A teacher trying to 'fly' on a hoverboard with a leaf blower was just one of the things which had Glenholme School pupils cheering and engaged when Nanogirl visited today.

Dr Michelle Dickinson, also known as Nanogirl, has won international acclaim for her work with nano technology and also in the area of science communication.

She is on a national tour for the first time.

Dr Dickinson said she was "so excited" to be doing her first show on her tour in front of about 350 pupils at Glenholme School.


She also visited Lynmore Primary School today, performing in front of about 600 pupils.

Dr Dickinson said the school shows were about 'how to engineer a superhero', including messages such as helping the children learn about finding their inner strength and how you have to work hard to be good at things.

An air vortex which could knock things over and super hydrophobic sand were a couple of the other science experiments featured in the school show.

"We are all about breaking stereotypes about what scientists and engineers look like.

"We want to help science and engineering become diverse."

She said a big focus of the tour was making sure minority groups and rural schools were visited and got science education.

At the school shows she was accompanied by Alexia Hilbertidou, who runs the organisation GirlBoss, which encourages young woman to get into the science, technology, engineering and maths fields.

Glenholme School teacher Morag Owen was chosen by pupils to give the flying hoverboard a go, which she said was "actually okay", adding she used to have a dream of being able to fly.

She thought the show made the children think about how things worked, so they could look a bit more at their world and how it worked, Mrs Owen said.

She said hopefully it would encourage engineers of the future.

Tomorrow, Nanogirl will visit St Michael's Catholic School and Western Heights Primary School.

She will also hold two shows tomorrow night at the Civic Theatre.

Little Bang, Big Bang is a theatrical science show packed with explosions, liquid nitrogen, giant fireballs, daredevil stunts, and even a jet-powered supermarket trolley.

The show explains scientific principles through a variety of experiments engaging young people between the ages of 5 and 15.

Nangirl Labs director Joe Davis said their mission was to make sure every kid could explore and be excited by science.

"Science and engineering are part of our future and we need to teach children to be producers of the technology, not just the consumers."

What:Nanogirl's Little Bang, Big Bang
Where: Civic Theatre
When: Friday, 5pm and 7pm
Tickets: www.nanogirllive.co.nz. or Ticketmaster