Thank you for coming back to our science blog. You get a tag-team handover this week - I am Rose Hipkins and I’m picking up from my colleague Ally Bull. My plan is to build on her thoughts and questions while turning the focus to an issue that I know is worrying a lot of teachers right now.
This is the focus of A Nation of Curious Minds: He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara – the national strategic plan for science in society. So to what extent does science learning at school support this goal? Before we can answer that we need to be clear about what supports the development of innovators.
School science fairs get a bad rap. They are often criticised for not promoting real learning, being overly-competitive, advantaging students from already privileged backgrounds, putting extra stress on children, teachers and families, not representing science as it really is, and so on. Despite this though, some people do leave school with very positive memories of science fairs.