The primary teachers' strike helped turn an ordinary lesson into a fun, experiment filled science class for Whangārei's teachers in training.

Tuesday morning's usual second-year science class at the University of Auckland's Whangarei campus was transformed into a lab where 10 children, their parents, and students without children got to try experiments with materials that can be found around the house.

Maths and science lecturer Mirko Wojnowski, who is based at Whangārei's Tai Tokerau campus, came up with the idea of encouraging students with children to bring them into class during the strike.

"We often just talk about the theoretical aspects of teaching science but today they got to try it out and watch their own children enjoy the process."

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Wojnowski said it was a special treat for everyone.

Student Emily Brunkerand and Mieke Samu-Nelson, 8, do an experiment with a levitating ring using a balloon and vege bag ring charged with static electricity. Photo / Tania Whyte
Student Emily Brunkerand and Mieke Samu-Nelson, 8, do an experiment with a levitating ring using a balloon and vege bag ring charged with static electricity. Photo / Tania Whyte

Many of the students said they were now inspired to do these experiments at home with children and to do more science after they are fully-fledged primary school teachers.

Kylie Kahotea's two children, Tyler and Shayle, were already asking her to do these at home, while Amie Ujdur-Nelson's little brother Trent was tweaking one of the experiments to work upside down.

"This enthusiasm is so impressive," Wojnowski said.

"We want all school children to think of themselves as scientists, even if they're not aiming for the actual job of scientist."

After the morning session, the students were free to join in the march if they wanted to.

The students are completing a three-year Bachelor of Primary Education with the University of Auckland that is identical and runs parallel to the Auckland course, but with the benefit of being about to stay in Whangārei.