Previous Visits

Previous School Visits and Teaching


Westport Schools with Buller R.E.A.P.

I have just got back from my fantastic visit to Westport co-ordinated by Buller REAP (Rural Education Activities Programme) and sponsered by Holcim and Solid Energy (A BIG THANK YOU guys).  I has a great time and I will put up all the phots and comments soon.  I just need to sort out all the washing up!!

Kapanui and Waikanae School Extension Science Classes

Kapanui  and Waikanae schools got together and asked me to do two days of extension science classes.  I did one day for Y6-8 and another for Y3-5.  The children who came had been specially picked for an interest in science.  I planned a day on Acid/base Chemistry (Material World strand of the NZ Curriculum).  We started with looking at using scientific equipment, particularly measuring cylinders (for our experiment in the afternoon).  We then moved onto two experiments looking at the colour changes of Goldenrod paper and Universal indicator in the presence of household acids and bases.  This produced some very colourful results.  In the afternoon the Y6-8 did a white powder investigation.  They had a range of white powders that they had to identify using experimentation and a process of elimination. The Y3-5 found out what it was like to experience an acid/base reaction on your tongue!  Each student returned to class with a booklet of their work and a happy smile.

"Campbell showed me the booklet with the work he had done.  He was genuinely excited as he explained it to me.  It is fantastic to get exposed to this information at such a young age."  Katherine, parent from Kapanui School

Otaki Playcentre

I went and spent a happy morning of science at Otaki Playcentre.  We did the opening flower and fake snow experiments.  Both were a great success, as you can see from the tamariki in the photos.  They inspired me to create some early learning resources

"We are very grateful for your cameo at our centre; we had a great session with you."  Tracey, Otaki Playcentre

Rangiwahia School Science Expo

Five local schools got together and invited me to their wonderful Science Expo. The participating schools all put on science activities and as part of this I ran four sessions with a 'fake snow' experiment (polymers are amazing). To round off the day I spoke all 190 students. I told them a bit about how I became a scientist and the science jobs I have done. Then I demonstrated the Bernoulli Principle using an amazing 2.4 meter long bag. Finally all the students got their own Bernoulli Bag to practice their scientist skills of observation and perseverance! It was a beautiful sight.

North Street School - Right Choice Day

I did a science day at North Street School in Fielding for their 'Right Choice Day'. In the morning I gave a presentation to the senior syndicate in the hall. After taking a bit about the science I have done I demonstrated Bernoulli's Principle to the students.  They then all tested it for themselves using pieces of paper.  Spot the teacher at the back of the hall joining in too!  For the rest of the day I led three fun classroom sessions, where I challenged a few miss conceptions. After school I ran 'Science Club'. Budding scientists paid to do more hands-on fun science.

"I for one had an absolute ball! It was great seeing kids that I know usually play up being totally focused with what they were doing." Nick, Relief Teacher, North Street School

Westport South School - A week of 'change'

I visited Westport South School for a week in Term 2 2011. It was a great week where I met some amazing teachers and loads of great kids. The schools theme for the term was 'change' so I fitted into this with a physical change experiment - Chromatography (try the Chromatography - Classroom Kit in your classroom) and a chemical change experiment where we transformed a plastic bag into something most unexpected! I also did a well-received professional development session and several after school 'Science Club' events where the keen budding scientist came to have even more science experiences.

"A huge thank you for making the time to visit our school bringing your wonderful fun way of teaching science. You have made the whole teaching of science fun and meaningful to people who were scared to try. Your vibrant personality has infected us all."  Jo Duston, Principal, Westport South School

Te Horo School - Curriculum Teaching

As Te Horo School are local to me I was asked to teach a Y7/8 science class once a fortnight for 3 terms. My focus for the lessons was the New Zealand Curriculum's Nature of Science stand. As an overriding theme the students learnt how to carryout investigations and how scientists communicate ideas. They learnt to re-evaluate in light of new evidence and made links between scientific knowledge and everyday decisions and actions. We worked in all of the other strand areas. Doing pH and molecular biology experiments (Material World), sound and rocketry experiments (Physical World) and water experiments (Planet Earth and Beyond). I also talked about the internal workings of the mammalian (human) body and performed an animal dissection for the students (Living World). Each lesson was a planned as a hand's on sessions backed up with worksheets to enable the students to document their work. Stress was put on thinking skills, problem solving, informed decision making, application of the results and safety. As the students skill levels increased student led experiments were introduced.

Kapanui School - Formative Assessment for Science Fair Unit

Kapanui School were running a Science Fair unit and employed me to help with their formative assessment of this unit. I went into school for several days to conference with pairs of students about their projects. Having listened to their ideas I tailored each response to the student's own level. Advising them on experiment design, guiding them to places for further research and identify their next steps. This had a fantastic motivational effect on the students, enabling them to better self-assess and refocus their efforts. I also supplied some 'real' science equipment for those pairs who had brilliant ideas but no suitable equipment. For those students who were struggling to come up with a suitable idea I offered them a simple experiment about which they could make their own hypothesis and so build their Science Fair project.

Once the projects had been finished I returned to the school to 'judge' the entries. I took the time to read each poster and gave specific written feedback on every poster. I also chose the best posters to go on and represent the school.

I felt I was able to enable the school to get away from Science Fair as a 'presentation piece' and make it more focussed on the science and research aspects (which was their goal).

"Dr Kenworthy is an extremely motivated and highly skilled science teacher who brought very specialized knowledge to enhance our Science Fair Project.  Her formative assessment at the Science Fair added weight and credence to the overall selection process. "  Y7/8 Syndicate, Kapanui School

Waikanae School - Curriculum Teaching

I developed and taught a comprehensive series of engaging, hands-on science lessons to the Middle and Senior syndicate. The lessons were based on the New Zealand Curriculum's Nature of Science Strand including concepts from Planet Earth and Beyond, Material World (Chemistry) and Physical World (Physics). I linked the lesson plans to procedural writing, which was the language focus for the upper school and to the student's inquiry, to develop their learning skill set. I also taught a science extension class where we researched, made hypothesises and performed science experiments lead by the students.

“Sarah expects high standards from children and she always values their opinions.” Jane Lumsden, Y5/6 Teacher, Waikanae School

“Her ability to meet the needs of the children and engage them in hands-on, meaningful experiences at all levels was outstanding. She has the skills, knowledge and ‘persona’ to convert even the most reticent to a love of science (teachers and children!).” Moira Howard, Deputy Principal, Waikanae School