competencies implicate subject teachers, as well as the careers’ team. Career management competencies have taken their cue from the notion of key competencies. New Zealand’s development of career management competencies has closely followed that of Australia’s “Blueprint for Career Development”which was developed between 2003 and 2008. Australia’s Blueprint defines career management competencies as something more than technical skills and abilities and as involving “skills, knowledge and attitudes to make good career moves” which can be “developed and strengthened over time” (Ministerial Council on Education Employment Training and Youth Affairs, 2010). The Australian Blueprint was in turn modelled on the Canadian “Blueprint for Life/Work Designs” for which development began in 1998, closely following a model developed as the United States National Career Development Guidelines (National Career Development Association, 1993). The Canadian Blueprint captures a range of capabilities to be developed and located in the individual, emphasising intentionality and proactivity in managing life and work (National Life/Work Centre, 2010). The language used in these blueprints is very closely related to that used in European countries to describe career management skills. These are defined as “a whole range of competences3 which provide structured ways for individuals and groups to gather, analyse, synthesise and organise self,

educational and occupational information, as well as the skills to make and implement decisions and transitions” (European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network, 2010). New Zealand’s Career management competencies have three dimensions (Ministry of Education, 2009): • Developing Self-Awareness – about building and maintaining a positive self-concept; interacting positively and effectively with others; and changing and growing throughout life. • Exploring Opportunities – about participating in lifelong learning to support life and work goals; locating information and using it effectively; and understanding the relationship between work, society and the economy. • Deciding and Acting – making life and career-enhancing decisions; making and reviewing learning and career plans; and acting appropriately to manage careers. 4 These could function in much the same way as New Zealand’s key competencies, which are positioned in the NZC as “the key to learning” in any field. Key competencies are “both an end in itself (a goal) and the means by which other ends are achieved” (Ministry of Education, 2007, p.12). In other words, students both learn to be competent in the five key dimensions (the end or goal) through various social contexts (which demand the combined use of skills, attitudes, values, and knowledge) and they learn other specific things (e.g. how to write a well-argued essay, how photosynthesis works) through a focus on competency development. Like the basis for key competencies, career management competencies acknowledge a 21st century knowledge society and changed conditions for life, career and work. They also stress the need for people to learn, obtain and maintain intentionality about their work and education choices, take a meta-cognitive view, and learn to apply learning to different situations. In other words, career management competencies reconceive careers’ work as being about “fostering learning and personal development rather than about helping individuals make difficult choices or overcome moments of crisis” (Hooley, Watts, Sultana & Neary, 2011 draft manuscript).

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Unfortunately, career education activities are all too often regarded by the school as an interruption or adjunct to subject class work (the “real work” of school). Career education is often conflated with vocationallyoriented courses, for which career advisors are often the designated co-ordinators. Courses such as Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) and Gateway are also (erroneously) perceived by many teachers and parents as interventions for less academically able students. Thus, career education and anything associated with it, typically has a low status within the school. Access to career education is also inequitably provided within the school, targeting select groups of students (e.g. those at risk of leaving without qualifications, or those who are university bound) and leaving the majority of students without the tools they might need to manage their pathways (Vaughan, 2008; Vaughan & Gardiner, 2007). You might like to consider the extent to which this is true of your school’s career education programme. Research suggests the kind of tools that young people need for managing life and work beyond school are not being promoted through career education. Most career education programmes privilege the gathering and distribution of information to young people, but this simply leaves young people confused and overwhelmed, with no way to make sense of all the career pathway possibilities (Vaughan, Roberts & Gardiner, 2006). Many career education activities used in schools derive from early 20th century models of vocational guidance, and fail to appropriately address a modern context and the kinds of challenges facing young people today.

By shifting the focus of career education away from delivery of information and work-related experiences to the development of capabilities needed for learning and personal development throughout life, career management competencies reposition the provision of career education within the school. Rather than being mainly the domain of the careers’ advisor or pathways’ team, career education now comes under the auspices of the overall school vision for student achievement. The Ministry of Education (2009) suggests the integration of career management competencies into the curriculum, within all subjects, much like key competencies. It describes career management competencies as reflecting the NZC’s overall vision and values, and as having a relationship with the key competencies. The Ministry of Education claims that “all teachers are careers’ teachers” and that this does not have be an additional or burdensome role (2009, p.25). It offers some broad ideas about developing students’ career management competencies in any learning area. To help students develop self-awareness, it suggests asking them about the skills and knowledge they bring to, and can develop within, a subject, and discussing how these skills 3

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European reports use the word “competences” rather than “competencies” (discussed in Sultana, 2009). These are designated by the Ministry of Education. Recently its Crown agency, Careers New Zealand, has split the last competency, deciding and acting, into two competencies: making choices and decisions and taking action.

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and that knowledge can be transferred, to new contexts, including in specific employment contexts. The Ministry of Education also provides examples of using career management competencies in specific curriculum learning areas. For example, students in science could interview people about the impact on science on their jobs; talk with people in industries that draw on more than one area of science (e.g. horticulturalists drawing on ecology and chemistry to affect pest control); or investigate business opportunities in the wake of scientific developments.

Using the disciplinary lens of science for career management competencies development The Ministry of Education initiative puts a different slant on what is important about science as a school subject, and what is important for science teachers to do in helping young people develop as lifelong learners and participants in society. Certainly some of the preparation for the world beyond school, and especially work, involves both classroom subject content (what is taught in science), and disciplinary knowledge (how to think scientifically). This is of course especially useful at the senior secondary school level for students who are likely to continue with science at the tertiary level of education and go on to STEM careers. However, science subject content and disciplinary knowledge are also useful for all students and useful in two ways. Firstly, science knowledge is useful because advancements in science create change for everyone, and young people need to develop “confidence in their ability and in their authority to engage in science”, as well as call upon science “as one source of information, among others, to assist them in decision-making in relation to personal and social, including, for example, lifestyle and environmental, dilemmas” (Jarman, McAleese &McConnell, 1997, p.150). In other words, everybody needs a base level of scientific knowledge and scientific “literacy” to be able to live in the contemporary world. The second reason science knowledge is useful is that it provides a framework for students to develop as lifelong learners. Students need to have multiple serious encounters with knowledge in order to develop dispositions such as a will to learn, a preparedness to explore, and a determination to keep going forward (Barnett, 2009). Becoming a lifelong learner, and learning how to learn, depend on learning something in depth, such that the nature of knowledge (its fragility, how it came to be, how it functions) is also understood (Egan, 2010). So knowledge and skills are important, but not sufficient in today’s world; they need to be “augmented with dispositions and qualities” (Barnett, 2009, p.440). Science is important on several fronts then: as disciplinary knowledge for STEM careers; as disciplinary knowledge for everyone’s everyday life engagement with science; and as a means for developing lifelong learning dispositions. These multiple purposes are consistent with the nature of science (NoS) thrust in the NZC, and with both key competencies and career management competencies. However, teaching in ways that help bring these purposes to life could point to a demanding shift in orientation for many science teachers. Competency development requires creative, carefully designed, and rich environments in which students can develop for themselves the competencies they need to flourish both at school and beyond school, into work and further learning. This heralds the building of different relationships within the school and between the school and community. Within the school, one challenge that science teachers face is finding effective ways to work with the careers’ advisor or team and take on their share of responsibility for an area New Zealand Association of Science Educators

that has been someone else’s responsibility.5 For example, instead of the sole possibility of sending students to the careers’ advisor for one-to-one guidance, science teachers might work alongside careers’ advisors. They could think together about the needs of particular students, and how they could be addressed through class activities. Science teachers might also work with other subject teachers across learning areas to create rich learning contexts where students can get a more authentic feel for what it might mean to actually work in science-related employment. In a recent edition of this journal, for example, Rosemary Hipkins (2012) provides an interdisciplinary example partially drawn from the Assessment Resource Banks (ARB, item LW0652). In the example, Year 7-8 science and statistics were combined in a class task to construct different measuring or counting rules to explain plant growth. The manner in which the inquiry task was shaped was deliberately designed to simulate actual roles of scientists in real life. Students got to experience and participate in scientific practice, and draw on several bodies in knowledge in doing so. There are rich possibilities for explicit discussions around practices in different careers and industry areas. The careers’ advisor or team is already likely to have relationships with employers and workplaces through the Gateway programme, STAR courses, national competitions and initiatives (e.g. the Smokefree Stage Challenge, and Education for Sustainability), and schemes run by industry training organisations and tertiary education providers (e.g. the Bright Sparks electronics club, and the Build-Ability Challenge competition). From both a career education and a science point of view, there are many benefits from these relationships. They create opportunities for students to be ‘placed’ with employers when they leave school; allow careers’ advisors to gather up-to-date information to give students about learning and work opportunities; provide students with opportunities to have one-off or regular, medium-term experiences in workplaces; allow student engagement with a community of practice in specific (science) industry areas; and provide greater opportunity for students to learn to be in the community and to connect their school learning with other aspects of their lives. You might like to think about how you might leverage these sorts of rich learning opportunities to bring career-related insights and competency growth into your own classroom programmes. For further information contact: Karen.Vaughan@nzcer.org.nz

