Manaiakalani - Science across high schools

Nau mai haere mai, welcome to the Manaiakalani online resource hub for teachers of Science  

Our Department Discussions are running again in 2024, so if you're a teacher interested in high school science, we'd love you to join us.  This is an opportunity to network with specialist subject teachers across the country, to collaborate and share best practice.  

Click here to register and we'll keep you informed of any upcoming events.  

Upcoming Meeting Dates

Thursday 23rd March

Thursday 15th August

Level 1 Science

Our guest speaker for the Department Discussion in term one was NCEA Implementation Facilitator, Paula Calver.  This session was an opportunity to talk through the Level 1 Science assessment AS 91920 1.1 Demonstrate understanding of a science-informed response to a local issue.  

Paula talked about how schools can approach the Level 1 assessments to be either stand alone tasks or integrated across a year's worth of work.   Paula is available to help schools develop their Science courses.  You can contact her at

2024 Science: Term 1 Department Discussion
Science - Manaiakalani Department Discussion (2024-02-29 15:37 GMT+13)

Level 1 Science 2024 

Are you wondering what Level 1 Science can look like for your students in 2024?  

Dr Jay Vijayakumar (Head of Science at Bay of Islands College) shared some valuable insights and resources from his school's experience with the NCEA Level 1 Science pilots this year.  

Jay's presentation is ideal for those planning their course design in readiness for the coming year.  

Science: Term 4 Department Discussion
Science Manaiakalani Department Discussion (2023-11-22 15:31 GMT+13)

Dr Thierry Lints from Selwyn College was our second speaker at this event.  Thierry is making himself available to support two projects in 2024.  The first is for Year 12 Biology teachers to support with the teaching of achievement standards.  The second project is a literacy-rich program aimed at introducing Year 7 and 8 students to evolution, adaptation, cellular organization, DNA and proteins.  

Course Design Level 1 Science  Dr Jay Vijayakumar

Our term three Department Discussion featured Jay Vijayakumar, the Head of Science at Bay of Islands College.  The school is taking part in the Level 1 Science pilot this year and at this meeting, Jay shared with us his school's course design for Level 1 Science which weaves students' prior knowledge in engaging and innovative ways.  

Unlocking life's code   - Dr Thierry Lints

In this presentation, Genomics Aotearoa educator Thierry Lints highlights a literacy-rich program that introduces middle school-aged students to evolution, adaptation, cellular organization, DNA and proteins.  He then discusses recent international evidence indicating that traditional (Mendelian) genetics pedagogy predisposes students to genetic deterministic thinking and racial bias.

Science: Term 3 Department Discussion
CREATE Term 2: Department Discussion for teachers of Science
Science Manaiakalani Department Discussion (2023-08-10 15:31 GMT+12)
Science Manaiakalani Department Discussion (2023-05-18 15:32 GMT+12)

Bringing the Stars Closer to Home - Felicity Powell,

 In this presentation, Felicity Powell, Education Program Lead for Rocket Lab, shares opportunities and resources that support authentic and captivating learning experiences centred around exciting current events in the space and STEM sectors.

Felicity - Made with Clipchamp_1677182644816.mp4
2023 Term 1;Department Discussion for teachers involved in Science

Maria Krausse from the Manaiakalani facilitation team will share her Science based Google Innovator project where students tell their stories about finding a place to stand in their learning.  

Maria K - Made with Clipchamp_1677189611503.mp4

A Manaiakalani Rangitāmiro Project - Yr 13 Biology

Are you interested in an across school collaboration that would support Year 12 and 13 students' understanding of genetics. 

The aim is to; 

Interested teachers are meeting regularly to discuss logistics. If you'd like to know more about this opportunity click here

Year 13 Biology

2022 Term 4 

Our last online Department Discussion for 2022 included a presentation from Kamlesh Prakesh at Bay of Islands College.  Kamlesh shared his experience of running the Level 1 Science pilots with his students.  

Jayne Abernethy also shared some excellent literacy strategies teachers she's been applying with her senior science students.  

Jayne Abernethy - Hornby High School
Kamlesh - L1 Pilots - Made with Clipchamp_1675139992441.mp4

2022 Term 3 

For students who share their work with their peers and a wider audience via their own blog, the benefits to their learning can be a positive win for their writing skills.  In this Department Discussion, Jayne Abernerthy from Hornby High School shared how some examples of her students' blog posts in Science.  

Hornby High School science blog post examples
Jayne - Share - Made with Clipchamp_1675148241008.mp4

2022 Term 2 

In this session, teachers talked about how to turbocharge students engagement in Science with Create activities.   If you would like to know more, the slides have all the resources and below is the recording from the meeting.  

CREATE - Science - Manaiakalani Secondary School Department Discussions
Science - Department Discussions (2022-05-09 20:30 GMT-7)

2022 Term 1

If you missed our first across school's meeting and would like to know more, you can find more information on the slide deck to the right.  Unfortunately due to a technical error, the whole session wasn't recorded but the video does give a good introduction to the teachers who attended and their specialist science areas.   The slide deck (right) from the meeting, has links and references to learning resources.

Science - Department Discussion

Literacy Aids for Science   

Foundation Literacy Standards 2023 v2
Photosynthesis Reading & Comprehension (5)

What does Learn look like in our Science classes?

Teachers from around the country shared their thoughts via a Padlet board.  

How can we increase reading mileage in Science?  

When students share what they are learning about in Science via their blog, it creates opportunities for students to learn from each other.   Moreover, students can engage in authentic online contexts by leaving a comment on another students' blog to continue the learning conversation.  This provides the ideal context for students to develop the understanding of what it means to be Cybersmart and how they can write positive, thoughtful and helpful feedback to their peers.   If you would like to know more about how this could work with your students contact your Manaiakalani facilitator or get in touch with us via 


Wakelet is an aggregator of data, links, images and resources.  Create your own and then use the embed and share options to bring your content back to your class site.  

Check out the wonderful learning and sharing high school students are doing with their science teachers by viewing the blog feed on the left.  

Learn Apps for Understanding Science

Phet have simulations for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Earth Science.  These are embeddable HTML and HTML5 applications that can run directly in your class site.  Each simulation has teaching resources that support the key concepts.  You will need to register to get access.  It's free and well worth doing.  If you do use the Phet Simulations with your students, we'd love to hear how you find them.  Contact:Kerry Boyde-Preece