Science education

In addition to Peter Knowles’ science bus, the Nelson Science Society has a modest involvement in several science education initiatives.

2013/14·   Over the first and second term of 2013 NSS funded science educator Sterling Cathman’s work at Youth Nelson. This agency caters for 17 teenagers aged between 13 and 16 who have fallen out of the mainstream education system. Sterling runs a two hour session fortnightly. According to Youth Nelson manager Maree Shalders: “Sterling is able to engage our students in Science – most of our students have had negative experiences in the classroom.” He teaches the particle theory of matter, states of matter – solid, liquids and gases. And how these changes are relative to our everyday life. For the first term NSS gave $600.

In the second term Sterling focused more on health science: fitness, nutrition, diseases and respiration. A number of these students have completed the CACTUS fitness programme. These sessions have a direct practical application. For the second term NSS gave $500 plus GST.

·   NSS gave $125 towards Tristan Riley’s (a science teacher at Nelson College) chemistry workshop as part of professional development for the region’s primary school teachers. 

·   Our contribution to the School Science Fair was a $1000 prize to send a year 13 student to the Science Tellers Conference at Otago University, October 25 to 27, 2013. This event is a celebration of science storytelling through film, writing, the arts and other creative media. The festival programme combines extensive public screenings and workshops, with stimulating talks by international guest speakers.

2015- The society has made a financial contribution to the Ministry of Inspiration, a Nelson based charity which provides academic enrichment programmes across the streams of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Society (STEAMS). Their flagship annual event is INSPIRE 2015 (at NMIT March 31 to April 2) which provides students from 8 to 18 with inspirational speakers in science and technology. The NSS is providing 6 $50 day sessions (total = $300) to those students unable to pay for themselves. Contact: Leanne Pressman Founder and President 03-544-2788,