References Arthur, M.B., Inkson, K., & Pringle, J.K. (1999). The New Careers: Individual Action and Economic Change. London: Sage Publications. Barnett, R. (2009). Knowing and becoming in the higher education curriculum. Studies in Higher Education, 34(4), 429-440. Education Review Office. (2009). Creating Pathways and Building Lives. Overall Evaluation of the Initiative 2006 – 2008. Wellington: Education Review Office. Egan, K. (2010). Learning in Depth. A Simple Innovation That Can Transform Schooling. Chicago and. London: The University of Chicago Press. European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network. (2010). Lifelong Guidance Policies: Work in Progress. A report on the work of the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network 2008–10. Jyväskylä, Finland: European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN). Hall, D.T., & Mirvis, P.H. (1996). The new protean career: Psychological success and the path with a heart. In D.T. Hall & and associates (Eds.), The career is dead long live the career. A relational approach to careers (pp.15-45). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Hipkins, R. (2012). A model for making NoS more explicit. New Zealand Science Teacher, 130, 26-28. Hooley, T., Watts, A.G., Sultana, R., & Neary, S. (2011 draft manuscript). A critical examination of the ‘Blueprint’ model of career development. Submitted to the British Journal of Guidance Counselling.

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The Creating Pathways and Building Lives evaluation found this to be one of the biggest challenges: getting teachers to recognise the importance of career education and to recognise their own role in providing relevant information and guidance (Education Review Office, 2009).


In this conversation I was interested in following up Daniel’s original article about nematodes1 by linking with ideas discussed in Rosemary Hipkins’ article2 in the same issue of New Zealand Science Teacher. Rose’s article highlighted and illustrated work by Ford and Forman3, who found that scientists act as both constructors and critiquers of claims about the natural and physical world. Rose’s article illustrated how these dual roles could be utilised in helping students to build and demonstrate understanding of the nature of science. I asked Daniel about his experience of the two roles, and we led on to a discussion about ways that students can experience them in school science.

Constructing claims in deep sea ecology An important aspect of constructing a claim that will be critiqued by other scientists is developing sound methodology. Daniel explained that he currently employs two approaches to investigate deep sea ecology using nematodes as a focus. The first is an experimental approach investigating the effects on nematodes of disturbance, a factor that frequently influences the bio-diversity of an area: “It could be any type of disturbance; it could be a sea cucumber eating its way through, or it could be a trawler coming through.” Since: “An experimental approach is very difficult to implement in the deep sea, because it’s so remote, and hard to sample,” Daniel needs to make investigation feasible, and so samples from a depth of 400m are worked on in the lab. To keep the conditions representative he needs to maintain a constant temperature: “From the moment you bring the samples on board you have to keep them at 8°C.” Daniel had about 15 samples brought back to the lab. He disturbed half of them and left half of them undisturbed. Recording what is happening in the undisturbed sample is an important part of demonstrating exactly which effects are due to the disturbance. Daniel used three types of control: “The one from the field, and the one just before the experiment, and the ones during the experiment, and then subsequently I took out cores two days after, and nine days after disturbance.” These all act as comparisons for what he observes in the disturbed sample. Just as in school situations, practicalities constrain what Daniel is able to do: “You can’t go into really fancy experimental designs when there are so many things you have to constrain, like the temperature, and the amount of material you can bring back, how expensive it is to keep everything cool, and the risk just increases as the experiment duration increases as well.” Keeping things simple but representative seems a useful message for school-based ecological studies. 1

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Leduc, D.(2012). Nematodes: The unseen multitude. New Zealand Science Teacher, 130, 22-25. Hipkins, R. (2012). A model for making NoS more explicit. New Zealand Science Teacher, 130, 26-28. Ford, M. & Forman, E. (2006). Redefining disciplinary learning in classroom contexts. In J. Green & A. Luke (Eds.), Rethinking learning: what counts as learning and what learning counts. (3rd Ed., pp.1-32).Washington: American Educational Research Association.

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The other approach Daniel employs to investigate deep sea ecology is a combination of observation and pattern seeking. Samples of sediment have been taken and preserved from around the deep sea off New Zealand for years, so part of Daniel’s study has been to analyse them. “I look at the nematodes in those samples, and the information to go with them, like what the sediment was like, how deep the site was, where it was, and whether there was a lot of food in the sediment or not. So these things had been measured, for the nematodes, and what I did was to look at the nematodes and correlate with the diversity, or the abundance, or the mass of the nematodes in the samples. You do these multi-variable statistics, and you try to tease out what factors might be driving your biomass, or how diverse they are.” Both the observational and experimental approaches are important in creating a claim in ecology, as Daniel explains: ”You start from the patterns, but observation is not enough, it’s not causation, so while it’s always interesting to do these correlations, to explain or establish the cause, you need to do the experiments.” Observation and pattern seeking are investigational approaches suggested in the aims for the science learning area in the New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007). Encouraging students to suggest possible connections between observed patterns and test for these relationships can produce fruitful and engaging ecological investigations, as Daniel suggests later in this article.

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Wearing both hats: construction and critique I asked Daniel if, when he is doing his investigations, he is conscious that other scientists will be critiquing his methodology: “It’s become second nature now, but it took me a while. Nowadays, when I begin a project, I immediately think about what it’s going to look like at the end – what is it going to look like, what are the alternatives…can I fail, or what if I get different results? Or, what would be interesting to other people?” Publishing work is an expectation of scientists’ work and in order to publish, he knows he needs to have sound methods, as well as a novelty aspect, a new idea or concept. As well as the formal publishing review process, important discussion occurs informally in the tearoom: “I’m thinking of doing this, or getting samples from there – people bounce ideas off each other.” Looking for new synergies and ideas is a key behaviour: “You’ve got to make it happen to some degree, you’ve got to expose yourself to new ideas – it’s easy to get stuck into one mindset and just think the same thing over and over, similar ideas. You do things like subscribe to science journal alerts, so you get a summary of the papers published that week, and you just go through quickly and see if there’s anything interesting…there are networks of scientists on Facebook, and there’s one for New Zealand, and one where, if anyone’s got something cool, they just put it up. Conferences are a big one…talking to people is probably the best way to get things going in terms of ideas, and practically as well.”

Students taking on scientists’ roles Daniel has had experience at the Otago University Marine Laboratory at Portobello working with high school students. New Zealand Association of Science Educators

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We discussed ways students can learn about the roles taken on by scientists. He felt students benefited from less use of the recipe approach common in schools: “If you can let kids figure out what projects they want to work on, and give them some guidance on that...Let them do things wrong. They find it quite interesting where a scientist doesn’t know the answer! There’s an art to asking questions, too; that’s probably one of the most important things, actually, to ask the right questions instead of being given the questions.” One tool that Daniel had found useful in working with school students was to sit down with a board and throw around ideas: “To think about the ecology of a beach. You say, put down what you know, what’s on the beach, you put down all the different parts that are there, and you put down the animals, and you go ok, what might affect their ecology? People go ok, waves, or sand, or people, or seaweed – it might be drift seaweed, or it might be temperature, oxygen, and you build a picture. You can make it as wide as you like, but you can see things, and you put arrows between things, and as you go it gets more and more complicated. It looks like a big web, which is what it is, but then you can look at it and ask questions, and say well, if I take this out, say no more seaweed is washed up on the beach for some reason, what happens? We follow the arrows, and usually you can follow them through and figure it out, and come up with a prediction, or a hypothesis about something, and once you’ve done this exercise for a while, you get used to it, and you can do it in your head, and say well, if we get rid of this, or this, or we put more of this, what happens? There’s more questions…they can pick and choose what questions they like, or…because there’s so many!”

