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Science extension and enrichment programmes

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The New Zealand Marine Studies Centre (NZMSC) offers a series of opportunities for gifted learners from southern NZ secondary schools to take part in a science research programme based at the Portobello Marine Laboratory (University of Otago). Students will experience an authentic research context and a unique learning environment (laboratory and research vessel) alongside other gifted students, to extend students’ skills, enrich their understanding and foster a knowledge-building community. Students will get a chance to focus on an in-depth research project that blends marine science and the nature of science. The programmes cater to a range of ages, levels and support. Programmes range from 1 to 5 days in duration. Please see programme schedule below for more information.

Students need to be self-directed and highly motivated. Each application needs to be accompanied by a student profile and an endorsement completed by a teacher (or affiliated adult in some circumstances).

Download an overview of the science extension programmes for 2022 (PDF)

  • Find out what students, teachers and parents say about the science extension programmes
  • Meet the staff who support our programmes

Programme plans 2022

In 2022, we are offering multiple science extension programmes for students & schools with a number of customised options. Supervised and directed by our educators, these programmes involve in-depth and wide-ranging field and laboratory experiences, as well as mentoring by scientists in a supportive and friendly environment. Like-minds working together to develop an enriching, knowledge-building community. None of the programmes are residential and all participants (12 years and over) require a valid vaccine pass.

Costs

The 2022 programme is offered at a reduced cost of $10 a day per participant, thanks to the Ministry of Education’s funding for gifted learners. Schools will be invoiced after the student selection process is complete, and it will be up to schools to determine the allocation of those costs.

The fee will be waived if this is a barrier to participation. The cost and organisation of transport to and from the NZMSC will be the responsibility of your school/parents and some contribution to meals (lunches and dinners) is expected. Participants are notified of details on acceptance to the programme.

Changes due to COVID-19

This year, none of our programmes are residential and all participants (12 years and over) require a valid vaccine pass. We have also made the decision to manage exposure risk by having blocks of teaching and taking parts of the programmes online.

Selection process

Due to limited capacity, the allocation of places on these programmes will involve a selection process. Although some priority may be given to schools who have shown particular interest in the past, we are keen to involve new schools. Each school is expected to use at least three identification criteria to determine up to three applicants to commit fully to the relevant programme.

For information on identifying giftedness, please visit:

Gifted Learners website

Application process

Application forms are available underneath each programme description on this page. Please make sure both the student application form (filled out by the student) and the student profile form (filled out by the teacher) are completed for an applicant to ensure consideration into a programme. The guardian waiver form (pg.3) must also be completed. Application deadline is generally 6 weeks before the programme’s starting date.

Print copies of the application forms can also be arranged by contacting:

Email marine.studies@otago.ac.nz

These can be posted in the mail to the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre:

University of Otago
New Zealand Marine Studies Centre
PO Box 56
Dunedin, 9054
New Zealand

Years 6, 7 and 8 programmes

Science and the Sea

Applications close: March 31 2022

Download the application form (PDF)

Explore the ocean through student-led research projects mentored by postgraduate scientists. Open to year 6, 7 and 8 students in the Dunedin area, who are able and enthusiastic about science, and/or gifted – not necessarily in the sciences (e.g. have strong leadership and social skills, cultural specific abilities, sporting and/or creative skills).

4 Days at NZMSC:

May 12, 19, 26 and June 2

Maximum 25 students (up to three per school). Programme cost in 2022: $40 (excluding GST) per participant.

Mapu Kimi-Ara Pasifika

Applications close: TBC

Register your interest with our Community Co-ordinator, Tamlyn, via email tamlyn.somerford@otago.ac.nz

Community event that involves both students and their families, connect current marine science research to cultural knowledge and heritage. Open to Year 6, 7 and 8 Pasifika students in the Dunedin Area. More information on the application process to come.

1 day programmes, running in the July and October school holidays.

Years 6–8 customised programmes (new for 2022)

We are also accepting bookings for customised science enrichments programmes, perfect for Accelerated or GATE classes from individual schools or groups. Programmes are either set or can be developed with the teacher, and can cater to a wide range of topics.

1–3 days $10 per student/day (excluding GST).

Examples of programmes are:

Crabs Galore
Explore the evolutionary development of crustaceans, investigate their anatomy through dissections and learn about their behaviour through small experiments. Look at the wider ecology through a shore survey of coastal crab species.

Biomimicry
Tackling human obstacles by looking into the natural world. Students will be challenged to come up with their own solutions while exploring physiological, morphological and behavioural adaptations of marine species. Science skills and tools; team research challenge.

With more options to come!

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Years 9 and 10 programmes

All about Pāua

Investigate multiple aspects of a taonga species, using a research framework that focuses on health and wellbeing, while weaving together ecological science and indigenous knowledge. This programme will also have online components before and after the 1st block. In the video below, you can meet the scientist behind the research, which forms the bedrock of this programme.

 

Maximum 25 students per programme, with up to three students per school.

Programme cost in 2022: $40 (excluding GST) per participant.

