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


For the Love of Science

For the Love of Science

By Toni Daly, NorthTec Tutor

To date, more than a thousand Northland school students have played at being a crime scene investigator with forensic science and tried their hands at DNA analysis.

At NorthTec we want to encourage this interest in science amongst our young people and create an excitement and enthusiasm for science.

And that is exactly what is happening.

In recent years NorthTec, local Rotary Clubs and some high schools have teamed up to form the ‘Science Extravaganza.’ Larger cities have been able to offer access to the kind of science that often cannot be undertaken in schools, and it seemed that by reason of geography Northland students were missing out.

In 2011 the Whangarei South Rotary Club approached us to run a three-day ‘Science Extravaganza’ for Year 11 students. That year students, tutors and Rotary members alike had a ball – playing with dry ice, blowing things up, kick sampling in the Raumanga stream, and making ice-cream using liquid nitrogen. Comments from students included, ‘Awesome 3 days – I wish I could go back a year and come back’.

Since then, the Rotary Science Extravaganza has gone from strength to strength. Two years ago, Waitemata and Northland DHBs set up science camps with Year 9 and 10 students with a Māori focus. They got the same enthusiastic feedback - ‘Everything was awesome! A life time opportunity’. The Science Extravaganza has now been extended to include a partnership with Year 7-9 students from Tikipunga High School.

To retain those keen students in Northland, NorthTec has launched the National Certificate in Science (Level 4) starting this year. This course will include small friendly classes and a practical focus.

This is the result of a gradual build up in demand for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects from the community, schools, industry and government. Rather than excite students through initiatives like the Science Extravaganza and then watch them leave Northland – we want to keep them here! We can also attract those who went away to university and found that it was not for them. They can return home and continue to study here at NorthTec.

The level 4 certificate will allow students to get a good basic grounding in chemistry, biology, environmental science and tertiary study skills, all in six months. They can then get additional qualifications leading to the National Diploma in Science (Laboratory Technician).

So we now have a local study pathway plus the links with industry to keep students here!

If you’re interested in learning more about NorthTec’s Conservation and Environmental Management programme, including the new science courses, contact us on 0800 162 100 or visit

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

    Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news