We moved on to discuss ways he had supported students to become critiquers of claims. “The problem is when you do a science project, you write it up on a piece of paper and you give it to the teacher, and that’s it, but what is really interesting is when your students critique each other’s projects. Not only will they critique the problem itself, they will critique how they presented it: ‘I don’t understand this – could you please make it clearer.’ They do that over the period of the project, three or four times, and then one final time, and each time they get better. Because a student might have said ‘This is really good’, ‘That design doesn’t work’, or ‘Have you thought of this?’, then they start to look at these same problems with their own projects. It’s the same thing with reviewing papers as a scientist – I read these papers and I have all these questions, and then next time I’m reviewing something or co-ordinating a study, because I’ve seen someone else do it I can use it – same thing for kids. It’s the exact same process, really. So interrogating someone else’s work helps you to critique your own.” Talking with Daniel about his experiences highlighted for me again the possibilities for learning about the nature of science as students are supported to take on the roles played by real life scientists. For further information contact: Dayle.Anderson@vuw.ac.nz Acknowledgements: Thank you Daniel for sharing your practice, and also Rose Hipkins for starting this conversation about how we can use the practice of scientists in science education.

continued from page 33 References Bøe, M.V., Henriksen, E.K., Lyons, T., & Schreiner, C. (2011). Participation in Science and Technology: Young people's achievement-related choices in late-modern societies. Studies in Science Education, 47(1), 37-71. Eccles, J., Adler, T.F., Futterman, R., Goff, S.B., Kaczala, C.M., Meece, J.L., & Midgley, C. (1983). Expectancies, values, and academic behaviors. In J. T. Spence (Ed.), Achievement and Achievement Motives. Psychological and sociological approaches (pp. 75-146). San Francisco: W. H. Friedman & Co. Eccles, J., & Wigfield, A. (2002). Motivational beliefs, values, and goals. Annual Reviews Psychology, 53(1), 109-132. Hazari, Z., Sonnert, G., Sadler, P.M., & Shanahan, M.-C. (2010). Connecting high school physics experiences, outcome expectations, physics identity, and physics career choice: A gender study. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(8), 978-1003. Hipkins, R., & Bolstad, R. (2005). Staying in Science. Student participation in secondary education and on transition to tertiary studies (Background paper). Wellington: New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Hipkins, R., & Bolstad, R. (2006). Staying in Science. An investigation of factors that encourage students to choose science as a study and career focus. Wellington: New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Lyons, T. (2006). Different countries, same science classes: Students' experiences of school science in their own words. International Journal of Science Education, 28(6), 591-613.

Lyons, T., & Quinn, F. (2010). Choosing Science. Understanding the declines in senior high school science enrolments. Armidale, NSW: University of New England. NDET. (2012). Elevers fagvalg i videregående opplæring skoleåret 2011-2012. [ Students' upper secondary subject choices 2011-2012 ] Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. Osborne, J. (2008). Engaging young people with science: does science education need a new vision? School Science Review, 89(328), 67-74. Osborne, J., Simon, S., & Collins, S. (2003). Attitudes towards science: a review of the literature and its implications. International Journal of Science Education, 25(9), 1049-1079. Schreiner, C., & Sjøberg, S. (2007). Science education and youth's identity construction - two incompatible projects? In D. Corrigan, J. Dillon & R. Gunstone (Eds.), The re-emergence of values in science education (pp. 231-247). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Taconis, R., & Kessels, U. (2009). How choosing science depends on students' individual fit to “science culture”. International Journal of Science Education, 31(8), 1115-1132. Tytler, R. (2007). “Re-imagining science education”: Engaging students in science for Australia's future. Camberwell, VIC: Australian Council for Educational Research. Tytler, R., Osborne, J., Williams, G., Tytler, K., & Clark, J.C. (2008). Opening up pathways: Engagement in STEM across the Primary-Secondary school transition. Canberra: Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

continued from page 36 Jarman, R., McAleese, L., & McConnell, B. (1997). Science and Lifelong Learning: A Survey of Science Teachers' Provision for the Promotion of Pupils' Independent Study at Key Stage 4. Evaluation and Research in Education, 11(3), 149-163. Ministerial Council on Education Employment Training and Youth Affairs. (2010). Australian Blueprint for Career Development. Commonwealth of Australia. http://www.blueprint.edu.au/AbouttheBlueprint/WhatareCareerManagementCompetencies.aspx Ministry of Education. (2007). The New Zealand Curriculum. Wellington: Learning Media Ltd. Ministry of Education. (2009). Career Education and Guidance in New Zealand Schools. Wellington: Ministry of Education Ministry of Education. (2010). The National Administration Guidelines (NAGs). Ministry of Education. http://www.minedu.govt.nz/NZEducation/EducationPolicies/Schools/PolicyAndStrategy/PlanningReportingRelevantLegislationNEGSAndNAGS/TheNationalAdministrationGuidelinesNAGs.aspx.

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National Career Development Association. (1993). Career development: A policy statement of the National Career Development Association. http://associationdatabase.com/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/guidelines [3 November]. National Life/Work Centre. (2010). Blueprint for Life/Work Designs. http://www. lifework.ca/lifework/blueprint.html Sultana, R. (2009). Competence and Competence Frameworks in Career Guidance: Complex and Contested Concepts. International.Journal of Vocational Education and Guidance, 91, 15-30. Vaughan, K. (2008). Student Perspectives on Leaving School, Pathways and Careers (Report no.4 from the age 16 stage of the Competent Children, Competent Learners project). Wellington: Ministry of Education Vaughan, K., & Gardiner, B. (2007). Careers Education in New Zealand Schools. Wellington: Ministry of Education. Vaughan, K., Roberts, J., & Gardiner, B. (2006). Young People Producing Careers and Identities. The first report from the Pathways and Prospects project. Wellington: New Zealand Council for Educational Research.


The latest statistics from the National Education Monitoring Project show that primary students are less interested in science are disconcerting (Crooks, Smith & Flockton, 2008). How can we ignite primary students’ interest in science? Asks Sally Birsdall. It was at a book launch for Derek Hodson’s book entitled Looking to the Future: Building a Curriculum for Social Activism (2011) that provided me with ideas for a way forward. He suggested that given the vast majority of primary students will not become scientists, we need to shift the focus of science education from educating future scientists, to educating future citizens who will be consumers of science. This type of science education needs to be based on issues that are relevant to students, to include hands-on activities and to encourage learners to use their knowledge to take actions that could make a difference. In this way students could be empowered to make informed decisions about issues involving science that affect their lives.

Sustainability in the classroom Hodson suggests that one type of issue that is relevant for students is the issue of environmental degradation. Since many primary schools are close to waterways, the issue of water quality is an ideal context in which to teach scientific concepts and skills. Such a study would also enable students to develop an understanding about sustainability. As well as being frequently used in the media, sustainability is scattered throughout The New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007), for example in the Principles (p.9), the Values (p.10), the Key Competency of Participating and Contributing (p.13) and in the essence statement for science (p.28). Sustainability is also one of the underpinning key concepts in education for sustainability (MoE, 1999, p.11). However, before teaching about sustainability, it is necessary for teachers to clarify its meaning so that sustainability can form a basis for planning, teaching and assessment. Sustainability is commonly understood to be made up of three components: environmental, social, and economic; and when studying an environmental issue, all three need to be considered if possible. Consequently, when planning, teachers need to organise these components within the issue being studied while bear in the mind the age group of the students.

