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Staying Alive Capability: Engage with science NoS achievement aims: Participating and contributing Contextual strands: Living world Level : 2

Author: Mike Tapp.  Staying alive. The Buzz of Bees, Connected, Level 2, 2012, pages 24–27

This resource illustrates how a Connected article could provide a model for students to engage with science in the context of a real life issue.

Curriculum Aims and AOs

The Nature of Science strand


Achievement objectives relevant to this resource

Participating and contributing

Bring a scientific perspective to decisions and actions as appropriate.

L1 & 2:

Explore and act on issues and questions that link their science learning to their daily living.

Living World


Achievement objectives relevant to this resource

Life processes

Understand the processes of life and appreciate the diversity of living things.

L1 & 2:

Recognise that all living things have certain requirements so they can stay alive.

Learning focus

Students gather information to make decisions about taking action.

Learning activity

The article provides information about reasons for the decline in bee numbers, and some steps that are being taken to improve their survival chances.

Adapting the resource

This article could be used to encourage students to recognise that, before taking action, they need to gather existing information that informs their question.

Start with the question on page 27; What can you do to save the bees?

Read the article to find out:

  • what is known about the causes of the problems bees are facing.
  • what are some things that people are already doing.

Ask students to brainstorm ideas for actions they could practically take.

What’s important here?

Supporting students to become scientifically literate, i.e., to participate as critical, informed, and responsible citizens in a society in which science plays a significant role is the purpose of science in NZC.

Being involved in environmental projects that are of personal interest to students gives them the opportunity to practise playing the "game of science". Scientifically literate citizens need to be able to access information already available that informs their decision-making.

What are we looking for?

Can students sort relevant and irrelevant information?

Can they use this information to inform suggestions for action?

Opportunities to learn at different curriculum levels

For suggestions about adapting tasks in ways that allow students to show progress in engaging with science see  Progressions .

Exploring further

This idea could be used with any environmental project that students are involved with.

Other resources for this capability

Yucky bugs (L1, 2, 3 & 4) Video from DOC website 

Hukanui Enviroschool (L2, 3 & 4) Connected 3, 2002

The Shell Collector (L2, 3 & 4)Connected 1, 2005

Rocky shore food web (L3 & 4) Assessment Resource Banks

Rapid response to the Rena (L3 & 4) Science Learning Hub

Tidal Communities: Interdependence and the Effects of Change (L3 & 4) Building Science Concepts, Book 22

Science Fairs (L3 & 4) No specific resource

Solving the dog death mystery (L5) Science Learning Hub

The Gene Seekers (L5) Applications, 2001

What’s my carbon footprint? (L5) Genesis Energy resource

Biomagnets (L5 & 6) NCEA Level 1 assessment exemplars

Key Words

Connected, environment