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Budding Bug Hunters To STEM Superheroes: Nanogirl Labs Collaborates With Kiwi Science Legends Educational Book Launch


  • Book encourages children to get off their devices and outdoors to explore their natural environment, while developing critical STEM skills through play
  • Activities designed by Dr Michelle Dickinson with profiles on scientists such as Morgane Merien, Ruud Kleinpaste (Bugman), Associate Professor Priscilla Wehi and Nicola Toki
  • Designed with accessibility in mind, with adaptable activities that cater to neurodiversity
  • With every book purchased, Kiwis are supporting Nanogirl’s free science programmes for children across New Zealand

After months of being stuck at home for many Kiwi children, Dr Michelle Dickinson is encouraging children to get out in the great outdoors and discover the superpowered creatures in their own backyards this summer with the launch of Nanogirl’s Super World: Clever Creatures of Aotearoa!

With 20,000 different species of insects in New Zealand, our backyards are teeming with scientific creepy crawly discoveries just waiting to be found - some of which use solar-powered wings to fly, and others even catch prey using super slime!

Designed to encourage children to explore the hidden science in the world around them, Clever Creatures of Aotearoa is a beautifully designed box set full to the brim with activities and tasks to help Kiwi kids delve into the world of science and engineering from their local natural environments.

The 75-page hardcover Clever Creatures of Aotearoa book includes a wide range of educational activities, profiles of native New Zealand insects and other creatures plus interviews with a diverse range of NZ scientists - role models who are making a difference through their research here in Aotearoa.

Filled with fun critter facts and hands-on activities, this book is designed to provide hours of screen-free fun that promotes curiosity and play-based learning, while encouraging kids to spend time in nature with friends and family.

“Whether it be at the park, the beach or even just in our back gardens, the natural world is full of amazing science just waiting to be discovered. Clever Creatures of Aotearoa has been carefully designed to feature native New Zealand bugs that can do incredible things that we humans can’t do,” says Dr Michelle Dickinson.

“By profiling some of our top, local Kiwi scientists such as Morgane Merien, Ruud Kleinpaste (Bugman), Priscilla Wehi and Nicola Toki, we’re also able to inspire children with insights into where a love of science and bugs could take them in their future.”

Like all Nanogirl Labs’ products, Clever Creatures was designed with accessibility in mind, so the activities can be easily adapted and come with suggestions for different levels of capability. “It’s also a fantastic way for children to play and learn with their parents and grandparents, who’ll be very familiar with Ruud themselves,” adds Michelle.

The beautifully designed and illustrated book is part of the Nanogirl’s Super World Backyard Explorer Pack which comes complete in a box set (which doubles as a bug hotel!), a magnifying bug viewer and an explorer bag that children can use to carry their equipment while they’re exploring.

Nanogirl’s Super World: Clever Creatures of Aotearoa is the first in a planned series of ‘Nanogirl’s Super World’ discovery packs and will be available at leading retailers such as Whitcoulls and Paper Plus. RRP $49.95.



About Dr. Michelle Dickinson:

Dr Michelle Dickinson is a passionate researcher and teacher with a love of science and engineering. She is the author of two books – No. 8 Recharged and The Kitchen Science Cookbook.

But to most she’s known as ‘Nanogirl’, a character she has created to engage children with science and engineering. She has been touring the world with her very successful Nanogirl Live Science show – the world’s only female led science show that features academically trained female scientists and engineers on stage.

Michelle strongly believes that everyone should have access to learning about science and how things work, no matter what your age or education level. Her vision is to create positive role models in the world that our children can aspire to be like.

In 2017 Michelle released the Kitchen Science Cookbook with 50 easy to follow recipes designed to bring families back to the kitchen and have fun. She’s hoping she will be able to reach a broader audience and make simple science available to more children with the Kitchen Science TV series.

About Nanogirl Labs:

Nanogirl Labs is on a mission to ensure that everyone, everywhere has the chance to enjoy a meaningful relationship with STEM. Nanogirl Labs was created by founders Joe Davis and Dr Michelle Dickinson MNZM.

A social enterprise, Nanogirl Labs exists to inspire, educate and empower through STEM. Based in Auckland, New Zealand, our team works around the world to design, create and deliver products and experiences that are both commercially successful and deeply impactful.

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