Water quality unit I taught a unit of work to a Year 7 class using the issue of water quality in a local waterway that was underpinned by the concept of sustainability for my master’s thesis (Birdsall, 2005). Since the waterway was used by students in their outdoor education programme and there had been conflicting media reports of its quality, we decided to investigate. The unit was integrated across many learning areas with activities both inside and outside the classroom. This study was a relevant way of learning about the ecology of waterways and how scientists collect and interpret evidence to determine the health of a waterway. Students visited the waterway twice: once to observe the catchment area and observe the many different birds that lived there. On the second occasion, they carried out water quality tests, testing the water clarity, temperature, pH, nitrate level, along with a count of the types of macroinvertebrates. For most of the students, catching and identifying the

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macroinvertebrates was the highlight of the entire study. This study was also an opportunity for students to develop literacy skills through researching the history of the waterway, writing reports for the local council and a national waterways organisation, a submission to the local council and presentations to their peers and Board of Trustees. The students also learnt how to use the computer program Excel to record the results of their observations of the macroinvertebrates, and then create graphs from which to draw conclusions. I chose to focus on two of the components: environmental and social sustainability. These two components were contextualised in terms of the waterway and taught as: 1. Environmental ideas – making careful decisions about the waterway that maintain or improve its quality, together with ecological understandings about the waterway such as biodiversity and interdependence. 2. Social ideas – decisions made about the waterway in the past affect the present and future, and decisions made about the waterway in the present will affect the future of the students’ children. The idea that decisions made today should not limit the choices of future generations was also included. Throughout the study I taught about the concept of sustainability using these two ideas, weaving it through my teaching when appropriate, mostly through class and group discussions. Students were often required to justify their ideas and decisions in terms of this concept. In relation to science learning, besides developing knowledge about water quality testing and indicators of a healthy waterway, the students also learnt about the plants and animals that lived in and around the lake, effects of poor quality water on the plants and animals and simple feeding relationships. An important aspect of teaching science in this way is enabling students to think of possible futures, and then decide on actions that will bring about such a future. Envisaging futures can be hard for primary students. However, by researching the history of the waterway, they were able to develop an understanding of how past decisions had affected the way that people used the waterway today. Once they had come to terms with the idea that they could some day have children of their own, the students were able to think about what type of future waterways they would like for their children. These students decided to take some actions based on their visions for the waterway in the future and based on their scientific knowledge about the health of the waterway. These actions included: planning of a clean-up of the riparian strip next to the waterway; creating a presentation about their findings which was made to their peers and to the Board of Trustees; writing reports about the health of the waterway that were sent to the local council, two local newspapers and a national waterways organisation; and writing a submission to the local council about the management of the reserves surrounding the waterway. In their presentation, reports and submission, the students were able to use their scientific knowledge to justify their actions and express an understanding of sustainability. For example, when justifying her decision to have a clean-up day and also recommend that the council put in more rubbish bins in the reserves around the waterway, this student wrote: It [the waterway] would be more sustainable … because New Zealand Association of Science Educators

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Figure 1: Overview of Learning Areas Used in Waterways Study.

if it was filled with rubbish, then the water would get polluted and the animals in the water wouldn’t have clean water … [need clean water] so the fish can breathe otherwise they get clogged up gills and the plants can’t get light through the water so they can’t make their own food. When making the submission to the local council, another student decided a sustainable decision would be that the reserves around the waterway be pest-controlled sanctuaries in order to give native plants and animals an opportunity to flourish. This student also demonstrated an understanding of the social component of sustainability when she wrote: The idea of controlling pests going near the waterway is a good idea because cats love to catch birds and dogs might chase the birds away but the problem is that people that live close to the waterway would have to move to another place to live or give away their pets. Finally, the students gained an understanding of the role of evidence to substantiate scientific ideas. For example, some of their testing gave different results, allowing for a discussion of how scientists manage this occurring. One student wrote about this problem in their evaluation of their learning, showing their understanding of how scientists manage this situation: If I were to change the study, I would go down to the waterway a few more times and test the water in a few different places instead of just going to one.

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Teaching science using issues Teaching science through an issue seemed to result in the students developing an understanding of the ecology of a waterway and the ways in which scientists construct knowledge by gathering evidence. Their awareness of sustainability was also enhanced because at the end of the study, all but one student could discuss sustainability of the waterway in terms of either an environmental or social idea. The range of actions taken by students demonstrated that they were able to apply their scientific understandings in order to make a difference. The students also seemed to develop feelings of concern for the waterway and consequently, might take further actions in the future. To me, this study’s outcomes encapsulate what we as science teachers should aim for: students who are empowered to use their scientific understandings to make decisions that will enhance people’s future. For further information contact: s.birdsall@auckland.ac.nz

References Birdsall, S. (2005). Lakes, light-bulbs and linkages: Learning sustainability, sustaining the learning. Unpublished master’s thesis, The University of Auckland. Crooks, T., Smith, J., & Flockton, L. (2008). Science assessment results 2007. National education monitoring report 44. New Zealand: Ministry of Education. Hodson, D. (2011). Looking to the future: Building a curriculum for social activism. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. Ministry of Education (1999). Guidelines for environmental education in New Zealand schools. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media. Ministry of Education (2007). The New Zealand curriculum. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.


In 2011, the NZASE’s Primary subcommittee launched the first National Primary Science Week1 (May 7th – 11th, 2012) in an attempt to support teachers and schools bringing more science into the classroom, writes Steve Sexton. This event is now an annual event taking place in Week 3 of Term 2. This year schools, students, teachers, parents and communities from around New Zealand were given the opportunity to participate in activities and professional development workshops covering a wide range of contexts, such as: Wellington’s Science @ Te Papa; Astronomy Evening at Hamilton Observatory; Dinosaurs and Disasters at the National Aquarium in Hawke’s Bay; The Butterfly Encounter at the Otago Museum; Smart Living: Energy and waste workshop by Nelson Environment Centre; Navigating Science with the Naval Museum in Devonport, Auckland; and Christchurch’s Matariki workshop run by Science Alive. These were in addition to a series of daily activities and experiments that students and teachers could do during the week in both the classroom and staffroom, such as: Magical Mixtures (making mixtures that turn hot and cold); Tie Dyed Milk; and Squishy Eggs (change a hard shelled egg into a rubbery egg). 1

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As part of National Primary Science Week, schools and students were offered the chance to enter into a photo competition explaining what they did in science. For this competition, students were to write up their responses for what science is being done and who is doing the science. It was stipulated that all writing should be in the students’ own voice. These entries demonstrate the vast array of quality and effective science that is currently taking place in schools around New Zealand, as highlighted in the recent Education Review Office’s 2012 Report. The Education Review Office (ERO) highlighted the characteristics that were evident in the classrooms in which effective education through science was taking place. As these three schools have demonstrated, their students’ write-up would seem to indicate that they are achieving all four characteristics of student engagement, specifically students in these classes: like doing science; are motivated by their classroom science activities; think they are learning well in science; and are enthusiastic about doing more science (see, ERO report 2012, p.25). Similarly, these three teachers provide examples of teacher characteristics ERO identified as good practice indicators (Education Review Office, 2010), specifically: Engaging practical activities that allowed students to investigate their own ideas as well as those of others –

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these activities were collaborative, relevant, and drew on local context as well as interests of students (see, ERO report 2010, page 2). National Primary Science Week may be an initiative of the New Zealand Association of Primary Science Educators (NZAPSE) but it is driven by the classroom teachers throughout the country. These three teachers and their students are just some of the many teachers in New Zealand who are bringing engaging and effective education through a science context into the classroom and deserve to be celebrated. While Pillans Point School in Tauranga received a donated set of resource books by Cambridge for being the overall best entry, they were not alone in exposing students to science. Three teachers share their experiences below. The following reports have been written by students, and present some of the activities their students engaged in during National Primary Science Week.

