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NZQA approves new astronomy unit standards


NZQA approves new astronomy unit standards

The Board of the Carter Observatory, New Zealand's National Observatory, has welcomed today's decision of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to establish 3 new unit standards.

The new standards are for secondary students and will enable them to do a full years course in astronomy.

The standards are The Solar System, The Milky Way, and Space.

Each standard would give a student 4 credits towards NCEA.

All are at level 1 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

Carter Board spokesperson Robert Shaw said the purpose of these standards was to bring students "gently into the world of science and technology".

"These standards are for two groups of students - weaker students who might see science and as a little daunting, and those who already have an interest in astronomy".

"The standards provide a pathway of rewards for average students. In this we are building upon one of the best features of the new qualifications system."

The new standards were developed by a partnership between the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and The Carter Observatory.

Mr Shaw said the cooperation of NZQA was "nothing short of magnificent".

"We were also very pleased to have the ideas and support of a large number of science teachers throughout the country. "

The Carter Observatory will teach the new standards online and they will be available to all secondary school students in New Zealand. Students interested in the new courses can learn more at


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