John Paul College and Waikite Valley School have been awarded Bayer Science Fund Grants to help with environmental science projects.

John Paul College received $1,909 to help restore the Utuhina stream and its banks near the college grounds.

180 Year 7 students will be involved in the programme to develop the understanding of the nature of science for both the teachers and students that will be involved. The funds will be used to help purchase binocular microscopes, gardening gloves, hand trowels, spades, secateurs, reusable garden bags and small spades.

Students will be exposed to the problems, pose questions, and plan activities to provide answers and solutions. The activities may involve monitoring water quality, planting trees, removing noxious weeds, using keys to identify living things, removal of rubbish and producing observational drawings and learning to use a wide range of scientific equipment.


Waikite Valley School received $2,000 to help develop a food forest and heritage orchard as part of a sustainable environment project. The funds will be used to help purchase gardening tools, fruit trees, and plants for companion planting.

Now 12 months into the five year journey the end goal is a sustainable system that supports itself whilst providing for the school community. Nineteen schools in total have received grants of up to $2000 to be spent on science-based projects.

Projects range from stream monitoring and establishing weather stations to planting bee-friendly gardens, bush restoration, hydroponics and worm farms.

"I'm absolutely thrilled that Bayer funding is being put to such good use and can't wait to see the scientific results of their research," said Bayer New Zealand Managing Director Holger Detje.

Royal Society of New Zealand Chief Executive Andrew Cleland said the society was committed to advancing quality primary science education by encouraging primary students and their teachers to participate in authentic science activities.

"Through hands-on scientific investigations children are given an opportunity to be curious about the world around them. These young people will learn about environmental science, their local environment and how to engage with others to improve it," he said.

"They will gain an appreciation of the relevance of science and technology to their daily lives, and learn the skills of critical thinking which they can apply to all aspects of their lives. We are pleased this fund is assisting more schools to deliver these valuable programmes which are contributing to better-informed and environmentally engaged communities."

Managed by the Royal Society of New Zealand the fund is worth $120,000 over three years and is designed to give primary schools the opportunity to apply for funding to support environmental science education and resource Nature of Science activities.