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Switched onto Science

Switch on to Science with these activities.

Mighty movement

To Māori, Papatūānuku is the mother earth and Ranginui is the father sky. Papatūānuku is changing her shape all the time. We don't really notice it because it happens very slowly over millions of years. See how Papatūānuku has changed over the last 200,000,000 years. Then answer these questions:

  • How many years ago did Aotearoa start to appear on the scene?
  • How many years ago did Aotearoa finally separate from Australia?
  • What are some of the forces that helped shape Papatūānuku (the Earth)?
  • Aotearoa is very isolated from the rest of the world. Name three animals that are unique to this country.

Super scientist

It is science week at Ed and Wiki's school and their first activity is to create an identification card of a famous scientist for a class display. Check out the list of scientists below and see if you can help.

Scientific gobbledygook

Help Ed and Wiki unscramble these scientific words.

Monarch butterfly

The Monarch butterfly has four stages to its lifecycle – amazing eh!! View Emerging from the chrysalis to find out what the stages are.

  • Use a drawing application on your computer to draw each stage of the life cycle of the monarch butterfly.
  • Insert the images into the template provided.

    Word icon. Butterfly cycle template (Word, 34 KB)

  • Drag the names in Māori and English of each of the stages of the lifecycle below each of the boxes. Use the Ngata dictionary to check that the Māori words are correct for each stage of the cycle.

Star quest

Open the Te Ao Hurihuri website. Follow the instructions below so you can gaze at the stars and find the answers to your quest.

  • Click on the "For PC" button and download Te Ao Hurihuri to your desktop.
  • Select the taonga button on the left, six new buttons will appear on the right.
  • Select the te whānau a Tama nui te rā button.
  • Name the nine planets in order from the sun.
  • Select the music symbol to the right, what is the sound from track 7 of Whakaranu puoro?
  • Click on Katia and close that section.
  • Select the Haere button and listen to the story of how the heavens were created.
  • How does the start of the story begin?
  • How does the story end?

City of cells

Ever thought about what is inside your cells and how they work? Your cells and a big city have a lot in common.

  • Have a look at the Cell City website.
  • Roll your mouse over the cell to find out what jobs the different parts of the cell do.
  • Complete the cell diagram by labelling and drawing the parts.

    Word icon. Cell Diagram (Word, 36 KB)

Scientific story

Wiki and Tipani were arguing about an experiment they wanted to carry out! Ed tried to explain to them how to do it properly but they are still not sure. Create a one minute digital story to show Wiki and Tipani how to find things out scientifically.

  • Choose one of the following ideas to base your digital story on:
    • Science safety
    • A science experiment
    • Recycling in your school.
  • Using a digital camera, take photos of the theme you have chosen.
  • Open the Storyboard resource and read through the information about storyboards.
  • Scroll down the page and find the example of a simple storyboard made using stick figures.
  • Make a simple storyboard made using stick figures. Save it your work folder.


Hei tā te Māori ko Papatūānuku te whaea, ko Ranginui te matua o te ao. Kua rerekē te āhua o Papatūānuku i ngā wā katoa. Kāore tonu e kitea e te hunga tangata, nā te roa o ēnei mahinga, neke atu i te miriona tau tēnei tō āhua e haere ana. Tirohia te tauwhitiwhititanga, Crusty Stuff kia kitea e pēhea ana te rerekētanga o Papatūānuku i roto i ngā tau 200,000,000. Ka whakautu mai i ngā pātai nei i te wā e mārama ai koe ki ēnei mahi.

  • Inahea i tīmata ai te puta ake o Aotearoa ki tēnei ao?
  • Ēhia tau ki muri i wehe mai ai a Aotearoa i Āhitereiria?
  • He aha ētahi o ngā taipana e āwhina ana i a Papatūānuku ki te whakarerekē i tōna āhua?
  • He tino taratahi nei te noho o Aotearoa mai i te ao whānui. Whakaingoatia mai ētahi kararehe, taketake ake nō tēnei takiwā.

Distinct differences

After visiting the local aquarium, Wiki was amazed that within a species adults looked so different from their young.

Open the Word icon. Tank Turmoil Science Match Worksheet (Word, 31 KB) and match the baby descriptors to the correct mother.

Juicy acids

Have you ever eaten an orange or kiwi fruit and felt a burning sensation in your mouth? That's because the juice is acidic. Operate Gem's alien juice bar to find out all about acids and bases.

Seed survival

What are the best conditions for growing plants? Wiki wants you to grow some seeds to find out the optimum growing conditions for them. You could try this activity as a group.

  • Read the experiment. Concentrate on pages 2 and 4–6.
  • Follow the instructions for the experiment.
  • Use the digital camera to photograph the changes in your seeds daily.
  • Create an animated PowerPoint to show the growth.
  • Check out the cool animations on the data cards to see what yours should look like. Open a data card then click on the animate button.


E whā ngā wāhanga ora o te Kahukura – mīharo ne!! Tirohia te wā e puta ai ia i tōna tūngoungou ki te tiro he aha ngā wāhanga.

  • I roto i te tauira Peita, tāngia ia o ngā wāhanga o te wāhanga ora o te Kahukura.
  • Raua ngā whakaahua ki runga i Word icon. te papa tauira (Word, 34 KB)  e hora nei.
  • Tōia atu ngā ingoa Māori, Pākehā hoki, mū ia o ngā wāhanga mataora i raro o ia pouaka. Whakamahia te Papakupu o Ngata ki te tiro mēna kai te tika ngā kupu Māori mū ia o ngā wāhanga mataora.

Rapuhia ngā Whetū

Whakamahi tōnei paewhakaata a Te Ao Hurihuri. Whaia ngā tohutohu ki raro nei kia whakautuhia ngā patai mo ngā whetu o te rangi.

  • Patohia te patene "Ma PC". Tangohia te hotaka a Te Ao Hurihuri ki to paparorohiko.
  • Patohia te patene "taonga" ki te taha maui, kia whakaatu ngā patene ki te taha matau.
  • Patohia te patene "te whanau a Tama nui te ra".
  • Mai a Tama nui te ra, Whakaingoatia ngā ao e iwa.
  • Tangohia te patene puoro ki te taha matau, he aha te rongo o te wahanga tua whitu o te taonga nei a Whakaranu puoro?
  • Katia taua wahanga.
  • Patohia te patene "Haere" kia rangona e koe te pakiwaitara o nga rangi.
  • He aha te timatanga o taua pakiwaitara?
  • He aha te whakamutunga o taua pakiwaitara?

The small scope

There are so many things all around us that we can't normally see. Ed was amazed at what he saw when looking down an electron microscope.

  • Open the Ugly Bug website.
  • Draw a detailed observational drawing of either a tick or an ant. Remember, an observational drawing includes features that you wouldn't normally see.
  • To help you label your drawing, use the ant diagram or have a look at these websites:

Fear factor

Ed has been carrying out some scientific investigations back at the lab. He has discovered how to create lots of disgusting slime and other things to astound an audience. Carry out one of these cool experiments and film it for wickEDtv.

  • Use the storyboard to plan your film sequence, dialogue and shots. Focus on keeping your audience entertained.
  • Create and edit your film to last for one minute.

    Word icon. Blank Storyboard (Word, 26 KB)