A Rotorua primary school teacher is one of 12 heading back into the classroom as a confident leader of science within their school community.

In December the group of teachers completed phase one of the Science Teaching Leadership Programme, where they worked alongside scientists to gain a deeper understanding of New Zealand's overarching science curriculum strand, called the Nature of Science, as well as undertaking leadership training.

Now these teachers are returning to school to start phase two of the programme, involving working with students, staff and their local community to enhance the quality of science teaching and learning.

Brigitta Nieuwboer described her time on the programme as "unlocking the mystery of science".


For the last six months Ms Nieuwboer has been hosted by the Eastern Region Fish and Game where she has been learning about the science taking place at the trout breeding hatchery.

"I have learnt about the processes of the trout breeding programme where I have been very hands-on counting and transferring eggs and clipping fins so that trout can be easily identified."

Ms Nieuwboer has also spent time working alongside scientists who are researching the mallard duck and investigating why the breed is declining. The work involved collecting and analysing data on the ducks.

"I have learnt so much from the people at Fish and Game and I know this is going to help me to lead and improve science teaching at St Mary's," she said.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce launched the programme early last year, which supports the government's strategic direction for science in society.

It is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

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