New resource to help students understand scientific thinking
3rd October 2016
New teaching resource set to help students understand scientific thinking
soilfoodsociety.online launches this week
A new ‘easy to teach’ science resource centred around the ‘story of where our food comes from’ – and the importance of New Zealand’s primary sector - is being launched by Soil, Food and Society to help educators teach primary and intermediate students how to think scientifically.
Free to use, the online teaching tool explores three interconnected areas – plants are earth’s engine; our food garden; and the chain in my lunchbox. It offers teachers lesson plans that are straightforward and easy to follow. Integrated with the NZ Curriculum, the teaching resourcing is tailored to suit Years 5-6, 6-7 and 7-8.
For students, it provides independent learning opportunities that will engage learners in scientific investigations and help them present their findings in a scientific way.
Importantly, the resource promotes discussion and understanding around the critical role that science and the primary industries play in our society.
Furthermore, the tool encourages students away from their devices and out into the fresh air to conduct their experiments.
The Soil, Food and Society resource will be available to trial from this week - with a view to educators using the tool in the classroom from Term 1 of 2017.
Anders Crofoot, project spokesman, Vice-President of Federated Farmers and Chairman of the Fertiliser Quality Council, says the resource’s exploration of the soil system and of plant life as the source of our food takes science learning right back to basics.
“It’s easy to skip over the fact that soil is where food production, agriculture, horticulture and indeed, society, begins. Learning about the soil, its nutrients and how we replace them to help make plants grow is essential to our young students understanding the whole food chain concept. This resource also recognises the importance of New Zealand’s primary industries.”
He adds: “Teaching science and science-based thinking to primary students also equips them early on with the useful skills of how to present facts and critical thinking.”
The first version of the resource will be launched at the Core Education exhibition stand at New Zealand’s largest educational symposium, the ULearn Conference, on Thursday 6th October 2016 in Rotorua. Users of the tool are invited to submit feedback, which will be used to develop a second and final version – due for launch in October 2017.
The resource can be accessed at www.soilfoodsociety.online
This project is funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Farming Fund, The Fertiliser Quality Council, DairyNZ, Federated Farmers, Horticulture NZ, Core Education, House of Science, Ravensdown, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Irrigation New Zealand and NZ Young Farmers.
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Twitter handle - @soilfoodsociety.