Connected – evidence of exciting, engaging science!

Issue: Volume 94, Number 6

Posted: 20 April 2015
Reference #: 1H9cqn

3 new issues of Connected

Connected supports students to develop science concepts at curriculum levels 2–4. It is full of engaging short articles that explore a range of scientific ideas. The three most recent issues – How Do You Know?, Why Is That?, and What’s The Evidence? – were distributed to schools late last year. These books feature stories about the Christchurch rebuild, climate change, the senses, and using science to improve sporting performance. There are also several inspiring articles that profile scientists and their work. For example, one story features conservator Rangi Te Kanawa, who combines traditional dyeing practices with current scientific knowledge to preserve fibres in Māori textiles.

All the articles in the latest issues provide authentic and engaging examples of how scientists work together and use evidence to support their ideas. Some of the articles also have links to maths and technology.

Connected – print + digital content

Along with the print versions of the student books, for the last two years Connected has used a digital format to increase learner engagement and better meet the challenge of raising student achievement.

“Wow, what a great resource! All the different elements, aspects, and content made it much more engaging for my students. Thanks for motivating them to read and listen carefully. It is just so exciting to have such rich, deep resources.”

(Years 7–8 teacher)

The digital format allows teachers and students to freely access:

  • digital versions of the articles from each issue on Google Slides
  • additional digital content that extends the lead article in each issue, including collections of additional photographs, maps, and diagrams; an audio version of the text; video and/or animations, and embedded links to a wide variety of useful websites and website content
  • PDF versions of each article
  • MS Word versions of each article, to allow students (and teachers) to use the text for multiple purposes
  • PDF versions of the teacher support material (TSM)
  • MS Word versions of the TSM, which teachers can adapt to meet the context for learning and the learning needs of their students 
  • easily manipulated files of photographs, illustrations, maps, graphs, and other graphic elements available for download and reuse under Creative Commons licences.

Students and teachers can create and share exciting new pieces, by legally copying, distributing, displaying, manipulating, and revising all the content for their own work.* The fonts used in Connected are all in the public domain so there are no restrictions on using them either. Connected has brought the traditional literacy practice of adapting and building on others’ work into the digital learning spaces of the 21st century. Download the digital content and help your students become a part of the remix learning community!

Connected and the science capabilities

The articles in Connected focus on the Nature of Science, the overarching strand that brings together all the contextual strands of the science curriculum, and also on the science capabilities (identified by NZCER) that underpin the Nature of Science.

The latest issues target the second of the five science capabilities – Using evidence to support ideas. This follows on from Connected 2013, which focused on the first science capability – Gathering and interpreting data.

Teacher support material (TSM)

Most of the articles have TSM available online. Each TSM provides background information for teachers, curriculum links, and ideas for classroom discussion and activities, as well as possible instructional strategies and suggestions to meet the literacy challenges of the texts.

The TSM is provided as a downloadable PDF and as a Word document, so that teachers can adapt the learning activities to meet the needs of their students and the context for learning.

Useful links

We'd like your feedback

This is the second year of Connected with additional digital content and if you are using the resource with your students, we’d love to hear from you. Your feedback will help us to improve future issues of the series.

In particular, we’d welcome your responses to the following questions:

  • How do you use Connected in your teaching?
  • What does the print + digital model let you and your students do that you couldn’t do before?
  • How are your students using the additional digital content?
  • What additional content would you like in future issues of Connected?

Please email your feedback to Peggy Nesbitt (

*The copyright mechanism that allows this flexibility does still have some conditions. Please see above for a link to the Creative Commons New Zealand site, where you can get more information.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 10:04 am, 20 April 2015

Get new listings like these in your email
Set up email alerts