On Wednesday, I am meeting up with Chris Duggan, Director of the House of Science, Tauranga. It is just another great example of how the city and the wider Bay of Plenty is taking science and innovation and making it available to the widest possible audience. In the case of the House of Science, the focus is very much on facilitating the sharing of local science resources for the betterment of education across the community.

Connecting science resources with the education community

Connecting science resources with the education community

In its own words, the House of Science Tauranga exists to resource and connect the local science community in order to celebrate the power and potential of science. To achieve this end, it delivers;

  • Co-ordinated and locally relevant delivery of professional development for school science teachers

  • Access to science resources and advice for local teachers, students and the public

  • Development of links between the local science community with local primary and secondary schools

It is the background to the House of Science Tauranga however that fascinates me. It illustrates how those dots in Tauranga just keep connecting!

In October 2009, it was announced that INTERCOAST was being established at Sulphur Point. INTERCOAST is a German-New Zealand international Graduate Marine Research Institute supported by the University of Waikato. I have posted an article about INTERCOAST and The Coastal Marine Field Station before. Part of this programme would see the setting up of  The House of Science, a “highly visible, unique community facility which will increase engagement with science by demonstrating the value, excitement and relevance of the discipline and its role in sustainability and wealth creation”.

The Coastal Marine Field Station was set up at Sulphur Point in Tauranga but lack of funding and staffing meant the House of Science didn’t quite get off the ground. As a response, Chris Duggan along with four other passionate supporters (Prof Chris Battershill, Dr Simon Taylor, Pauline Cowens and Lyn Parlane) set up the House of Science Tauranga Charitable Trust. The rest as they say is history.

I will be meeting Chris at the House of Science Tauranga office which is now located at Sulphur Point. Building engagements between the region’s different innovation hubs is driving the entrepreneurial ecosystem that the city and Bay of Plenty require. By developing links between the local science community and local primary and secondary schools, the House of Science Tauranga is playing a key part in that ecosystem build.