A Papatoetoe teacher will soon be advocating teaching science as a priority subject to children in intermediate Schools.
Mazru Shahdaab Alee is attending the second semester at the University of Auckland Food Science (Chemistry) Department on a ‘Primary School Teacher Fellowship.’
The Papatoetoe Intermediate School teacher and Department Head for Science curriculum is learning food preservation techniques and would examine the methods that would be commercially viable for New Zealand retailers.
“It is a totally different environment at the University with a plethora of ideas and resources available and the experience is thrilling,” he said.
His study involves collection of data on various fruits and food items and working with MSc and PhD students under the guidance of Senior Lecturer Dr Bronwen Smith.
He said studies and research at the University helped to develop new techniques in food preservation, packaging and transportation, which were useful not only to the students concerned but also to the entire country.
Mr Alee said the Fellowship was an eye-opener.
“Quality research undertaken is inspiring and show that importance of science is not understood at primary and intermediate school levels. No more than one hour per week is devoted to this subject.
“We must address this issue and encourage teachers to be more passionate about implementing interactive ideas in their classrooms,” he said.
Mr Alee said most students opted out of Science when they reached high school, thinking that it was a complicated subject.
The Fellowship Scheme also funds advisers to work with schools on the programme for up to a year after the teacher fellows return to their schools.
Mazru Shahdaab Alee is seen here using a colorimeter to measure colour and pigmentation of bananas over a five-day period at the University of Auckland Food Science Laboratory.