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Planning for science programmes

Purpose of this resource

The Science and Mathematics Task Force recommended that Science toolbox be developed to support primary school teachers in their delivery of Science in the New Zealand Curriculum. This curriculum can be delivered effectively only if students are provided with practical experiences. Practical work enables students to develop the essentials skills of the curriculum, especially their problem-solving and investigative skills, and it is an essential component of a classroom science programme.

Science toolbox will enable teachers to identify materials for use in their science programmes. Schools will not need to buy every item listed, nor do the lists include everything needed for science programmes. However the lists will help teachers identify gaps in a school's current provision for a science programme. They also suggest other ways to use existing materials and promote the cross–curricular use of materials.

Associated resources

Science toolbox is designed to be used in collaboration with the following resources:

  • Ministry of Education. Safety and Science: A Guidance Manual for New Zealand Schools. Wellington: Learning Media, 1997.
  • Ministry of Education. Making Better Sense of the Material World. Wellington: Learning Media, 1998.

Note on safety equipment

Please note that the equipment list provided in this resource does not include the safety equipment that every board of trustees must provide to ensure that science teaching takes place in a safe and healthy environment. In case help is required with providing such equipment, a list of the suggested minimum safety equipment is provided in this resource.


The Ministry of Education would like to thank:

  • New Zealand Association of Science Educators for their management of the writing of this publication
  • writing team of Melissa Bell, Alan Bennington, Alex Benson, Sandra Copeland, Chris Manley, Margaret Mills, Peter Spratt, and Gillian Whyman
  • consultative group of Melanie Bell, Fran Blundell, Lorraine McCowan, Jenni Edwards, Jocelyn Grant, Tiffany Kemp, Beryl Lee, Mary Loveless, Keith McKenzie, Debbie Middleton, Berys Spratt, and Jeanette Stokes