Science Learning Hub
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A new model further untangles the complex strategy games playing out under our feet. Imagine you’re a pepper plant. You need water and nutrients. Luckily, you can grow roots that grab that stuff from the soil and pipe it back to you. So far, so good. There’s just one problem. Your neighbor — also a pepper plant — needs the same things. There’s only so much to go around. What’s your move?
Pitfall traps – monitoring ground-dwelling insects – SLH STUDENT ACTIVITY
Pitfall traps are simply containers dug into the ground so the top of the container is level with the ground. Sometimes a small roof can be erected over the trap to keep rain out. Insects that are active on the ground are caught by falling into the trap, from which they cannot escape. Scientists often use pitfall traps to create an inventory of the insects present in an area.
Yellow pan traps – monitoring flying insects – SLH STUDENT ACTIVITY
Insect vision is quite different to human vision, but insects do see colours, and they use their colour vision to get around and find food. We can exploit their preference for different colours in order to catch them to study their biology or monitor their abundance and diversity.
All about insects – SLH PLD
This webinar... introduces Tom Saunders and Chrissie Painting – two of Aotearoa’s amazing entomologists. Delve into the fascinating world of insects and the important learning that can happen if we include them in our classrooms and educational settings. From observation and classification to life cycles, adaptations and social scientific issues, insects offer it all. Join us to discover engaging resources to support your science teaching.
Bee friendly insecticides – SLH T&L RESOURCE (AND RNZ PODCAST)
Peter Dearden describes honey bees as the most important insects on Earth because of the role they play as pollinators. But bees are in trouble worldwide. In New Zealand, the main threat is the varroa mite, which has decimated feral bee colonies throughout the country, but bees are also unintentional targets of the chemicals we use to control insect pests that can damage crops.
Low-flammability garden saves home — ARTICLE
Scientists Tim Curran (Lincoln University), Sarah Wyse (University of Auckland) and George Perry (University of Auckland) assessed the flammability of a variety of exotic and native plant species in New Zealand. Their research has provided scientific evidence of plants that could be used to protect homes in bushfires.
Create a lizard-friendly habitat
In this activity, students have the opportunity to create a lizard-friendly habitat in the school grounds. The extension activity involves designing a suitable environment for keeping lizards in captivity. By the end of this activity, students should be able to: * describe the basic survival needs of lizards * identify key components of a lizard-friendly habitat * understand threats to lizards in New Zealand and some of the possible solutions.
Gardening in the living room – SLH SUMMARY OF CONNECTED JOURNAL ARTICLE
This Connected article by Sophie Fern explores how the Balaclava School gardening club investigated where was the best place to grow vegetables over Dunedin’s cold winter months. It introduces students to plant needs and design considerations to ensure healthy food growth indoors.
Visual soil assessment
STUDENT ACTIVITY - Visual soil assessment - In this activity, students learn about soil quality and soil properties by conducting a visual soil assessment (VSA). The activity involves digging up a 20 cm cube of soil to examine the soil structure and porosity and look for earthworms. This simplified VSA can be done at school or on a farm pasture.
How an Auckland soil scientist's inner-city living roof flourishes without soil
A soil scientist is maximizing her growing capacity by planting well above ground without soil. Walking through Dr Robyn Simcock’s inner-city Auckland garden can be a topsy-turvy experience. Her bee-attracting borage, salvias and sedums resemble a meadow – except that they are three metres off the ground on the living roof potager above her workshop. Passersby do a double take at the sheep sculpture among the bromeliads and natives planted on top of the garage.
iNaturalistNZ — ONLINE CITIZEN SCIENCE
iNaturalist logs hundreds of thousands of photos of flora, fauna and fungi. There are even sound recordings too. Each is described and geo located. iNaturalist is used by citizens and scientists to monitor species presence and distribution. It also helps with identification – it is common to upload a photo and wait for the iNaturalist community to identify it. The iNaturalist system has also been ‘trained’ to identify species in photos. There are also some specific projects hosted through ...
Garden Bird Survey
New Zealand Garden Bird Survey — CIT SCI PROJECT PROFILE This New Zealand-based citizen science project aims to collect data about the types and numbers of common garden birds in our own backyard. This is done once annually during a particular window of time (29 June to 7 July 2019) and the results contribute to New Zealand’s knowledge and monitoring of garden bird species and the health of the environment we live in.