We promote local curriculum through field based STEM

Field-Based STEM is founded on tried and tested programmes that embrace learning in the outdoors. Tony Jones is the founder of Field Based STEM and for many years he has successfully run Science Departments and whole school curricula that have been underpinned by field work.

Field-Based STEM have several facilitators who provide Science PLD underpinned by authentic outdoor experiences.

Tony is an MOE Accredited PLD Facilitator (Accreditation Number: ACC1342). He can help you access Professional Development Funding from the Ministry of Education so that you can access the PLD that you need on your journey to deliver equitable field – based STEM programmes. 

“Our mission is based on the real belief that our young people need to spend more time in the field."

Unlike scientific community programmes that are expensive and require lots of investment, field work is done by individuals and is accessible to anyone.

The skills gained during field work open up a huge area for everyone undertaking it. 

Tony Jones, Founder

Our Team

What improves the learning of your students in the local context?

You know what you need.

You might need some inspiration.
We give you real scientists,
who share real-life solving situations they have been part of.

Ruud Kleinpaste – The Bugman

Ruud Kleinpaste needs no introduction as he is known as The Bugman to a wide audience after an exceptional career in science communication that spans over three decades. His priority is Environmental Education, championing biodiversity and biosecurity and citizen science.

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Hari Mogoșanu – Milky-Way.Kiwi

Hari is our SPACE-girl.
She is a Space Science Communicator and also an analog Mars astronaut. She loves teaching all aspects of astronomy and space sciences and especially to support teachers and students in learning how studying space can inform how we shape the future of humankind.

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Sonia Lucchese

Sonia works in an educational setting as a teacher of languages and as a lecturer in tertiary teacher training. She also provides weaving workshops. She supports teachers in the classroom by connecting ākonga to mātauranga Māori through weaving, and by training teachers directly.

Sonia is a specialist teacher starting at Primary School level, supporting the place-based environmental and sustainable education programme through her knowledge of weaving and tikanga. Sonia is also a lecturer in postgraduate professional teaching practices at tertiary level where she shares her passion for upholding tauiwi responsibilities to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

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Kiera Jones

Kiera is an educational psychologist – with a particular interest in supporting teachers’ efforts in overcoming barriers to learner engagement.

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Chris Hollis

Chris is an experienced geoscientist and paleontologist, with special interests in the geological record of greenhouse climate states and field-based geoscience education.

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Aaron McCloy

Aaron is a marine scientist, who worked for 25 years teaching biology and environmental education, mostly in the far North. Recently he was responsible for running the Moana Restoration Courses for Papa Taiao Earthcare.

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Ria Bright

Ria has worked in Northland secondary schools teaching social science and geography for over a decade. She is a keen advocate for education outside the classroom.

For the past four years she has
facilitated Project Island Song’s Floating Classrooms providing experiential learning for local schools. Ria is in the process of completing a doctorate researching student engagement with climate change education​.

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Ben Knight

Ben is passionate about the environment and supporting local communities to be involved in the protection and management of it. He is an expert communicator and strategic planner and a founding member of the NZ Citizen Science Association.

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Tony Jones

Tony is the founder of Field-basedSTEM. He is very passionate about supporting teachers with specialist knowledge to enhance the skills they already have. He is driven by the real belief that young people need to spend more time in the field. Tony has a good understanding of schools, having spent 40 years in secondary school classrooms “and loved every minute”.

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Zoe McKellar

Zoe is a geologist, editor, and science communicator. She has a wide range of teaching experience in the Earth sciences, including paleontology. Her research has focused mainly on structural geology and sedimentology, particularly on tectonic histories and rock ages. She is passionate about science communication and outreach, and she firmly believes that science is for everybody.

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Julian Thomson

Julian Thomson spent 14 years as a high school teacher, focusing on earth and environmental sciences as well as outdoor learning. He also has significant experience as a teacher mentor and with curriculum development. For 13 years he was the full time geoscience outreach educator at GNS Science. He now runs his own science communication company Out There Learning Ltd​

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Bianca Woyak

Bianca Woyak is head of Science at Burnside Primary School in Ōtautahi/ Christchurch where she teaches just Science from years 1 to 6. Bianca’s pedagogy celebrates a “hands on” approach, including real-world learning with a local curriculum focus. Bianca has changed her whole school’s curriculum to include student-led action projects, giving students the ability to lead and create change for the environment.

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Chris Judd

Chris grew up in the Waikato living and loving our natural environment and after living and working around Europe, he returned home to NZ with

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Heather Knewstubb – Time Genie

Heather is our school liaison and a Time Genie, doing tasks that people don’t have time to do so they can spend more time in their zone of genius, doing what they do best. You most probably might hear from her when working with us.

