Science, Mathematics and Technology Teacher Fellowships

The Royal Society of New Zealand administers the New Zealand Science Mathematics and Technology Teacher Fellowships, established in 1994 and funded by the New Zealand Government. The scheme enables teachers to develop their understanding of science, mathematics, social science and technology by being released from school to participate in programmes with industry and research institutions.

Teacher fellows report that this programme has a major impact on their understanding of their subject specialism, teaching practice, and academic/professional interests. Theirschool colleagues also observe this effect. All fellows believe their new knowledge and skills were seen as valuable to the schools. Evaluation clearly shows that the scheme significantly increases teachers’ enthusiasm and understanding of science, mathematics, social science and technology.

The majority of fellows felt that the program is important in identifying new links between the school curriculum and real world. On returning to school, fellows make significant contributions to the professional development of their colleagues, and use their experience to influence both curriculum content and practice.

Most schools continue to be involved with the host organisation beyond the fellowship placement.

Teacher fellows are active, during and after their fellowship, in:

  • participating in professional development programmes with other teachers and students through profiling careers of successful scientists and running seminars and workshops
  • developing practical programs emphasising the application of science, mathematics, social science and technology in the real world
  • continuing and establishing links with universities
  • bringing real world examples of science into the classroom
  • increasing the attractiveness, enthusiasm and awareness of students and teachers for science, mathematics, social science and technology
  • promoting direct contact with scientists via visits to businesses, seminars, etc to demonstrate to students that scientists were normal people and their careers were interesting and attainable

The Royal Society awarded 49 New Zealand Science Mathematics and Technology Teacher Fellowships for 2002 from a total of 111 applications, a further increase upon last year. One Fellowship was subsequently declined as the teacher had resigned from his position. One 2001 Fellowship was deferred for 6 months and ran instead from July 2001 until June 2002. Fellowships were undertaken very satisfactorily with a markedly increased feeling of "fellowship" amongst the group. This has undoubtedly been aided by the regular email communication and the attempt to bring those in a region/local area together whenever possible.

Of the 48 fellowships 26 were male, 22 female; 38 were secondary teachers, 10 primary teachers; and three fellows identified as Māori. Of the 45 different host organisations, 13 were private enterprise/industries these ranged from large industries such as the NZ Aluminium Smelters Limited and Edsoft to small industries such as Heron’s Flight Vineyard, Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World, and Wanaka Wastebusters. Also acting as hosts were seven Crown Research Institutes, seven universities, four museums, environmental trusts or similar organisations, eight local or regional councils and two Government departments.

The 2002 Teacher Fellows, their projects and their hosts were:

Social sciences

Sherryl Allen, Mangaroa School, Upper Hutt

Project: Developing research and information skills through working in real research situations

Host Institution: Ministry for Culture and Heritage and Waiouru Army Museum

Howard Baldwin, East Otago High School Otago

Project: The inter-disciplinary applications of information technologies; the Caversham project

Host Institution: University of Otago

Mike Connor, St Augustine’s College, Wanganui

Project: Te Reo Māori and Tikanga in social sciences

Host Institution: Whanganui Regional Polytechnic

Lois Hawthorne, Cobham Intermediate School, Christchurch

Project: A living port, past, present and future

Host Institution: New Zealand Historic Places Trust/Pouhere Taonga

John Watson, Glenfield College, Auckland

Project: One aircrew, one country: experiences and legacies 1941-1944

Host Institution: Museum of Transport, Technology and Social History, Auckland


Geoffrey Ackerley, Ashburton College, Canterbury

Project: Statistical applications in environmental issues

Host Institution: Central South Island Fish & Game Council

Steve Connor, St Bede’s College, Christchurch

Project: Mathematics and statistics in action

Host Institution: Lincoln University

Jeremy Lane, Mangere College, Auckland

Project: The mathematics in local government with particular reference to town planning

Host Institution: The University of Auckland

Saraswathy Nataraj, Selwyn College, Auckland

Project: Exploring mathematics in Indian culture

Host Institution: The University of Auckland

Carolyn Vela, Maungawhau School, Auckland

Project: CAMPS- Collaborative Analysis of Mathematics Primary Software

Host Institution: The University of Auckland and Edsoft

Glennis Williams, Oxford Crescent School, Upper Hutt

Project: Statistical analysis

Host Institution: AgResearch Wallaceville


Photograph by Toni Brooks

Barbara Anglem, Cashmere High School, Christchurch

Project: Helping restore the dawn chorus in Christchurch

Host Institution: University of Canterbury and Christchurch City Council

Lindsay Baragwanath, St Cuthbert’s College, Auckland

Project: Magnetic navigation in bats

Host Institution: The University of Auckland

David Beer, Rangi Ruru Girls’ School, Christchurch

Project: How green is New Zealand chemistry

Host Institution: University of Canterbury and Environment Canterbury

Pru Casey, Wakatipu High School, Queenstown

Project: Data collection techniques in biology

Host Institution: University of Otago and Otago District Health Board

Allayne Ferguson, Western Springs College, Auckland

Project: Red or white? An investigation into the explanatory contexts of wine making in New Zealand

