Entries invited for science experiments project

science 300x224Entries have opened for the next round of the successful Best 100 Science Experiments competition.

Run by the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology and education sector union NZEI Te Rui Roa, the Best 100 Science Experiments project aims to build up a bank of 100 teacher and student-friendly experiments for the classroom.

Last year’s successful experiments are available to view and download from The Learning Hub at

The 2014 round is now open with primary and early childhood education teachers invited to submit their favourite simple, fun and fail-safe experiments, which use readily available equipment. All successful experiments will go into a prize draw, and five teachers will win an iPad for both themselves and their classroom.

This year, teachers are asked to especially consider how their experiments promote or support the five new “science capabilities” recently introduced to the curriculum. NZEI Te Riu Roa says the competition is part of an exciting new focus on professional development of teachers in this area.

Entries close on Monday, November 17, 2014.

The Science Experiments project is one of two initiatives run by NZEI Te Riu Roa and the MacDiarmid Institute that are designed to tackle the challenges of increasing participation in science at primary schools and early childhood education centres.
The other is the Kōrero with a Scientist project.

The importance of these initiatives is highlighted by a 2012 Ministry of Education study which found that almost 60 percent of teachers feel they don’t have the skills to teach science. NZEI President Judith Nowotarski says: “This partnership with hands-on scientists will equip teachers to effectively teach science.”

The MacDiarmid Institute’s deputy director for stakeholder engagement Professor Alison Downard agrees: “Children need to engage with science as early as possible; the more science the better, for them and society. Presenting science in ways that give students the same sense of excitement and challenge that motivates grown-up scientists is important. That’s the thinking behind the Institute’s involvement with primary and early childhood education.”

For more information and to enter the competition, visit 


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