Download the application form (PDF)

Programme 1

Applications close: May 8 2022

Open to Year 9 and 10 Māori students who are able and enthusiastic about science, and/or are gifted – not necessarily in the sciences (e.g. have strong leadership and social skills, cultural specific abilities, sporting and/or creative skills). This programme is an ideal extension for those that have participated in the programmes “Te Ara Wai ki te Oranga” and/or "Te Rauawa o te Pahī".

4 Days at NZMSC:

1st block – June 17 and 18
2nd block – June 30 and July 1

Programme 2

Applications close: July 3 2022

Open to Year 9 and 10 Pasifika students who are able and enthusiastic about science, and/or are gifted – not necessarily in the sciences (e.g. have strong leadership and social skills, cultural specific abilities, sporting and/or creative skills). This programme is an ideal extension for those that have participated in the programmes "Mapu Kimi-Ara Pasifika" and/or "Moana Explorers: Stories of Change".

4 Days at NZMSC:

1st block – August 16 and 17
2nd block – September 1 and 2

Programme 3

Applications close: July 31 2022

Open to Year 10 students who are able and enthusiastic about science, and/or are gifted – not necessarily in the sciences (e.g. have strong leadership and social skills, cultural specific abilities, sporting and/or creative skills). This programme is an ideal extension for those that have participated in the programme “Making Sense of the Marine World".

4 Days at NZMSC:

1st block – September 14 and 15
2nd block – September 29 and 30

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Years 11 and 12 programmes

Deep Thought Expedition

Applications close: June 19 2022

Download the application form (PDF)

Explore the ocean through research projects mentored by postgraduate scientists on board a research vessel. Open to all Year 11 and 12 students who are able and enthusiastic about science, and/or are gifted – not necessarily in the sciences. This programme is an ideal extension for those that have participated in the programme “Making Sense of the Marine World".

5 Days at NZMSC:

1st block – August 1, 2 and 3
2nd block – August 25 and 26

Maximum 25 students (up to three per school). Programme cost in 2022: $50 (excluding GST) per participant.

Example of research project from 2021 programme:

Bioindicators - Sealion thumbnail
NZ Sea Lion – Deep Thought 2021 (PDF)

Rangatahi o te Moana

Closing date for applications: August 7 2022

Download the application form (PDF)

Explore the ocean through research projects mentored by postgraduate scientists onboard a research vessel. Open to Year 11 and 12 Māori students who are able and enthusiastic about science, and/or are gifted – not necessarily in the sciences (e.g. have strong leadership and social skills, cultural specific abilities, sporting and/or creative skills). This programme is an ideal extension for those that have participated in programmes “Te Ara Wai ki te Oranga” and/or “Te Rauawa o te Pahī”.

5 Days at NZMSC:

1st block – September 19, 20 and 21
2nd block – October 3 and 4

Maximum 25 students (up to three per school). Programme cost in 2022: $50 (excluding GST) per participant.

Example of research project from 2021 programme:

Freshwater Runoff thumbnail
Freshwater Runoff – Rangatahi o te Moana 2021 (PDF)

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Years 9–13 customised programmes (new for 2022!)

We are also accepting bookings for customised science enrichment programmes, perfect for Accelerated or GATE classes from individual schools or groups. Programmes are either set or can be developed with the teacher. They cater to both Mathematics and Statistics, Technology, and Science (Nature of Science, Earth and Space Science).

1–3 Days: $10 per student, per day (excluding GST).

Some examples of programmes are:

RV Polaris II Expedition

Experience the life of a marine scientist mapping out life on the ocean floor. This programme is a full day of science experiences with the guidance of oceanographers and marine biologists. Ranging from the physical properties of the ocean to the complexity of all the life it sustains, you’ll use a variety of sampling methods to build a picture of the Otago Harbour’s marine biodiversity, what factors impact it, and how the future might look. This programme includes a preparation session via ZOOM to get the maximum out of your expedition.

Download the information flyer (PDF)

Maximum 25 students per expedition. Dates are available in May and June 2022. Contact us for booking and more information.

Making Sense of the Marine World

Introduction to key abiotic parameters of the marine world via senses and instruments. Exploring field data gathering, boat-based and shore-based. Nature of teams, nature of science, higher-order thinking in experimental design and practice, critique and communication (1, 2 or 3 days).

Aquanauts: Spying on the Depths

Getting to the moon is hard. Getting to the bottom of the ocean can be harder! But there is plenty of technology to help us these days. Students will work together to find out what’s happening on the ocean bottom, building their own robots so they can do just that. But beware; water pressure, salt and electronics in the sea, present a series of challenges…

Online programme

Our online programme is now available here:

Is There an Ocean in the House?

Watch the introduction to our online programme

If you have enquiries about the online programme, please contact:

Email marine.studies@otago.ac.nz

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Contact

For science extension and enrichment programme enquiries and bookings, contact:

The New Zealand Marine Studies Centre
Tel +64 3 479 5826
Email marine.studies@otago.ac.nz

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