Science Resources for Secondary Schools

Secondary science learning embeds the creative, critical and analytical thinking skills necessary for students’ current and future success.  

Our secondary science resources are designed to make science exciting, real and relevant. They use a variety of tools – science experiments, worksheets, online investigations and games – to build students’ scientific understanding and skills.  

Some science resources tackle Biology Basics and Beyond or Focus on Physics. Others explore contemporary issues like Emergency Science and Forensic Science.  

Equip your students with the skills and capabilities to be engaged, confident and active learners with our science resources for schools. 


What are the strands of science NZ? 

There are five strands of science in the New Zealand Curriculum. One of these is an overarching, unifying strand: the nature of science.  

The other four strands are: 

  • the living world, where students learn about living things and how they interact with each other and the environment 
  • planet Earth and beyond, which is about the interconnected systems and processes of Earth, the solar system and the universe beyond 
  • the physical world, where students explore physical phenomena (including light, sound, heat, electricity, magnetism, waves, forces and motion) united by the concept of energy 
  • the material world, which involves the study of chemistry, looking at matter and the changes it undergoes. 

What is the nature of science meaning? 

The meaning of the nature of science, according to the Science Learning Hub, is “the special characteristics, values and assumptions that scientific knowledge is based on and how scientific knowledge is developed.” 

Five tenets underpin the nature of science: 

  • scientific knowledge is tentative – that is, it is reliable and durable yet still subject to change 
  • science is empirically based on and derived from observations of the world around us 
  • science is inferential, imaginative and creative 
  • science is subjective and theory-laden based on scientists’ prior knowledge, theoretical beliefs, experiences, cultural backgrounds, training, expectations and bias 
  • science is socially and culturally embedded, where social and cultural elements will affect how scientific knowledge is produced and accepted. 

Within the context of the New Zealand Curriculum, the nature of science strand gives students an understanding of what science is and how scientists work. For example, how scientists re-evaluate their understandings when new evidence emerges. 

What secondary science resources do you suggest? 

The secondary science resources we suggest are: 

Science Investigations for the Classroom by Brenda Green 

The Science Investigations for the Classroom series is particularly valuable in developing science inquiry skills. The books contain activities, worksheets, and self-assessment charts that help students build the skills necessary to plan and conduct experiments effectively. 

For example, the second book concentrates on computer-based activities that get students to define aims, develop methods, collect data, evaluate information and draw conclusions.  

Science in the Real World by Julia Burton 

Science in the Real World is about changing students’ perceptions. These secondary science resources utilise worksheets, games, and experiments to demonstrate the unpredictability and messiness inherent in the process of learning science.  In this way, the activities have a strong link to the nature of science strand.  

Most importantly, students will come to realise that science is about things going wrong and then figuring out why.  

Emergency Science by Brenda Green 

Use the context of Emergency Science to explore the physical world and show students the evidence-based ways we test ideas and solve problems.  

These secondary school resources investigate the science behind climate change, natural disasters and medical emergencies. The differentiated activities develop students’ scientific knowledge and skills to enable them to respond to emergencies.