Host Institution: Heron’s Flight Vineyard; Matua Valley Wines Ltd; ESR; Wine Institute of NZ Inc and Alcohol Advisory Council

Michelle Goeth, Rotorua Girls’ High School, Rotorua

Project: Comparative sediment analysis of Rotorua lakes

Host Institution: Forest Research Institute and Department of Conservation

Joe Grossman, Temuka High School, Temuka

Project: Water quality monitoring for schools and communities

Host Institution: Central South Island Fish & Game Council and Environment Canterbury

Keith Hartle, Dargaville High School, Dargaville

Project: Marine and freshwater science research

Host Institution: NIWA

Rena Heap, Woodlands Park School, Auckland

Project: Discovering science and technology in the Waitakeres

Host Institution: Watercare Services Limited, University of Waikato and Auckland Regional Council

Kerry Hinton, Maidstone Intermediate School, Upper Hutt

Project: Schools and businesses working together, enhancing science

Host Institution: Upper Hutt Economic Development Agency

Malcolm Ives, Nayland College, Nelson

Project: Ecology of fragile environments and endangered species

Host Institution: Department of Conservation, Landcare Research and NIWA

Alison Jackson, Cromwell College, Cromwell

Project: Horticultural research

Host Institution: HortResearch

Ally Jerram, Marlborough Girls’ College, Blenheim

Project: Working waterways

Host Institution: Marlborough District Council

Graham Jones, Glenfield College, Auckland

Project: Monitoring mammalian predators

Host Institution: UNITEC and The University of Auckland

Peter King, Green Bay High School, Auckland

Project: A model for the establishment of a community based, mainland forest ecosystem restoration project (mainland island) at Karekare, Auckland

Host Institution: Department of Conservation and Auckland Regional Council

Stephen Lawrence, Gisborne Girls’ High School, Gisborne

Project: Sedimentation and ecology in East Coast waterways

Host Institution: NIWA, Department of Conservation and Gisborne District Council

Adrienne Leng, Ashhurst School, Ashhurst

Project: The biodiversity of wetlands; valuable ecosystems

Host Institution:, Palmerston North City Council and Department of Conservation

Brenda MacKechnie, Hutt Valley High School, Lower Hutt

Project: The technology of corrosion analysis of surfaces

Host Institution: Industrial Research Limited

Gail Mitchell, Rukuhia School, Hamilton

Project: Go Bats! In the Waikato, identifying location and population

Host Institution: Department of Conservation

John O’Connor, James Hargest High School, Invercargill

Project: Electricity: Relating theory to reality in the smelting of aluminium

Host Institution: New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Limited

Ian Parker, Howick College, Auckland

Project: The use of data-logging technology in biology

Host Institution: The University of Auckland

Denis Saunders, Ashburton College, Ashburton

Project: Polymerase chain reactions in research and industry

Host Institution: Lincoln University

Ian Stephenson, Rangiora High School, North Canterbury

Project: Using biodiversity in vineyards to manage pests sustainably

Host Institution: Lincoln University

William Taylor, Raroa Normal Intermediate School, Wellington

Project: Genesis Aotearoa

Host Institution: Victoria University of Wellington

Peta Vernon, Sacred Heart Girls’ College, Hamilton

Project: Evolutionary relationships of New Zealand celmisia

Host Institution: University of Waikato

Roger Waddell, Motueka High School, Nelson

Project: Multi-disciplinary environmental research in the Motueka catchment: an integrated catchment management application

Host Institution: Tasman District Council

Richard Witheford-Smith, St Bernard’s College, Lower Hutt

Project: Marine environment management and emerging aqua-culture industries

Host Institution: Wellington Regional Council and NIWA

Photograph by Susan Maclaurin


Merrilyn George, Ruapehu College, Ohakune

Project: Technological practices and changes in the traditional and modern use of fibres

Host Institution: Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ngati Rangi, Whanganui Regional Museum

Peter Green, Sacred Heart College, Wanganui

Project: Technological practice in a modern media communications organisation

Host Institution: Tearaway Press Ltd

Maree Horlor, Mt Aspiring College, Wanaka

Project: Sharing skills in a small community: finding ways to process waste materials

Host Institution: Upper Clutha Recycling & Environmental Society Inc

Jeff Lockhart, Papakura High School, Auckland

Project: Investigation of non-toxic painting and printmaking materials and processes

Host Institution: Manukau Institute of Technology and National Arts Supplies

David McDonald, Nayland College, Nelson

Project: Seafood & technology in Nelson

Host Institution: Sealord Group Ltd

Barbara McKain, Corran School, Auckland

Project: Fabric technology

Host Institution: Auckland University of Technology and Newmarket Business Association

Marie Martin, Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland

Project: Exploring product development of textile based products

Host Institution: Massey University and Mantiss Visual Communications

Maurice Robertson, Rangitoto College, Auckland

Project: A study of autonomous control in mechatronics

Host Institution: The University of Auckland

Neil Rogers, Te Whare Kura o Rakaumangamanga, Huntly

Project: Hangarau Ki roto i te Toi me te Mahi Toi Maori

Host Institution: University of Waikato

Harold Russ, King’s College, Auckland

Project: Technological practice; electronics & control

Host Institution: The University of Auckland, Massey University, and University of Canterbury