Inspiring the scientists of the future

28 May 2019

Waikato student and volunteer Bec Quayle with House of Science General Manager Catherine Frericks.

Hamilton kids are on the road to becoming a lot more science-literate, with House of Science joining the city. The Tauranga-born charity has just opened a Central Waikato base on Ruakura Road, thanks to a location sponsorship from the University of Waikato.

The Hamilton branch currently has 23 unique educational “science boxes” to circulate among local primary and intermediate schools and local community groups. Each kit has a different theme, and contains all the materials a teacher or educator would need to deliver a practical and exciting science lesson. General Manager Catherine Frericks says having a space in Hamilton has allowed the charity to expand its operations to the Waikato region.

“It’s great to have a physical presence in the Waikato,” Catherine says. “At the end of last year, we were supplying science boxes to five schools; now we are supplying to 18. Our goal is to empower future generations and normalise science among students from a young age.

“By providing children with science resources, they will stay curious, continue to ask questions, think for themselves and give themselves better opportunities later on in life. The charity is run by local volunteers, for the local community and that’s what makes this such a great initiative.”

House of Science aims to raise science literacy in New Zealand by providing engaging and interactive "science boxes" to local schools and community groups.

University of Waikato teaching student and mother of two Bec Quayle is a volunteer at House of Science Central Waikato. Each week, she puts together and re-fills themed boxes, ready to be distributed to the next school.

“I got involved with House of Science after hearing about it in my science tutorial,” Bec says. “It’s a fantastic charity to be involved with, and it’s opened my eyes to other areas of science that I was unaware of. The boxes are a great way to expose children to the world of science through exciting experiments and activities.”

Bec is in her second year of a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary). She returned to study after having her own children and discovering a passion for teaching them and being involved with their school lives.

Based in Cambridge, Bec says it can be challenging to balance studies, volunteering and parenting, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“My life is pretty busy, but it’s a wonderful life,” she says. “I’m really grateful to be part of such a great educational community and making a difference in kids’ lives.”

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