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Introducing Innovation

We live in a fast-changing world. We often hear that innovation is what’s needed to address the global challenges and local issues that we’re facing, to seize new and unexpected opportunities as they arise and to make our world a better place. A key role of schools is to prepare students for this changing world. Skills such as creativity and the ability to be innovative are often quoted as important for 21st century school leavers. These skills, often difficult to teach explicitly and to assess, are important to recognise and foster in our young people.

Innovation is a collection of resources for teachers to help support young people in developing an ability to recognise how innovation happens, to understand the value it can bring and, in doing so, to develop skills, attitudes and values that better prepare them for contributing to our fast-changing world.

Innovation is based on contemporary stories of New Zealand innovators and innovations. All our Innovation stories illustrate the value in having or developing a deep knowledge base in science or technology or both – but innovation is much more than just science or technology.

Important from a teacher’s point of view is that the telling of an Innovation story is inspiring! Innovation is all about new ideas, new ways of thinking, working with others and trying to make our world a better place. It’s all about seeing opportunities, solving problems, being creative, thinking outside the square, not giving up, being resourceful. These are skills, attitudes and behaviours needed for living and working in our fast-changing world. They can be explored and demonstrated through telling the stories of New Zealand innovators and their innovations.

We also see a lot of potential in these Innovation stories being used to illustrate the relevance of what students are learning at school (as we know this can be tricky!). Their classroom learning can be made meaningful by connecting it to cutting-edge careers and businesses in New Zealand.

As we further develop this section, we envisage that the range of Innovation stories will show the variety in the process of innovation and the people involved. This will be helpful in illustrating to students how they, too, might spot an opportunity, look at a problem differently, respond creatively to a challenge, work with others, come up with a solution and so on.

Innovation in your classroom

We see real value in Innovation stories being used in a range of learning areas, from science to technology to social science, and over a range of levels, from primary to NCEA. At a broader level, they can be used to support and promote the vision, values and key competencies defined in the New Zealand Curriculum. Our Innovation stories have multiple entry points, allowing you to tailor these resources to your needs, whether it’s the innovation, the science or technology, the people, the behaviours, attitudes or skills, the business or the careers that are your focus. Teachers now have a resource for developing innovation literacy in their students. 

Contact us

We’d love to hear from you if you’re using or interested in using our Innovation resources in your classroom. We’re always keen to work with teachers to improve, further develop and target our resources. You can contact us via email (enquiries@sciencelearn.org.nz) or phone 0800 023 579.

Useful links

The New Zealand Curriculum
View a schematic image of the New Zealand Curriculum showing vision, values, key competencies and learning areas.
nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/Curriculum-documents/The-New-Zealand-Curriculum external link

Innovation models and processes
Explore this Pinterest board to find a collection of different innovation models and process.
www.pinterest.com/nzsciencelearn/slh-innovation-models-and-processes external link