1. Three curriculum strands studied during science week Teacher: Sarah Parker (Room 2), Pillans Point School, Tauranga My plan for the Science Week was to look at three of the four strands within the Science curriculum: Planet Earth and Beyond, Physical World and Material World. In Term One, we had studied our local estuary and life forms within that environment. Monday – Thursday would involve looking at one particular strand, with the Physical World getting two days. This left Friday for students to have a ‘discovery day’, where they brought in materials and ideas from home and planned and undertook their own activities. I felt that under the umbrella of National Primary Science Week this plan was very do-able. My class of 30 was broken in to random mixed groups of three. Each group had a materials’ list that they shared between them prior to the week’s start. Working under my school’s Concept Curriculum of Citizenship – people have basic rights as citizens of their communities, and our choices and actions affect others – meant that my assessment focus was on how my students worked together within groups, as opposed to assessing just the science. Each group was given a camera and while there was an expectation of recording portions of their science activities, in written or diagram form, the writing/recording was not the focus, engaging in and enjoying science was. In saying that, we set up a Science Week wall where photos, write-ups, copies of students’ diagrams and conclusions were added daily.

Activities that my students took part in during science week were: Planet Earth and Beyond – make a cloud, make a compass, dry ice/hot water vs. wet ice; Physical World – gravity, slopes and rollers, balloon moving on string, making a boat that would float and move without power; and Material World – bubbling explosion, hokey pokey. Plus I had cotton reel cars, yo-yos and button on string activities available for students who didn’t come prepared on Friday. As a result of the enthusiasm my class has shown towards science, it continues to have a weekly focus, Thursday afternoons have generally become our science time – timetable permitting. We have a ‘Further Questions to Explore’ poster on the white board which I will use to plan scientific activities for next term. Kinetic Energy: The experiment we did yesterday was exploring force and kinetic energy. To make the track for the balloon we taped some string to two chairs and threaded two straws about 3cm long onto the string, blew up the balloon and taped that to the two straws. When you let it go it went zooming along the string. We improved the movement of the balloon by tightening the string at both ends, or we changed the position of the balloon. We also altered the track, instead of taping the string to two chairs we held the string on a diagonal angle and the balloon flew off the string and flew outside. I think that it is a great experiment to try and explore more ways to make the balloon move further and faster! (Nika, age 11).

2. Chromatography Teacher: Elrika Keyser, Rhode Street School, Hamilton Chromatography: Mr Kerr put some water in there and Mr Kerr showed us how to do it. He gave us some strips of cut up serviettes. He said: “Grab a colour and put a dot on it!” We went around the table and stuck it in the water. Then we went back again to the mat. And then we looked at the strips and it changed colour and it was beautiful. And we saw the colours came into the water. And they were running on the paper. There were green, orange, blue and it was around the edge. We dried them out and we put them on the table. (Chikoia Martin and Ana Sherry, both age 6 and in Y2, Room 7, Rhode Street School, Hamilton). 3. Milk experiment Teacher: Jessica Francis, Saint Kentigern School For Girls - Corran, Auckland Our school is a small school (Y1 – 8) which is able to offer a specialist science teacher. There is weekly timetabled time for Years 5 and 6 (one hour) and for Years 7 and 8 (3 hours). During these sessions the aim is to cover the main strands of the curriculum on a term basis revolving the themes on

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the time that our talk from the ‘worm farm man’ happened and we have established our new worm farms as we gently introduce aspects of sustainability within our school. The Milk Experiment: At school the juniors have been doing some science at school. The experiment with milk has been a hit with about 20 kids coming in to do the experiment. Mrs Francis first explained what was going to happen and showed it to us so that we could see the experiment before we went off in groups to do it. Equipment: pipette, dish; Ingredients: milk, food colouring, dish washing liquid. Method: In a dish pour some milk in. Using a pipette get some different coloured drops of food colouring, and place them on the milk. Finally squeeze some dish washing liquid in the middle of the dish, and all around the sides, just using a little bit. Then watch the colours move. We were having fun watching the colours move and putting in more colours. Everyone was amazed at how the colours moved and the cool patterns that they came up with. It was a great way to get the juniors into science so that when they grow up they can get really into science. At the end a couple of the seniors came in to watch and cheer on the little ones. Everyone at school loved Science Week. (Chelsea Simmons, Year 7) For further information contact: steven.sexton@otago.ac.nz

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References Education Review Office. (2012). Science in the New Zealand Curriculum: Years 5 to 8. Retrieved from: http://www.ero.govt.nz/National-Reports/Science-in-TheNew-Zealand-Curriculum-Years-5-to-8-May-2012 (17 May 2012). Education Review Office. (2010). Science in years 5 to 8: Capable and competent teaching. Retrieved from http://www.ero.govt.nz/National-Reports/Sciencein-Years-5-to-8-Capable-and-Competent-Teaching-May-2010 (17 May 2012).

a fuel itself. The syngas may be burned directly in internal combustion engines, used to produce methanol and hydrogen, or converted via the FT process into transport fuels (petrol, jet fuel and diesel). Before the syngas is introduced to the FT process, the hydrogen:carbon monoxide ratio is adjusted for optimum FT performance (generally a ratio of 2:1). As the syngas passes through the FT reactor, it comes into contact with a proprietary iron or cobalt catalyst and forms long-chain paraffin hydrocarbons (waxes) ranging from C1 to C100+ along with some oxygenates such as water and alcohols. The waxes and oxygenates are separated by fractionation and the waxes are then processed through conventional refining methods to yield the finishedtransport fuel products. A coal-to-liquids’ plant is very feasible with today's prevailing energy prices. World gasification capacity is projected to grow by more than 70% by 2015. New Zealand has a globally significant coal resource in the form of lignite (low rank, high moisture coal) in Southland. Solid Energy is currently in the assessment phase of a project looking to convert the lignite into high value transport fuels for the domestic market by using the gasification technology. Send questions to: questions@ask-a-scientist.net.

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ask-a-scientist createdbyDr.JohnCampbell Transport fuels from coal? Keith Holmes, Dunedin. Is it true that during the Second World War Germany and South Africa made transport fuels from coal? What is the process and is it feasible today? Greg Visser, a chemical engineer with Solid Energy, responded: The process you refer to is called gasification. It was originally developed in the 1800s to produce town gas for cooking and lighting. With the addition of the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process in the 1930s, it was further refined for the production of synthetic fuels. The process was later perfected by Germany during World War II and more than 90% of Germany's aviation fuel, and half its total petroleum during the War had come from coal. At its peak in early 1944, the German synfuels’ effort produced more than 124,000 barrels per day from 25 plants. Later, South Africa commercialised the process and now have the world's largest coal-to-transport fuel plants producing close to 180,000 barrels per day. Gasification is a process that converts coal into carbon monoxide and hydrogen by reacting the coal at high temperatures and pressures with a controlled amount of oxygen and water (in the form of steam). The resulting gas mixture is called synthesis gas or syngas and can be used as

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a two-year cycle to avoid repetition, visit new themes and retain interest in the middle school (Years 5 and 6). The current Years 7 and 8 programmes are a bit more progressive and cover more challenging work and they are taller and more accurate at this age and can be involved with more complex practical work. Interwoven in the programme, it is aimed to constantly revisit main scientific themes such as safety, fair testing, challenging ideas, skill in practical, measurement and integrating IT to increase their skills in processing and also make it more entertaining. In the younger years we offer science within the classroom programme. Themes are also taught on a term basis, some on a more minor scale depending on the demands of the timetable or events happening during the school year. Our girls enjoy science. We use the Primary Science Week as an extra time for fun with science. As is evident from the article below written by Chelsea Simmons (Y7), Science Week allows our younger students to have a turn at doing more ‘messy’ practical science with the older girls who have structured timetabled time in the laboratory with a science specialist (myself ). We encourage our older girls to act as ‘big sisters’ to the younger students. This week is an opportunity to do as much practical as possible and is more about experience and wonder rather than direct teaching. This year I offered the ‘milk experiment’, a junk music session (making instruments out of bits of rubbish and classics like test tube xylophones), a colouring session on the sea (using resources that we hadn’t got around to using during Sea Week) as voluntary lunchtime activities. I also introduced the Science Week during the assembly at the beginning of the week with a Powerpoint of what was on during the week. It happened that during this week, it was

