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Secondary school book award for principal investigator

16 November 2012

Maurice Wilkins Centre principal investigator Professor Peter Shepherd and co-author Rachel Heeney, Head of Biology at Epsom Girls Grammar School, won the Best Book or Series in Secondary Publishing award at the Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) Educational Publishing Awards last night.

Their secondary school text book, “Life Processes, Ecology and Evolution – NCEA Level 2”, published by Pearson Education New Zealand, was commended by the judges as a book that would “inspire young science students.”

"Writing this textbook has been a very interesting experience and shows that a lot can be gained by University based scientists working closely with teachers when it comes to providing content for classroom teaching,” says Professor Shepherd.

Written specifically for the New Zealand Curriculum, the book aims to “present material in a way that meets the needs of all groups of students, and will allow all students to understand the important principles of biology, to understand how the scientific process works and to be confident enough to embrace the potential biology offers our society.”

“We’re delighted that Peter and Rachel have received this well-deserved honour,” says Maurice Wilkins Centre Director Professor Rod Dunbar. “Educating the next generation of scientists, and helping others to understand and value science, is an important focus for the Centre, and the links that we’re building between scientists and secondary school teachers are a critical part of this.”

The award follows the Centre’s recent NCEA Level 3 Content Day, which gave secondary school teachers an intensive update on the latest in biomedical science, and initiatives such as the Maurice Wilkins Centre biology teacher development scholarships for teachers to attend Queenstown Research Week

The CLNZ Educational Publishing Awards were established to recognise and reward authors and publishers for excellence in the educational sector. The judges were Angela Fitchett, Curriculum Manager at Nelson College; Hone Apanui, a respected educator now a writer, translator and editor in both English and Māori; and Dr Rebecca Jesson, Research Fellow, School of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Education Faculty, The University of Auckland.