Jo Hawthorne of Wellesley College explains what her students did for their Junior Eureka! programme.

1. Undertake a Scientific Investigation and/or Experiment

The Junior Eureka programme is designed to be integrated into your existing science curriculum and to be flexible in how you want to do science. It is fundamental to participation in this programme that teachers feel free to exercise as much creativity and flexibility as they need to ensure that students are fully engaged and excited about what they are doing. We are happy to supply (where possible) Eureka alumni, who have all been finalists or scholarship winners in the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka Awards, to assist you in your investigation or to talk about what they are doing with science. 

 Below are two different examples of how the scientific investigation could be carried out. 

Local Application Investigation

As a class, or in groups, work to identify local applications of science and technology which the students are keen to investigate – teacher-led or teacher-facilitated (depending on what stage of development the class is at). Once a potential application has been identified students should divide into groups to investigate. Fact gathering and analysis should be a shared responsibility – much like in the real world of scientific and technological research and development

House of Science Experiment

Carry out a science experiment using one of the great hands on resource kits from House of Science NZ. Discuss what happened during the experiment and what the results are. Also the ideas in the experiment should be linked to the local community so that students can then abstract concepts to the world around them. 

2. Write a Short Presentation

The students then turn to the task of constructing/writing their presentation (N.B.  it is important not to be too rigid about the time frame for the presentation but the presentations should cover the main headings).

General Points to Cover:

  • An introduction
  • An explanation of the science
  • How the science is being used or could be used in the local community
  • A conclusion

Students should be encouraged to do this individually but it is acceptable for students to do this as a group activity to develop confidence in written and oral presentation skills and in the subject matter.

3. Present Speeches to the Class or a School Assembly

We believe teachers should aim to ensure students feel stimulated and challenged by participation and that they are keen to share what they have learned during the investigation stage of the programme. This is a suggested class activity.  Ensuring that some students don’t speak too long may be an issue in some classes. Encourage succinctness and brevity where appropriate. At the end of each presentation ask other students for helpful questions/comments to highlight the importance of peer review and collaboration

Achievement Certificates

Teachers will be supplied with sufficient quantities of Achievement Certificates to present to each student who has successfully delivered a presentation to their class-mates as part of the Junior Eureka Programme.

Certificates can be ordered by email from convenor@eureka.org.nz. Teachers could consider asking someone who has helped with the Junior Eureka activity to present the certificates