Taking a leaf out of scientists’ work
An intermediate school science teacher has taken two terms out of the classroom to work with scientists as part of the Royal Society of New Zealand teacher fellowship programme.
The programme was introduced in 2009 following a report from the National Education Monitoring Project highlighting primary school students’ decreasing interest in science.
Teachers get to work with scientists at organisations such as NIWA Science, Landcare Research and Plant & Food Research.
They then return to their school and work with other teachers to introduce innovative science programmes for pupils.
New Windsor resident Wyn Morris has finished a fivemonth fellowship with Plant & Food Research in Mt Albert.
He has been working alongside scientists investigating the cause and spread of the kiwifruit PSA bacteria.
The Remuera Intermediate teacher has learnt about plant pathology and spent time in the lab growing and analysing bacteria on slides to see how long it survives.
He has also been out in the field at the Te Puke Plant & Food Research Station where he assisted scientists in their research on kiwifruit culti- vation, the possible connection between cicadas and the PSA disease and different insecticide strengths.
Mr Morris applied for the fellowship because he felt ‘‘out of touch with science’’ and wanted to update his skills and get the experience of working in a lab.
He’s excited about the hands-on work he has done and the chance to experience science in the real world.
He says the scientists he worked with ‘‘want to do it because they love science and that’s what really touched me because there’s passion in it’’.
‘‘I think for me, if I’m teaching, I should have the same passion,’’ he says.
Testing times: Wyn Morris has worked with scientists looking at the possible causes of PSA disease in kiwifruit.