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Information for Teachers and Schools

Senior Biology Seminar Series

The Senior Biology Seminar Series consists of nine seminars for Year 13 Biology students that run on Thursday afternoons from 3:45-5:00pm from Term 1 to Term 3.

Target Audience: Students preparing for NCEA Biology Level 3 (Merit and Excellence) and New Zealand Scholarship (Biology), administered by NZQA.

Each seminar is based around the work of New Zealand scientists, linking to concepts at Level 8 in the New Zealand Curriculum.

This provides students with an important opportunity to:
(a) increase understanding of concepts; and
(b) learn how to apply concepts to new situations.

The programme is designed by experienced biology teachers from the LENScience team, working in consultation with scientists.

Seminars are co-presented by teachers and scientists.

Each seminar topic in the programme runs for a three week block.

Week 1:

  • Workshop in schools to read / discuss the seminar paper (possibly given out in advance). Focus questions will be supplied.
  • Schools submit questions arising to the wiki site.

Week 2:

  • Schools "attend" the live seminar either via the Satellite Television Broadcast, NEN Broadcast (you can watch these from your classroom) or by being in a live audience for schools either at the Liggins Institute, University of Canterbury, or other regional centres.
  • The seminar is co-presented by a teacher and scientist. The presentation is 40 minutes, followed by 20 minutes for questions.
  • Students can ask questions during the seminar either via the wiki or internet chat room. There will be teachers on the wiki site and internet chat room during the seminar to take questions. We will do our best to put all questions to the live seminar.
  • At the end of the seminar students will be presented with "challenge questions".

Week 3:

  • Schools hold a workshop to discuss the "challenge questions". Each school is responsible for submitting some ideas about how to answer these to the wiki site.
  • Questions and comments that you put up on the wiki site will be responded to by LENScience teachers, scientists and teachers and students from participating schools.

How do I register my school for the seminars?

To register your school, please complete the school registration form found on the LENScience Bookings and Registrations page.

An information sheet for School Principals outlining the programme can be downloaded here.

A small number of schools will be asked to participate in evaluation of the programme. An example of the 2008 Student Evaluation Form is available to view here.

If you have any queries please contact

How much will the seminars cost?

This is a free programme open to all Year 13 Biology students in New Zealand schools.

Home School students are welcome to participate but must register.

The school is responsible to provide the technology required to access the broadcast - either by Satellite Television or the KAREN National Education Network.

Access via Satellite Television is not expensive. This involves having a set top box and satellite dish (like a sky dish).

Even if you do not have a sky dish in your school, this will be a total investment of less than $500 for your school.

How do I receive the seminars?

Schools can receive the seminar via Satellite Television or the National Education Network.

To find out more click here

Alternatively, there are number of schools and universities that have offered to be regional venues for the seminar series. To see these venues, please go to our School Registration page.

How to ...(click on a link below to download instructions)

Navigate your way around the wiki

Take part in a wiki discussion

Use the seminar chat