Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


NZ’s First Textbook on Astronomy and Space

New Zealand’s First Textbook on Astronomy and Space



Click to enlarge

www.pearsoned.co.nz

MEDIA RELEASE

New Zealand’s First Textbook on Astronomy and Space

Pearson Education New Zealand announces the first New Zealand text book on astronomy and space for secondary school students. The book is Astronomy Aotearoa by Porirua City author Robert Shaw.

The Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban formally launched the book on the 17 September 2007.

Minister Laban said “this book will capture the interest and imagination of readers, and hopefully inspire them to continue studying science”.

“More young New Zealanders – and especially more young Māori and Pasifika New Zealanders – need to consider a career in science in order for our country to compete and thrive in the global economy of the 21st Century” said Ms Laban.

Lewis Moeau spoke at the book launch on behalf of the Minister of Maori Affairs.

The book, Astronomy Aotearoa, teaches the new curriculum in astronomy and space exploration to secondary school students. This curriculum is in three unit standards and provides a total of 12 credits at NCEA level 1. Pearson Education New Zealand produced the book in cooperation with the Carter Observatory which was important in establishing the new school curriculum along with science teachers from throughout New Zealand.

The book begins by considering the students’ personal relationship to the stars and the planets. It challenges them to see themselves as insignificant in the vastness of space, yet significant in themselves.

It then considers the role of astronomy in the history of the Pacific Ocean peoples including the Maori. Maori text was contributed by Anaru Reedy of Te Wananga O Aotearoa. Mr Reedy is a student in the ancient Maaori art of wayfinding without instruments, and specialises in the art of sailing contemporary waka ama, and waka hourua.

Mr Reedy said the book introduces students to “an aspect of Maori culture that inspires many of our young people”. There is a section on the voyages of exploration of Asian and Pacific people and the colonisation of Pacific Islands including Aotearoa New Zealand.

The book teaches the history of Western Science. There is emphasis on leading figures such as Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. Scientists appear as people along with an introduction to their theories. In all cases the book seeks to make science accessible to students of all abilities.

The book features the work of many New Zealand photographers including Wellingtonian Paul Moss. Mr Moss said many amateur photographers watch the sky and take unique photographs. “It is wonderful to see their work in print”.

Professional astronomers from Canterbury and Auckland universities feature, along with amateur astronomers who have made an important contribution to astronomy. Professors John Hearnshaw (Canterbury) and Phil Yock (Auckland) are prominent as the book sets out New Zealand’s contribution to science administration and astronomical research.

Of particular importance is the research of those in the MOA project, which detects planets outside of our solar system. New Zealanders have a leading role in this work that is relevant to humankind’s effort to detect intelligent life on other planets.

Pearson Education commissioning editor, Ken Harrop, said his company had a strong presence in mathematics education and Astronomy Aotearoa would strengthen its products in basic science.

“We see these areas of the curriculum as vital for New Zealand students and the economic development of our country”, he said.

Mr Harrop paid tribute to the astronomers and photographers who had supported the project. “There is a vast wealth of material available for such a book, particularly on the internet, and our design experts have been faced with the happy task of selecting the most dramatic and instructive items.”

He acknowledged the work of the author, Robert Shaw. “Robert was a physics teacher with a particular interest in astronomy. He took a leading part in the development of the new curriculum standards. Now he has completed that work by providing an interpretation of those standards that will guide science teachers for many years to come. We are delighted to have him as one of our authors.”

Aotea College principal Julia Davidson said the work would be important in the teaching of science throughout New Zealand. She said it was a “wonderful resource” that addressed a particular need in schools.

Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban also congratulated those involved. She said “I’d like to acknowledge Robert Shaw, and congratulate him on this wonderful book.

“I’d also like to thank Robert for his work in developing those unit standards when he was a manager of the Distance Education Unit and a member of the Carter Observatory Board” she added.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

NZ on Air: More Funding For TV Captions To Increase Access

More funding for TV captions to increase access NZ On Air has increased funding to provide more captions and audio description on television programmes for the hearing and sight impaired. More>>

Music: So Laid Back Country China Album Release

On Friday night, So Laid Back Country China held a gig at Meow for the release of their new album With Knees of Honey in Goodbye Canyon. I briefly spoke with Harriet lead vocals, keyboard) and Michael (lead vocals, guitar) before the gig More>>

Art: Wellington Region Celebrates Matariki

Eight Wellington museums and galleries have joined forces to present a major programme of exhibitions and events to celebrate Matariki 2015, the Māori New Year. The Wellington Matariki Festival will host more than 60 free events and activities between Saturday ... More>>

Wellington: TEDxWellingtonWomen Speakers Unveiled

The lineup is announced today for the highly anticipated upcoming event TEDxWellingtonWomen. Speakers include local women and men who have lived extraordinary lives and have ideas worth spreading. More>>

Culture: RNZB Showcases NZ Artists With Two World Premieres

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s mixed bill Salute - Remembering WW1 which opens on 22 May will showcase the talents of New Zealand artists working at the top of their field. More>>


Books: Witi Ihimaera To Address ‘State Of NZ Literature’at Festival

6 May 2015 MEDIA RELEASE Witi Ihimaera to Address ‘State of NZ Literature’ at Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival The New Zealand Book Council has chosen the 2015 Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival as the stage for its annual address, which ... More>>

Culture: Historic Māori Portraits Travel To The Czech Republic

Image credit: Gottfried Lindauer, Wahanui Reihana Te Huatare, oil on canvas, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr H E Partridge, 1915 More>>

Art: Something Felt, Something Shared - Enjoy

Gabrielle Amodeo, Ruby Joy Eade, Clare McLean, Kalya Ward Curated by Emma Ng May 7 – 30, 2015 Opening: Wednesday May 6, 5.30pm Strange frequencies are channelled through personal narratives and poetic placeholders in Something felt, something ... More>>

Culture: Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015

Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015 Images from New Zealand Defence Force Click for big version A bugler plays The Last Post Click for big version A View from the top of the Carillion Click for big version Faces old and young Click for big ... More>>

Television: MediaWorks Announces Dancing With The Stars Hosts

MediaWorks and BBC Worldwide ANZ are delighted to announce host Dominic Bowden alongside co-host Sharyn Casey for the hit series Dancing with the Stars. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news