House of Science wins international award for contribution to chemistry education


Source: House of Science

A team of scientists from New Zealand have been named the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s (RSC) Horizon Prizes for Education.

House of Science New Zealand’ was chosen by the RSC’s prestigious panel of judges for the development of a vast library of hands-on, bilingual science resource kits that enable thousands of primary school teachers across New Zealand to deliver life-changing science lessons.

The Royal Society of Chemistry receives applicants from all over the world for their awards which acknowledge individuals, teams and schools across primary, secondary, further education and higher education, for their exceptional contributions to chemistry education.

The group – led by House of Science Charitable Trust Resource Developer, Jane Hoggard, and including professionals from SCION, New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre and the New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority – have now become winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Horizon Prize for Education, for their outstanding work in making science education more accessible.

By bringing together the skills of eDNA experts, science communicators, educators and community engagement experts, the team were able to create a library of hands-on, bi-lingual science resource kits that give teachers the tools and confidence needed to deliver life-changing science lessons.

The kits – which contain all the equipment, instructions and consumables needed to deliver engaging hands-on lessons that are linked to the curriculum and to current science research – are distributed and maintained by volunteers on a fortnightly basis to hundreds of schools and thousands of teachers each year.

Jane Hoggard (Resource Developer) and Chris Duggan (Chief Executive)

Reflecting on the award, Jane says it is both a surprise, and an honour, to receive international recognition for the House of Science initiative. “I am proud of the work we are doing with both teachers and students throughout New Zealand fostering wonder and curiosity in the world around us. I consider it a privilege working alongside scientists to help them with the delivery of their outreach programmes to primary school students.”

“I am proud of Jane and the team for all their efforts – this award is so well deserved,” said founder and Chief Executive Chris Duggan.

Dr Helen Pain, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said, “It’s of vital importance that we recognise the crucial role that educators play in the advancement of the sciences, and that we commend their ability to inspire and nurture the next generation of bright young minds, so that they can go on to make new discoveries and innovations.

“Society faces many challenges, and educators give us the tools we need to advance our understanding of the world around us and solve many of the problems we encounter. The House of Science New Zealand team’s work to deliver engaging and accessible lessons that incorporate the curriculum demonstrates an outstanding commitment to chemistry education, and it is our honour to celebrate their considerable contribution.”

There are 19 House of Science centres across New Zealand, each with their own library of bi-lingual science resource kits, that are distributed and maintained by volunteers on behalf of the local community. Each fortnight, hundreds of these kits are delivered to schools and tens of thousands of children partake in science lessons as a result.

On of the many bi-lingual science resource kits that are distributed to schools across New Zealand