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chemistry competitions International Chemistry Olympiad 2012 At the 44th International Chemistry Olympiad in Washington D.C. in July, the New Zealand team won a silver medal and three bronze medals, writes Suzanne Boniface. Andy Chen from Macleans College won the silver medal which was a step up from the bronze medal he won in the 2011 competition in Turkey. The three bronze medallists were Matthew Lie (Westlake Boys’ High School), Robert Shin (Macleans College) and Frank Yuen (Auckland Grammar School). In preparation, the students completed a training programme involving a series of weekend tutorials during Term 2, as well as spending time at The University of Auckland chemistry department doing additional training in practical work. The practical sessions, organised by lab manager Katrina Graaf, were clearly very valuable as all of the students scored highly in their practical work. Sincere thanks to Katrina and all of those involved in the tutorials. As well as tackling two five-hour exams, the students had time to enjoy Washington D.C. and, apart from the medals, stressed how amazing it was to meet and make friends with other chemistry students from over 70 countries around the world. Certainly they can now boast a much bigger number of Facebook friends. Accompanying the NZ Olympiad team were their two mentors: Dr Sheila Woodgate from The University of Auckland and Dr Jan Giffney from St Cuthbert’s College. At the competition the mentors became part of the international jury and were required to debate both the exams and the way they are marked. As always, the debates

NZIC national chemistry quiz As part of the 2011 International Year of Chemistry activities, the NZ Institute of Chemistry organised a National Chemistry Quiz for high school students. Regional competitions were run by local branches of NZIC and the winning teams competed at the national event. Building from the success of the 2011 competition, a second competition was held at Massey University in July this year. Five teams competed: Auckland Grammar School (Auckland), St Paul’s Collegiate School (Waikato region), Palmerston North Boys’ High School (Manawatu/Hawke’s Bay/Taranaki regions), Wellington College (Wellington region), and Christ’s College (Canterbury region). The teams spent the first day visiting laboratories on the Massey University campus and developed their own chemistry demonstrations under the guidance of the postgraduate students from the Institute of Fundamental Sciences. The quiz took place in the evening with Massey University’s Vice-Chancellor, Steve Maharey welcoming the students and Trevor Kitson installed as the quizmaster. Through the early rounds of the quiz, where the questions tested general chemistry knowledge, the teams were evenly matched. However, by the 7th and 8th rounds Palmerston North Boys’ High School were clear leaders with St Paul’s Collegiate second and Christ’s College winning the tussle for third place by the end of the last round. On the second morning the teams presented their chemistry demonstrations to each other and the 44

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Back row (L to R): Dr Jan Giffney, Frank Yuen, Matthew Lie, Dr Sheila Woodgate. Front row: Andy Chen, Robert Shin became very heated, such is the very competitive nature of the competition and the very real importance of winning medals. The NZ team is sponsored by ABA Books, Douglas Pharmaceuticals, NZ Institute of Chemistry, The University of Auckland. In 2013 the 45th International Chemistry Olympiad will be held in Moscow. The NZ Chemistry Olympiad Trust will begin the selection process with a test at the beginning of November to determine those who will be selected for the training group. For further information go to: http://www. chem.canterbury.ac.nz/Olympiad/. programme concluded with a tour of New Zealand Pharmaceuticals based just outside Palmerston North at Linton. Agilent Technologies once again generously provided the prizes for this event, and the Institute of Fundamental Sciences and the College of Sciences at Massey University and MacDiarmid Institute provided financial support.

Henry Yuen (Auckland Grammar School), Rhys Judd (Palmerston North Boys’ High School), David Clay (Christ’s College), Charlotte Dumble (St Paul’s Collegiate), and Anthony Wang (Wellington College) at the National Secondary School Chemistry Quiz held at Massey University, Palmerston North.


Science education researchers have identified key aspects of NoS that should be incorporated into science learning in school programmes, writes Kate Rice. Students should understand that scientific knowledge is seen as “tentative, empirically based, subjective, partly the product of human inference, imagination and creativity, socially and culturally embedded, involving a combination of distinct observations and inferences, and also describing both the functions of and the relationship between scientific laws and theories” (Abd-El-Khalick, Bell & Lederman, 1998, p.418). Thus, teaching and learning programmes need to provide experiences that develop the critical, creative, empirically-based perspectives on scientific knowledge and knowledge construction in biology concepts.

Practical experiences Students should be provided with a range of practical experiences that develop a clear understanding of both the myth of the universally accepted scientific method, and the nature and assumptions that underlie the development of scientific theories they encounter in biology. This must be combined with an understanding of the relationships between scientific concepts of hypotheses, theories and laws, and perceived realities, as well as the tentative nature of scientific reasoning evident in biology concepts. Exploring concepts in ecology can allow debate on the creative nature of explanations developed by scientists to explain some observations of New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna. On field trips in native forests, students can be introduced to the divaricating morphology of shrubs from unrelated genus and species. A follow-up discussion can be introduced based on the suggestion that the predominance of divaricating habit among NZ shrubs from unrelated plant species was a morphological adaptation that provided protection for their fruits to mature, preventing grazing by large herbivorous birds that fossil evidence indicates coexisted with such plants in the NZ environment.

Looking for patterns Many investigations carried out in biology are not fair tests, but pattern seeking. In biology, investigations deal with living organisms and their systems, and these do not allow for easy manipulation and/or control of factors. An example is investigation using potato chips in different concentrations of sucrose. Each chip can be cut to roughly similar dimensions, but water, starch and sucrose content of each could differ across the chips dependent on cultivar, storage conditions, age of potato etc. For senior students, the investigation to consider the effect of sucrose on the potato chips needs to be structured so they consider any natural variation of the potatoes, possible sample size, observations they might make, and how these link to possible causes as they develop their investigation. When they suggest a pattern from their results, they also need to understand that they have been modelling a system. The teaching relating to investigations needs to be explicit so that students understand that there is more than one way to investigate. Creating and solving a punnet square is a valid form of investigation where findings are linked to scientific theories through modelling. In a similar way, classification is a technique used by not just scientists, but also in students’ daily lives to help them make sense of observations. In classifying, a range of objects are arranged into manageable

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groups because we have recognised particular features or processes that distinguish between the organisms or their systems. The recognition that this classification is “subjective, partly the product of human inference, imagination and creativity” may be a novel approach to introduce in Years 11 and 12 Biology. However, it is vital for students to engage with classification and identification of features of organisms in this way so that they understand the tentative nature of scientific knowledge, and can understand why as more information is gleaned through improved techniques, these systems and classifications may change.

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Making observations When exploring life processes in Years 11 and 12, the focus should be on students making a series of careful observations, possibly over a period of time. To be effective, students need to make decisions about what to look for, the details to record, and how to record their observations, how many to make and how often. The teacher’s role is to build student capability to make effective observations, guiding them to build in-depth information on a carefully defined exploration. Such exploration requires modelling and scaffolding by the teacher through effective questions that identify aspects for students to ‘notice’. A possible situation for exploration could be the reproductive process of a grass, or support and movement of an arthropod. Exploration of natural phenomena through careful observation is another type of investigation. The findings should be related to scientific theories, or models, that students have already begun to understand.

Using models Biology makes use of models to help explain systems operating in the living world. Such models are based on creativity and inference. To be effectively used in teaching, students need to be engaged with both the model and the theoretical concepts the model is seeking to represent. Opportunities must be provided for students to question and discuss both the model and the theory, and use the model to provide responses to problems or examples relating to the theoretical concept. For example, a bell jar and balloons’ model to represent the inspiration of mammals clarifies the role of the diaphragm, but discussion is needed to identify the role of the intercostal muscles in the process. Such a model also does not clarify the gas exchange process, and is modelling only part of the whole respiration system. This may be useful, but must be linked with modelling and discussion of gas exchange at the surface of alveoli in the lungs and the processes involved in cellular respiration. An alternative approach to using models is to challenge students to produce their own model of a system they are familiar with to share their understanding of the system with their peers.