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Taylor Thomson

Taylor Thomson

The Shark Boy thrives in salt water, but like several shark species, he is agile in fresh water too.

Taylor is an environmental scientist whose fascination with sharks has led him to a career that studies human interactions with both freshwater and estuarine environments, in a bid to reduce our impact on his favourite creature – The Shark! With a knowledge base that spans across water science and ecology, his teachings focus on how we can restore our relationship with nature, thus mitigating the negative impacts on our waterways.

You can also find him as a part of the dynamic facilitator duo ‘Human-Nature,’ where he elaborates on land-based impacts on our waterways.

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Dr Angie Winnington

Angie has teaching experience in the classroom prioritising ‘scientific engagement’ learning at primary, intermediate and college level NZ students. She is enthusiastic and keen to encourage students of all abilities to find their own pathway into discovering the science around them.

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Bruce Hayward

Bruce is one of New Zealand’s leading geologists, paleontologists and marine ecologists. He is the go-to expert on the geology of northern New Zealand and the volcanoes of Auckland. He loves the outdoors and assisting teachers and the public to read the landscape and rocks and understand the detailed stories they hold about the long history of this beautiful country of ours.

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Dr Craig Hansen

Dr Craig has 30+ years of creative leadership experience in education, both in Aotearoa and internationally. With a strong, proven history of professional development, Craig leads with passion and skill when relating with teachers, board members and community.

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Dr Manue Martinez

Manue is a marine biologist and is passionate about protecting our environment (taiao), the creatures that live in them, and their ecosystems. She’s always keen to share her knowledge and empower others and local communities to make a difference, especially through citizen science. Manue is currently offering her expertise in her field of research with M2M (Maunga to Moana) Consulting, which she started in early 2022.

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Mike King

Mike is a professional forager, arborist, landscaper and mushroom grower currently running Otaki College’s horticultural gardens Aho Aho.

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Sam Hampton

Sam Hampton is an earth scientist with over 15 years’ experience in teaching and learning. Sam uses his academic knowledge and adventures in the environments of New Zealand to encourage individuals to look and delve deeper into the landscapes, geology, and environments of Aotearoa New Zealand.

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Claudia Silva

Claudia teaches about urban foraging, food waste and the circular economy. She has degrees in Environmental Studies and Cultural Anthropology and is fascinated by the intersection between the human experience and the environment. She is also passionate about improving science communication in school environments and is excited to share her knowledge in all things food and nature. She is currently writing her Masters thesis on how food foraging in urban spaces such as Ōtautahi Christchurch can aid in the holistic resilience of the community.

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Gavin McLean

International STEM Educator who believes believes that New Zealand has a bright future for students who can solve real-world problems, use their communication, creativity and imagination. STEM School – Local Curriculum Design – 21st Century STEM Skills, Project Based Learning (PBL)

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Tom Coyle

Tom is a forensic scientist with over 35 years’ experience specialising in locating, developing, and preserving all types of physical trace evidence from crime scenes. He is also an internationally certified Fingerprint Expert and Disaster Victim Identification specialist. His passion for forensics inspired him to launch Forensic Insight Ltd. The ‘CSI Guy’ introduces teachers and students to a unique hands-on learning experience in all aspects of trace evidence. This is the first of its kind in New Zealand.

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Kathy Broadhead

Kia ora, I’m Kathy Broadhead – nature lover, nature education specialist and environmental educator. I am a trained teacher with a MEd, PGDip, BSc and over 20 years in a variety of education roles, most recently running my own Nature School.

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Marie Haley

Marie Haley is a historian, ecologist and storyteller. Marie explores sense of place and identity/tūrangawaewae through building connections and understanding to our natural environment and our history, to foster guardianship/kaitiakitanga.
Based in Akaroa, Marie teaches history and ecology, interwoven across multiple subject areas, particularly the new Aotearoa NZ Histories Curriculum.
‘Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua. Walking backwards into the future with eyes fixed on the past.’

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Rachel Thompson

Rachel Thompson, although primary trained, has worked in a variety of teaching roles for over 20 years. Her passion is in environmental education and in connecting tamariki with nature. As the lead coordinator for Kids Greening Taupō, she works with schools and ECE centres to create native restoration areas and bring back biodiversity. She also organises conservation events and has developed a large range of online environmental education resources for teachers. Rachel loves exploring the bush with both students and teachers, growing their enthusiasm for, and knowledge of, our unique native flora, fauna, and fungi.

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Rob Kennedy

Rob Kennedy has a background in art, conservation and science. Papermaking meshes these interests with a passion for communication and hands-on making. He has been providing papermaking workshops around the greater Wellington Region for more than 5 years while also developing a papermaking business which helps support conservation through the sympathetic management and harvesting of plant material.

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