A Rotorua science teacher hopes his placement on the Science Teaching Leadership Programme will improve the engagement and achievement of his students in science.
The two-year programme that David Bach is participating in includes a six-month placement with a scientific host organisation to science practises in the real world.
Bach is placed with Te Arawa Lakes Trust and said his experience, which started in July, had been broad and varied.
"Te Arawa Lakes Trust is not necessarily a science organisation themselves but they have connections with science all over the place.
"I've been out and about in nature doing things, going to Waikato University, I've gone to Rotorua Lakes Council, the wastewater treatment plant, done water testing."
But Bach said the most interesting thing had been looking at the issue of catfish in Lake Rotoiti.
He had helped educate others on the issue and monitor koura and freshwater mussels.
Bach also planned to do his own science project while on the programme, comparing the size of koura and mussels in the lakes to those in streams.
Following the placement, Bach will spend 18 months working to improve science at St Mary's Catholic Primary School, where he works.
"I'd love to start doing things with the students straight away but I'll do a full review of science at the school, finding out where we are at ... We'll see how it's going how confident they are teaching science."
Bach said in the future he hoped to do more hands-on science with the pupils.
"A big aim is improving knowledge of science and what it involves."
The curriculum is aimed at improving scientific literacy so there are more critically informed students who can make informed decisions.
This comes from the Science in Society strategic plan: 'A Nation of Curious Minds'.
The Science Teaching Leadership programme is administered by the Royal Society Te Apārangi and funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
The programme is a full school or science department initiative, meaning the school will prioritise science as a key focus area for professional learning.