In summary Introducing and emphasising the range of different approaches to investigation that can be used to extend students’ knowledge in biology will help develop their understanding of the relationship between investigations and scientific theories and models. Watch out for: BEANZ Level 3 regional workshops during Term 3 or 4. For information contact: kate.rice@otago.ac.nz Ref: Abd-El-Khalick, F., Bell, R.L., & Lederman, N.G. (1998). The nature of science and instructional practice: Making the unnatural natural. Science Education, 82(4), 417-436.

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ask-a-scientistcreatedbyDr.JohnCampbell How do mother Emperor Penguins know if their chick is a boy or a girl? Isabelle Robertson and Madison Thomson, East Taieri School. Kerry Barton, a penguin expert with Landcare Research, Nelson, responded: I don’t think anyone knows for sure (it hasn’t been tested scientifically) how a mother Emperor Penguin knows if her chick is a boy or a girl. Most animals use visual (size, shape, colour), smell, and calls to identify and sex other animals. In penguins where they all look the same I don’t think that a mother penguin would be able to tell if a chick was a boy or girl by looking at it. We know smell is important for identifying the sex of mammals, and some seabirds may find food by smell, but there is no work that shows that smell is used by penguin parents to identify the sex of their chicks. We do know that penguins can identify their mates/ parents/chicks by their call. Each bird has a unique call (known as a display call); a mother penguin can pick her own chick’s call out of a crèche (a huddle) of chicks, some of these crèches can contain hundreds of chicks. She can also recognise her mate in the same way. Calls have a really important role in building a strong bond between parents and chicks, and this starts at the egg stage. Remember a penguin can hear its chick pepping even when it’s in the egg. We think that a call tells a listening bird more than just its identity. For example, Adelie females are more likely to choose mates with deep calls. A deep call means a male is in good condition and therefore likely to be a better father – their call proves that they are well feed and therefore

good at catching fish and krill which means their future chicks will get more food. So it is also likely that a chick call will provide a mother penguin with information on their condition (e.g. if they are hungry) and may be also if they are a boy or a girl. Most penguin species have nests. When a mother penguin returns from sea she will go straight to her nest and vocalise, reconnecting with her mate and chick. If her chick is old enough it will not be at the nest but in a nearby crèche but still the mother’s call will be heard by her chick. The chick will call back and then rush to the nest for food. Emperor Penguins don’t have a nest site; father penguins and their chicks huddle with other birds to stay warm and move around on the sea ice. There is no one spot (like the nest of other penguin species) that a mother penguin can return to, to find her mate and chick. When she returns to the colony from the sea she has to find her mate and chick by calling to them and listening for their response as she moves through the colony. And all this happens in a noisy colony where thousands of other birds may also be calling and under extreme Antarctic conditions. Emperor Penguins are probably only able to hear and identify their mates in this environment (no landmarks to navigate by, lots of noise, thousands of birds all looking the same) because, unlike us, they are able to produce two voices (harmonically related sounds) at the same time (like a two-person choir) from their syrinx, the avian vocal organ. This means they are able to convey a lot of information in their calls, and their calls travel further so they increase their chance of finding mates and chicks.

Is there a scientific explanation for water divining? John Kennedy, Gore. Vicki Hyde, an astronomer and member of the New Zealand Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal Inc (NZ Skeptics: www.skeptics.org.nz), responded: The short answer is no scientific explanation is needed because water divining has never been shown to work under any sort of controlled conditions. Water diviners, or dowsers, typically use a forked stick or rod in attempting to locate underground water. When above water, the rod points downward. Some use crossed rods, coat hangers or pendulums, and some dowsers look for gold or oil or buried treasure. Why does the rod react? Dowsers have provided many explanations, from psychic ones to the geophysical. But the real explanation is psychological. The rod moves due to involuntary and unconscious motor behaviour on the part of the dowser (assuming the dowser is a sincere one, rather than a con artist out to make easy money off droughtdesperate farmers). This ``ideomotor action'' was explained over 150 years ago, and occurs in many phenomena attributed to spiritual

or paranormal forces. As psychologist Ray Hyman put it,“honest, intelligent people can unconsciously engage in muscular activity that is consistent with their expectations.” The scientific question is: can dowsers reliably tell when water is below their rods? In 1980, Australian entrepreneur Dick Smith and the Australian Skeptics tested this with a classic double-blind scientific study developed in conjunction with dowsers, and offering a $40,000 prize. Eight dowsers tried to detect the presence of water, and ten dowsed for metal. (An A$22,000 gold ingot was loaned by a local bank for the gold dowsers!) The experimental design, agreed on by all, was such that sheer chance would produce a success rate of 10%. The water dowsers expected an 86% success rate. The gold people were even more confident, predicting a 99% success rate. But in 111 tries at dowsing, only 15 "struck it lucky". That is an overall success rate of 13.5%. Such a poor showing is well within the expected range, indicating that any success was more a matter of guesswork than paranormal powers. The only studies which claim significant results are, significantly, ones run by dowsing enthusiasts. For more information see: www.skepdic.com/dowsing and: www.skeptics.com.au/journal/divining

Why is muscle heavier that Fat? Karl Bloxham, King’s High School Peter Hurst, of the Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology at the University of Otago, responded: Fat is made up mainly of millions of large cells that contain fat molecules. These cells and molecules have a density (mass per unit volume) that is about 0.92 in humans and 0.95 in sheep. These figures are less than the standard figure of 1 for water, and so fat will float to the surface of water.

Muscle is also made up of millions of large cells, but by contrast here the main molecules are large proteins packed into the cells in such a way that means the cells can contract. These proteins have a density in the range of 1.20 to 1.53 and so they are heavier than water and fat and sink in water. A piece of fat would therefore weigh less than the same sized piece of muscle. Send questions to: questions@ask-a-scientist.net.

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science fairs and NoS Five years ago, St Bernard’s College (Lower Hutt) held their first Junior School Science Fair (Years 7 to 10). The judging did not take long. There were about 50 exhibits featuring grubby model volcanos, dense printouts of Wikipedia articles and wardrobes of burnt cloth (setting fire to stuff remains a great favourite). Only half a dozen projects stood out from the prevailing disinterest. Most students had chosen not to participate; most staff had been reluctant to undertake the ‘extra’ work. Five years later, there are more than 200 exhibits. That means every student is involved. The school has gathered sufficient recyclable 2 and 3 panel display boards so the packed display area is neat and efficient. A system of plentiful awards and simple prizes has been worked out. The staff and the students know and accept as routine that at a certain time of the year, Science Fair work will be what they are doing. And they are doing it so much better. This year I noticed that data gathering and data presentation are the order of the day, with conclusions, references and thanks to the staff, friends and family who helped. Here are some examples of projects in this year’s fair: (1) There were a lot of agar fuelled bacterial colonies as students searched their surroundings for highs

and lows in germ counts. The spark of difference was provided by the student who tested his dog’s teeth scrapings and was surprised with the resulting high bacteria count. (2) Flight characteristics of (folded) paper planes are favourite investigations for students who leave their effort until the last minute. Lack of consistency in launch effort has meant that this topic has always been marked down, but at last one student taped a thin wire hook to the nose enabling repeatable results (and demonstrating the understanding that is the aim of the whole exercise). (3) Another simple investigation was popular and should join the list of all schools’“Do this for homework”. Measure the bounce height of a ball, with the ball at room temperature, at a cold/freezer temperature, and at a specified hot water temperature. The reports on this investigation indicated interest, enjoyment, and students gain an understanding of kinetic theory. Establishing a tradition of science fairs seems, in this one case, to me (a science fair judge), to have been well worth the effort. Persistence has paid off and all the hard to judge skills, attitudes and values required in the Nature of Science strand can now be evaluated. And the classes have enjoyed themselves. For further information please contact: dhousden@xtra.co.nz

