While working as head of science at Tauranga Girls' College, Chris Duggan noticed a lack of exposure to science at primary school was creating a knowledge gap in the area.
She took the matter into her own hands, leaving her job as a teacher eight years ago and starting House of Science, a science kit resource library, run by a charitable trust.
The easy-to-use kits provide materials for fun, hands-on science activities with accompanying professional development for teachers.
The kits are also bilingual, presented in both English and te reo, which Duggan said was a "no-brainer".
"In the very early days we realised there were some schools that only teach in te reo and we didn't want to exclude them," she said.
"Having a bilingual resource was a very early part of the process and every kit is translated into te reo, both the teacher's manual and the student instruction cards.
"As a result, we're not only able to get science into the full immersion kura but we're actually normalising the language as well, which is really cool.
"For me, it's just such a no-brainer. We're a bilingual country and these are the official languages of New Zealand. Everything in our schools should be provided in Māori and English."
The initiative started in Tauranga but has grown and the science kits are now being delivered nationwide.
"I was really concerned about the lack of science that students had coming into high school and thought someone needed to do something about it. I quit my job and set it up," Duggan said.
"Since then, it has taken off. We're in well over 20 per cent of New Zealand schools, 472 schools at the last count. Every week about 350 of these kits go into schools and about 10,000 kids are doing science as a result."
She said the main focus of the kits was to "spark curiosity" about science in New Zealand children.
For her efforts, Duggan has this year been named as a finalist in the Kudos Science Excellence Awards.
Altogether, 20 finalists are in the running to receive one of eight awards at the event, which will be held in Hamilton on December 2.
"I'm absolutely honoured and humbled," she said.
"There are some amazing people on that same list, so it's a real honour to be alongside them. The Kudos Trust have done such good work shining the light on the work of scientists and educators. They align with our purpose and kaupapa so well."
Rotorua's Rangihakahaka Centre for Science and Technology Pou Matangirua principal Renee Gillies said the science kits were a "wonderful" resource for learning.
"They are fantastic for our students and our staff," she said.
"We don't have a specific science lab with all the equipment that's needed. That's the beauty of these kits - they come with everything that's needed for four or five different experiments.
"They're also theme-based, which is how our school operates, with a different theme for each term. Many of those kits definitely fit our localised curriculum here. They add that value to the learning for our students."
She said all the science experiments were enjoyed by the children.
"There's excitement there, and another awesome thing is our older students will have time with that kit and then they share with the junior school.
"Being bilingual kits is fantastic, it definitely makes things easier. It's a resource that should be in more places throughout the country."