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My Food, My Future

Food choices and their impact on health and wellbeing are a socio-scientific issue impacting all communities. LENScience, in partnership with the National Institute of Health Innovation (NIHI) and the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation, have developed a series of learning resources connecting students to research being undertaken in New Zealand about food choices.


About the learning resources

These learning resources are designed for middle-school classes (New Zealand Curriculum Levels 4 - 6, Years 7 - 11). The resources allow teachers to create learning environments where students use web and app-based research tools, developed and used by NIHI scientists within the Starlight and Virtual Supermarket research projects, to explore issues around food package labelling and food choices in relation to health and wellbeing. This places the student in the seat of the scientific researcher. As well as exploring an issue for which they as adolescents have significant control (daily food choices they make within the context of their family and school environment), they are learning about this issue by using the same tools that scientists are using to explore this issue in New Zealand and international communities. Therefore they are learning about the process and nature of scientific research. The research tools they will use are the New Zealand versions of tools that have international relevance. They represent the collaborative nature of scientific endeavours. Teachers can use this to support exploration of the culture of the scientific community, where geographic location is not a barrier to collaboration. 

Project Funding

The My Food My Future learning resources build on the existing LENScience Healthy Start to Life Education for Adolescents Project resources, funded by grants from Gravida: National Research Centre for Growth and Development over the period 2008 - 2014. The adaptation of these to encompass the NIHI research tools has been funded by the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation, via a grant from the Youthtown Trust. 

A grant from the Dick Roberts Trust has enabled LENScience to provide Professional Learning and Development programmes that are linked to the use of these learning resources. 

Time has been given to the project by LENScience, The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation and the National Institute of Health Innovation.