Future Volcanologists

The school is fortunate to receive a kit from House of Science every fortnight. The purpose of these kits is to empower teachers to raise the scientific literacy levels of students.

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House of Science aims to “see every child in New Zealand become scientifically literate. This means they have a clear understanding of science concepts and processes encountered in their daily lives. Improving scientific literacy will have a huge economic and social benefit to New Zealand. (https://houseofscience.nz)

Critical thinking will be one such benefit. “Science teaches us how to gather and interpret information, and to make informed decisions. A key skill in light of the prolific ‘fake news’ on all media platforms.” There are also benefits to health and wellbeing. “Science enables us as individuals to make informed decisions about diet, exercise and medical treatments. These choices directly impact our personal health and wellbeing and that of our families.” Economic prosperity is also a focus. “Our future economy depends on advancements in clean technology, automation and digital innovation. A scientifically literate workforce will have the skills to embrace this future of work.” (https://houseofscience.nz/about-us/)

The kits arrive in large boxes with plans for teachers to follow and resources all ready to go. At times it can be daunting to explore the kits, which are packed with many materials and hands-on equipment ready to use. It was exciting to hear that Dr Geoff Kilgour and Dr Anya Seward would be joining us to explore the Volcanoes kit.

Dr Anya Seward is a geothermal geophysicist with a PhD in geophysics and an honours degree in geophysics and astronomy. We met Dr Anya when we visited GNS after creating our geothermal power station models. Dr Geoff Kilgour is a volcanologist with a masters and PhD in earth sciences. It was exciting to have these experts on hand to teach us and answer our tricky questions and wonderings. This experience allowed the key competencies of Thinking and Participating and Contributing to occur in real time.

I think pumice is 70% air.

The cooking oil will move faster than the water because it is slipperier.

Will this float? How can this giant pumice float?

Volcanoes are caused by earthquakes. It’s all about the plates that move. They move against each other. I don’t know how they move.

The water and oil is low viscosity. The golden syrup has a lot of viscosity. How old is it? Can I eat it?

Referring to the golden syrup

There is a bump. It is not moving.

We would like to thank Dr Anya Seward and Dr Geoff Kilgour very much for coming and working with us. We look forward to working with more kits in the future and hope that we are able to call on Dr Anya and Dr Geoff in the future to inspire our love of science.


  • Raewyn Mckeown Nov 22, 2023, 12:38 PM (7 months ago)

    What great feedback.
    Yes. House of Science "rocks"
    Raewyn (HOS volunteer)

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