Clean Energy, Climate and Carbon Author: Peter J. Cook Publisher: CSIRO Publishing (2012) ISBN: 9780643094857, RRP: $AU39.95 Reviewer: Rex Bartholomew, Senior Lecturer Science Education, Victoria University of Wellington. At a time when the controversy around global climate change is increasingly polarised, many schools are using it as both a topic in its own right and a context for learning about the nature of science. If this is done through student projects one issue of concern to me is the plethora of websites and publications purporting to be authorities in the field, yet presenting few credentials and little credible evidence to back their statements. Professor Peter Cook, currently at the University of Melbourne, is a leading authority in the fields of greenhouse gases and energy having a distinguished record of research publication, for example as co-ordinating lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special volume on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage. The book opens with the issues of science surrounding global warming and consequent climate change. Professor

Cook considers the contribution of both natural and anthropogenic changes to atmospheric composition, concluding that atmospheric greenhouse gases are indeed contributing significantly to climate change. The majority of the book focuses on the issues of carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels. Chapters are provided on technological options for reducing emissions related to energy production, how carbon dioxide can be captured, transported and stored, and the assessment of associated risks for example with carbon sequestering. Cook concludes with consideration of costs and politics involved in “clean energy”. All issues are succinctly stated together with evidence from reputable sources presented clearly and in language accessible to most students from senior primary onward. The graphs and illustrations alone are an excellent source of information for learners looking at global changes in climate, and they plainly explain technologies associated with carbon-based energy production and carbon dioxide capture and storage. Of particular relevance to the nature of science are the appendices: a glossary of acronyms, a comprehensive list of articles for further reading, and most importantly explicit reference to all data sources. I thoroughly recommend the book to all teachers contemplating delivering units or lessons on these topics. New Zealand Association of Science Educators

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Science fairs provide a mechanism to meet all of the objectives of the Nature of Science (NoS) strand in the curriculum, writes Paul King.

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workplace change for science technicians School science technicians are involved with a variety of changes which are taking place in their work and workplace, and believe that some further developments are overdue, writes Ian de Stigter. For science technicians, changes have come both from progress in technology and the curriculum, and through different resource needs as science teaching methods and assessment requirements evolve. Changes which have taken place, and drivers for further change, are: Information technology. Schools have received targeted funding for fast broadband and upgraded ICT equipment for e-learning. Increased availability of computers has also made it easier for technicians to communicate and to access information through the Net; and to manage finances, materials and equipment, and teacher orders. Technicians now have better information about materials and equipment available, with increasing options for sourcing the practical equipment which is most useful in this changing environment. Meanwhile, the use of TVs, VCRs, DVDs and OHPs has made way for computers, data projectors and online resources. Curriculum changes. Technicians now need more expertise to assist the management of practical investigations and assessments, since NCEA has produced more assessed practical work, and made the standard of this work more important. They continue on the lookout for interesting equipment, demonstrations and experiments that will command student attention and stimulate learning. Adequacy of lab provision and technician support for teachers. A 2011 survey of major Auckland secondary schools found important differences in the ratio between numbers of laboratories and science classes. While some schools could teach all their science in labs, others could timetable only 60% of classes there. This hinders teaching and stresses teachers. Technician support for teaching is even more variable: differing priorities have given some science teachers only a third of the technician assistance received in other schools. Learning from the UK model for support staff. In the UK education has been re-modelled to reduce teacher workloads and improve the quality of education by replacing teachers with support staff in work which they are qualified to carry out. Under a 2003 collective agreement, UK education has reduced administration by teachers, provided a statutory entitlement to non-contact time, and reduced their relief responsibility for other teachers. Support staff took on additional roles in schools, in administration, student support, management, and teaching. Qualified support staff can be better utilised. A rebalance needs to be achieved by distinguishing the roles which NZ support staff are (or could be) qualified to take, from the key pupil-focused ones, which teachers need to perform (and be affirmed in, and promoted for). NZ

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New Zealand Association of Science Educators

science technicians are under-utilised in their laboratory and field support roles to the extent that many teachers are carrying out core science technician roles. Technicians could also do more of the science administration. School science technicians should receive distance learning PD in chemical hazard management, and many more of them could become Laboratory (Chemical Hazard) Managers. There is also room for them to entirely manage the department laboratories â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it need not be a teacher role. Current studies of teacher resourcing. In March 2012, RSNZ carried out an online survey of primary and secondary teachersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; use of science resources in teaching. This was intended to support three NZCER projects to improve achievement in science education through finding more effective ways of supporting schools to implement the new science curriculum. The projects are: science curriculum; e-learning in science; and science education resources in the community. The survey did not query: adequacy of laboratory provision (numbers and facilities in them); equipment and equipment storage facilities; science budget per student; or relationship between teaching hours and technician time, even though it is well known there are deficiencies. It may then be concluded that the projects which are proceeding are ones which the current government is prepared to finance, rather than all those which will establish what support science teaching requires. From 2007 we have school data for science teaching technician support, but there has been no independent study on government action on deficiencies, such as those UK and Australian education authorities have used to establish science funding priorities. Local issues in science technician employment are similar to those identified in UK and Australia: pay equity, access to basic training and ongoing professional development, low and variable levels of technician support relative to teaching hours, routes for (and steps in) career development. In conclusion, there are ample opportunities for school science technicians to be used more productively, by doing work which they are (or could be) qualified to do, in place of higher-paid teachers. However, their employment context has been so neglected that most of the steps to greater productivity require progress on outstanding issues. It is recognised that little action on overdue changes will be taken until school operations obtain more funding. (It is also regretted that other aspects of the current physical resourcing of science teaching seem unworthy of investigation.) Earlier public campaigns by the support staff union NZEI and the NZ School Trusteesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Association to increase school operational funding were unsuccessful. Obtaining a major change in school operational funding may need a pre-election undertaking by one of the major political parties. For further information contact: Robyn.Eden@qmc.school.nz


c a n t e r b u r y u n i ve r s i t y p re s s

New Zealand Inventory of Biodiversity Boxed Set of 3 volumes $180 Edited by Dennis P. Gordon New Zealand is the first country to have compiled a checklist of its entire living and fossil biota. This trilogy provides a review and inventory of New Zealand’s entire living and fossil biodiversity – an international effort involving 238 New Zealand and overseas specialists and the most comprehensive of its kind in the world. Together, the three volumes list every one of the approximately 56,120 living and 14,700 fossil species of New Zealand’s plants, animal, fungi and micro-organisms. These volumes are affiliated with Species 2000, an international scientific project with the long-term goal of enumerating all described species on Earth into one seamless list – the Catalogue of Life, a kind of online biological telephone directory.

Canterbury University Press Private Bag 4800 Christchurch 8140 mail@cup.canterbury.ac.nz www.cup.canterbury.ac.nz

An essential addition to every school library Please send ________ copy/ies of NZ INVENTORY OF BIODIVERSITY BOXED SET @ $180 (free delivery) Cheque enclosed for $ ________ or charge my credit card Visa MC AMEX Card number

Expiry ___ /___

Name on card ______________________________________________________________ Phone Signature ___________________________________________________________________ Postal address (for courier) ____________________________________________________ Return to: Nationwide Book Distributors, PO Box 65, Oxford 7443, New Zealand Ph 03 3121603 Fax: 03 3121604 Email: andrew@nationwidebooks.co.nz OR BUY NOW from the CUP website: www.cup.canterbury.ac.nz/catalogue/NZ_Inventory_boxed_set.shtml


Affiliated Groups Primary Science (NZAPSE) Biology (BEANZ) Physics (NZIP) Chemistry (NZIC)

Please email nzase@xtra.co.nz to confirm we hold the correct email address for your school on our database.

Earth and Space Science (ESSE) Science Technicians (STANZ)

New Zealand Science Teacher Journal Features a cornucopia of information on everything you wanted to know about science and science education but never thought to ask!

NZASE L1 Tasks New and Updated Assessment tasks are

available for NZASE members at $30 each. Please email Kate at nzase@xtra.co.nz for details

Certificate in Science Level 1 and 2 available

Animal Ethics The NZASE gives educators legal, ethical and practical information on the use of small animals for research and teaching in early childhood education centres and schools

Website: www.nzase.org.nz Email Address: nzase@xtra.co.nz PO Box 37-342, Christchurch, Halswell, 8245

NZASE 131  

NZASE 131

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