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Learning through observation, exploration and play

Observation is an essential part of science and mātauranga Māori. Through observation we collect data, which enables us to make sense of the natural world. Observational skills are central to Te Whāriki and the New Zealand Curriculum. Learners are encouraged to investigate through exploration and play.

Active, authentic science

Take advantage of the warm weather to get outside for meaningful, hands-on and active learning through observation. The following activities are simple enough for very young learners and can be scaled up to extend content vocabulary and science concepts for older learners. Use the related content on each page to learn more about the science concepts that underpin the activities.
Material World – surface tension  Physical World – light and shadows
Planet Earth and Beyond – underground Living World – above ground  
For other resources that encourage hands-on, active and outdoor learning, check out our learning from home articles for early childhood, lower primary, middle primary and upper primary. The ideas are great for at-home and at-school learning.

Observation through citizen science

Observation of the natural world is often a key aspect of both citizen science and online citizen science projects. We have two new case studies:  
Don’t forget that all of our citizen science projects and case studies include wrap-around resources to make planning, teaching and learning easier!

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We offer added value through our social media. Contact us about creating collections or boards tailored to your needs. We can help foster connections between the education and science communities.  

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We hope you enjoy using the Science Learning Hub – Pokapū Akoranga Pūtaiao in your teaching and we would love to hear from you. Your comments, ideas and feedback can be emailed to

Science Learning Hub – Pokapū Akoranga Pūtaiao

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