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Science Capabilities

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For the current year, see LEARNZ field trips with a science focus. In these cases, as well as incorporating other science principles, the LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher looks to find examples and communicate to classes about the five science capabilities, below.

The five science capabilities

Science Capability Description

Gather and interpret data
Gather and interpret data

Learners make careful observations and differentiate between observation and inference.

Science knowledge is based on data derived from direct, or indirect, observations of the natural physical world and often includes measuring something. An inference is a conclusion you draw from observations – the meaning you make from observations. Understanding the difference is an important step towards being scientifically literate.

Use evidence
Use evidence

Learners support their ideas with evidence and look for evidence supporting others' explanations.

Science is a way of explaining the world. Science is empirical and measurable. This means that in science, explanations need to be supported by evidence that is based on, or derived from, observations of the natural world.

Critique evidence
Critique evidence

Not all questions can be answered by science.

In order to evaluate the trustworthiness of data, students need to know quite a lot about the qualities of scientific tests. 

Interpret representations
Interpret representations

Scientists represent their ideas in a variety of ways, including models, graphs, charts, diagrams and written texts.

Learners think about how data is presented and ask questions such as:

  • What does this representation tell us?
  • What is left out?
  • How does this representation get the message across?
  • Why is it presented in this particular way?

Engage with science
Engage with science

This capability requires students to use the other capabilities to engage with science in “real life” contexts.

It involves students taking an interest in science issues, participating in discussions about science and at times taking action.

More about the NZ science curriculum: