The team at Nanogirl Labs have joined forces with the Ministry of Education and TVNZ’s Home Learning TV channel to this week launch six, 30 minute STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) lessons aimed at Year 4 – 8 students (curriculum levels 3-4), to be hosted by Nanotechnologist and science educator Dr Michelle Dickinson (best known to Kiwi kids as the character Nanogirl).
In Breaking It Down, Dr Dickinson will be presenting STEM lessons which will involve experiments and activities that will be fun, interactive, and educational. Developed in line with the New Zealand national curriculum and following extensive consultation with teachers, each episode explores a different topic: Light, The human brain, Plastics, Materials, Energy and electricity, Sound
Each episode will involve fun hands-on experiments that can be done at home to keep the practical side of lessons alive even if students aren’t physically back at school. She will also interview a real scientist or engineer in the field about what they do for a job to help students see New Zealand role models and career pathways.
Each programme is accompanied by a set of notes to help teachers plan lessons in advance and prepare their students for the topics to be covered. Notes include achievement aims, learning outcomes, experiment instructions and ideas for students to explore topics further.
Teachers sign up to participate online, and notes are emailed 24 hours in advance of each episode.
Presenter Michelle Dickinson says, “We have the utmost respect and gratitude for teachers everywhere who have worked so hard over the last few weeks to ensure their students can continue to learn remotely.
“We approached teachers to understand how we could help, and it was clear they wanted curriculum-based learning with a hands-on live experiment component.”
A version of the teacher notes are also available for parents to encourage families to enjoy the STEM learning together.
Michelle concludes, “We wanted to do our bit to help teachers to get students to learn practical skills for the modern world through ingenuity, creativity and problem-solving. The medium of TV will allow us to reach out to a broad spectrum of school children who might not have access to our online learning platform nanogirlslab.com.”
Breaking It Down will air from this coming week, every Tuesday and Thursday on TVNZ’s Home Learning Channel.