The Department of Conservation (DOC) of New Zealand has created an in depth series of educational guides covering a range of topics on our natural environment.  It links clearly to the NZ curriculum and has easy to follow activities to engage your students in environmental education.  Great for all educators of primary aged children.

PLink to DOC education resourcesublished: 2016

Exploring Your Local Environment is the first resource in the ‘In the environment’ series. It provides an overview, introducing key concepts. Students start to form an inquiry plan (using your own inquiry model, or the one provided), identify a local green space and begin to explore it.

It includes activities to help plan an investigation into the biodiversity in your local green space. The activities can also be used as stand-alone authentic learning experiences, to encourage students to connect to a local green space.




Lab Equipment:

A useful tool for any budding scientist is the Digital Microscope Magnifier – cost varies depending on where you get one.  We have found the one picture left for  NZD30 appropriate for our investigations at the Open Lab.





The Kiwi Conservation Club KCC is the publisher of a wonderful children’s magazine Wild Things below is a page from one of their publications which illustrates a real world scientific trapping technique used by entomologists to capture and examine critters.  


A number of posters have been prepared for NZFSS, courtesy of Environment Waikato. These are available free of charge, excluding postage. There are currently three posters available (pictured below is the one we use at the Open Lab), detailing New Zealand native freshwater fauna and flora. Posters can be ordered from Waikato Regional Council (email


microbial ecology poster v9 300dpi with logos

YouTube clips are always popular with children and I will add some below as I find them

Published on May 21, 2012

Watch ‘Bugman’ Ruud Kleinpaste as he explores the fascinating world of bugs. Teachers and students can learn how our spiders, earthworms, ants, mites, slugs, beetles, slaters, cockroaches – and even the native stink-roach – are not yucky at all, but in fact all play vital roles in keeping the balance in nature. To find out more go to

How to make a Rongoa garden – Whanau Living

Landscape architect Meg Kane joins forces with horticulturist Nicola Kawana to plant Rongoa, a traditional Maori medicinal garden, using native plants on TV show Whanau Living.

Rongoā – Ngāi Tahu Mahinga Kai

Maurice Manawatu in Kaikōura makes traditional medicines. He takes school groups through the forests and shows them how to make traditional medicines with the plants they gather.