February 26, 2017

Virtual field trip: Victoria University goes to Antarctica

Virtual field trip: Victoria University goes to Antarctica
“It’s not easy to take students to Antarctica, but by filming the lectures on the ice, we can introduce students to this incredible continent.”

Virtual field trip: Victoria University goes to Antarctica

Victoria University is giving students the opportunity to explore Antarctica – for free.

The tertiary education provider is offering its first massive open online course (MOOC) that will allow anyone, anywhere, to explore the ice continent.

Enrolments are now open for Antarctica: From Geology to Human History on the global edX platform, a nonprofit, open-source technology platform founded by United States universities Harvard and MIT, and governed by universities for universities.

With support from Antarctica New Zealand, Dr Cliff Atkins and Dr Rebecca Priestley filmed lectures on location on Ross Island and in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica.

Together, they explore more than 500 million years of geological history and 250 years of geographical discovery and scientific endeavour on the ‘coldest, driest, windiest continent on Earth’.

“It’s not easy to take students to Antarctica, but by filming the lectures on the ice, we can introduce students around the world to this incredible continent,” says Priestley.

Priestley, a science historian and writer who has written extensively about Antarctica, visits Captain Scott’s huts on Ross Island and interviews conservators from the Antarctic Heritage Trust and scientists and logistics staff working at Scott Base and McMurdo Station.

Atkins is an Antarctic veteran, having spent 12 seasons on the ice. He introduces students to some of the planet’s most remarkable landscapes – the Dry Valleys, the Transantarctic Mountains and the world’s southernmost volcanic island.

Antarctica: From Geology to Human History starts on Saturday 15 April. People can enroll now, for free, online here.


Needing help for your home schooling journey:



Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/


Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events:http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

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Piano Nanny – Free Piano Lessons

Piano Nanny- Free Piano Lessons

Learn to read music and learn to play the piano using this set of free online piano lessons. This piano tutorial is brought to you by PianoNanny.com and Piano on the Net.


Please share/forward this link with other home educators.


From the Smiths:


Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here


Needing help for your home schooling journey:



Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/


Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

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PhD study on Home Education in New Zealand

PhD study on Home Education in New Zealand

Parental Choice and Education:

The Practice of Homeschooling  in New Zealand

By Leo Roach



Home schooling is a viable alternative to the state school’s approach to education, says veteran teacher, former principal and now Doctor of Education Leo Roache.

Read his Thesis here:


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Making a Garden Time Capsule

Making a Garden Time Capsule
Don’t you love looking through old photos and stuff you wrote ages
ago? It’s really funny to see how much you’ve changed. Have you ever
considered making a time capsule for your own garden? Imagine the
fun of digging it up in 10 or 20 years time – or if you forget all
about it, some day someone else will find it and treat it as real
buried treasure! You can do it all by yourself or get the whole
family involved.

You will need: A tall glass coffee jar with a screw top lid & lots
of imagination.

What to Do:
1. Wash the jar out with hot water and let it drain upside down on a
wire rack for several days (or put in oven just after you have turned it off to dry quickly). Wash the lid too and let it drain as  well. They must both be perfectly dry inside.
2. In selecting the things to go into your capsule, pretend that it
is going to be opened by someone you don’t know many years from now.
(It won’t matter if you open it yourself instead!)

Things you might include:

photos of yourself and your family (put names on the back)
a photo of the house
a photo of the garden
some information about yourself, the rest of the family and the
information about your pets and maybe a drawing of them
a description of the colour scheme of the house and maybe a floor
a list of plants growing in the garden and a plan of the garden
a recent nursery catalogue
the front page of the newspaper


3. To put the material into the jar, put it all together on to the
largest sheet of paper and roll it into a cylinder. Slip it into the
jar and it will unroll. Put the lid on very, very firmly.
4. Choose a place to bury the bottle. You will need a deep hole in a
spot where the jar is unlikely to be broken by a fork or spade.
Beside a fence, in a rockery or near the trunk of a big tree are


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Giant squid boasts world’s biggest eye (+video)

Te Papa

EYE SPY: The arrow points to the location of the eye – the biggest recorded in the animal kingdon – of the collossal squid being dissected at Te Papa. Bottom: scientists measure the thawing squid.


The world’s most famous colossal squid was still thawing this afternoon today in a museum laboratory as researchers prepared to measure it, probe its interior, and take samples.
View video click on link above to view video

But two Swedish professors specialising vision in invertebrates, Eric Warrant and Dan Nilsson, of the University of Lund, said they were rapt that the thaw has already revealed the animal kingdom’s biggest eye, 27cm across, with a lens measuring between 10cm and 12cm wide.

Below the eye was a light-emitting organ, a photophore light cell, used by some other squid species for illuminating prey, or for signalling other squid.

“This is the largest eye ever recorded in history and studied,” said Prof Warrant.

“The massive size of the eye indicates the animal is very visual.

“It has a huge lens the size of an orange and captures an awful lot of light in the dark depths in which it hunts.”

One of the eyes was too damaged to preserve, and only minimally invasive investigations would be made of the remaining one.

“They’re larger than dinner plates – they’re truly fantastic eyes,” Dr Steve O’Shea, a squid expert at Auckland’s University of Technology, who is among the scientific team of 10.

Because parts of the body were still thawing when it was shown off to media, the colossal squid’s overall length – expected to be about 8m – had not been measured.

The 495kg carcass of the Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni specimen caught in February 2007 in the Ross Sea off Antarctica has been defrosting since Monday afternoon at the Museum of New Zealand.

The museum is showing the operation on a live webcast, which attracted 99,000 viewers yesterday.

Little is known about colossal squid and scientists were today hoping the thawing might reveal it as a male, so they could gain insights into its reproduction. One of the first tasks will be determining the creature’s gender.

“If we get ourselves a male it will be the first reported (scientific) description of the male of the species,” Dr O’Shea said.

But he said today that so far the thaw had not disclosed a large penis or special arms for transferring packets of sperm to females, which made it more likely the specimen was a female.

Dr O’Shea said an early estimate of the squid’s beak length at between 43mm and 45mm indicated it was not the biggest of its species.

“We certainly haven’t seen the largest specimen yet,” he said today. “The beak on the 495kg animal is considerably smaller than the largest beak that we have recovered from the stomach contents of sperm whales.

“Another individual may be as large as 750kg.”

Beaks found partly digested in sperm whales’ stomachs have measured up to 49mm. Beak length is related to the overall size of the squid, but scientists will need many specimens to work out the exact size relationship between the beak and body mass.

When the interior of the squid thaws, Dr O’Shea and another AUT researcher, Kat Bolstad, will investigate the colossal squid with Tsunemi Kubodera of Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science. Their examination is being broadcast on the internet (http://www.r2.co.nz/20080427/rotate-1.asx).

The defrosted squid must be preserved in a formalin solution tonight before it starts to decay. After three or four weeks “fixing” in 7000 litres of formalin, it will be put on display in a purpose-built tank at the end of the year.

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