Teaching resources

NIWA's educational resources and scientific data are tools for young people to learn about science.

Rangi - weather and climate lessons for teachers

Developed for teachers, these lessons offer intermediate age students an engaging and interactive way to learn about Aotearoa’s wild and mild weather and climate patterns. Rangi (meaning weather or sky in te reo Māori)  is supported by MBIE’s Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund. Each lesson contains a teaching resource package with theory, videos, activities, experiments and quizzes.

Access Rangi - weather and climate lessons for teachers here.

Climate change

In 2020 NIWA published Climate change information for climate solvers - web content and video resources about the science of climate change. This material aims to be directly accessible to students but teachers may find it useful too.

In March 2020, NIWA took part in a virtual field trip with LEARNZ. On the LEARNZ website you can:

(The field trip was postponed partway through due to COVID19 and lockdown, but there are plans to resume later in the year).

Calculating the weather

Use our climate data to devise mathematics-orientated exercises for secondary school students. We also provide an overview of New Zealand climate data for use in school projects.

Climate and weather

Estuaries and coasts

When fresh water meets salty water

  • A classroom exercise that explores the physics of estuaries.

New Zealand’s Sandy Coasts

  • A NIWA CD resource for science and geography teachers which covers coastal processes and hazards such as the effects of erosion on development. The introductory material includes information on how the content fits into the New Zealand science, physics and geography curricula. 

Sponge resources

Specific project ideas

Links with teachers

NIWA collaborates directly with teachers through its involvement with the Royal Society of New Zealand Teaching Fellows. As part of the programme, Teacher Fellows participate in the life of the institute (including field work), engage in discussion and generally enhance their science skills and background. They work on defined projects and create teaching resources and activities to take back to the classroom.

Royal Society of New Zealand

The Royal Society of New Zealand has assembled a range of teaching and learning resources, including many on ocean and marine topics.

NIWA Invertebrate Collection Manager Kareen Schnabel showing students some of the Collection. [NIWA]