Science Kiwis Launches Their Free STEM Resources Website
There has been a growing demand for STEM resources from both teachers and students looking for e-learning STEM material.
The new ScienceKiwis website has STEM experiments and STEM challenges, including student worksheets as well as STEM recipes, Teachers Notes and STEM concept cards available to download for free, no sign up required, making it as easy as possible to access STEM education.
Science Kiwis currently has over 100 STEM experiments on their site with another 400 planned for the site by December 2021.
With the growing popularity of STEM education globally and more schools implementing STEM learning into their curriculum. Science Kiwis wanted to provide a platform so that any school, teacher or student could access quality free STEM resources that have been created by brilliant scientists, extraordinary engineers, marvellous mathematicians, creative coders and ground-breaking industry leaders of technology.
Science Kiwis have partnered with JASON House of Learning, part of, JASON society and JASON society Research to turn their Science Kiwi dream of free resources into reality. They have also supported the in-depth research that Science Kiwis has done focused on teaching Primary School STEM and Student understanding and learning retention. Together they have provided 115 free STEM testing kits to testers around New Zealand which has provided the data for their first two STEM research reports.
The first research report highlighted the need for free access to quality STEM resources that came with no strings or expensive occurring subscription costs. They found that the main reason of schools and teachers not including STEM based inquiry learning was the costs associated with being able to perform the experiments; they found that many STEM resources prices where at a price point that it was impossible for the average New Zealand Primary school to afford for every student; that many of the subscription based options had other ongoing costs on top of the subscriptions; cost of STEM materials, resources, equipment and consumables was a huge drive behind making Science Kiwis a non-profit and their website resources of experiment instructions, recipes, challenges and teachers notes free.
‘We wanted to create a free resource that everyone in New Zealand could access because science is for everyone, it shouldn't matter if you're from the North Shore or South Auckland, if you want to learn, the opportunity needs to be there.’ said founder of Science Kiwis, Amanda Zoe (Director of JASON society Research New Zealand and International NGO Board Member)
Their research also showed that the next most common reason for not including STEM education was due to preconceived ideas of science being to hard and then lacking confidence to try new experiments and challenges. One of the main reasons given for thinking that science was too complicated by educators was the language that was used in communicating Science in publications. Science Kiwis tackled this in their second round of testing through various methods such as handwritten instructions (which had brilliant results in boosting educators confidence as they found it easier to connect with the handwritten instructions over computer text but given the amount of experiments and testers was found to be an unrealistic option for a start-up non-profit) They did go on to succeed in finding other ways of break down the language barrier, with the results of the second series of test kits showing a 32.3% increase in confidence of understanding by the educators testing them.
Science Kiwis have tested their experiments and recipes with a variety of ages through-out the North and South Island. With the youngest ‘KiwiKid Tester’ being 3 and a half years of age and the oldest being 16 years. The target age group Science Kiwis wanted to inspire and focus on where Primary and Intermediate aged children but they also wanted to create something that was simple enough for younger kiwis to do and still interesting enough for older kiwis to get inspired.
Science Kiwis ‘KiwiKid Testers’ showed that Robotics such as the Robot Hand; Explosions such as the Volcano and Erupting Geyser Experiment; Rocket experiments such as the Baking Soda and Vinegar Rocket, the Air Pressure Rocket, Straw Rockets and many more where the rocketing favourite first pick experiment they wanted to do first followed closely by the sweet yummy ones such as the Rock Candy and Sherbet experiments and then the Sand based, such as they hydrophobic sand, moon sand and Kinetic sand recipes as well as the Slime recipes with so many Slime variety's to choose from glitter to fluffy to magnetic
The research also showed that experiments and STEM challenges that where based on real world challenges such as their Oil Spill Experiment had the most engagement and determination to find a solution. The highest retention in knowledge from students where the experiments that where character based such as Slow down Joe in which Joe is falling from an airplane.
Science Kiwis is a Charitable trust being created by a group of Kiwis that have come together through their passion for science and technology to help raise the scientific knowledge and understanding of our Kiwi Kids. They set out to help Kiwi kids reach their potential to be leaders on a global stage, and shape the future of science, as so many brilliant Kiwis have done before.
Science Kiwi’s website address is www.sciencekiwis.org