Grab your exclusive opportunity to access an incredible range of PLD expert facilitators in one place at our upcoming event: 

Not with Field-Based STEM? No worries! Special Deal for you at our Educators Conference – Hawke’s Bay

The conference starts 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023 @9:00 am

and finishes on 

Friday, August 25, 2023 @1:00 pm

Nobody does it better - this Conference has been made possible by the support of schools who have signed up for Field-Based STEM PLD through MoE funding. Now we are opening it up to schools who have yet to experience the high level of expertise that is the hallmark of every single FBS Facilitator. The first workshop/field trip that you book is absolutely FREE and there is no expectation that you will opt for subsequent workshops/field trips.
NEED Accomodation? We have you covered! FREE twin share room if you are attending workshops on different days.

event Profile

3 days
First Workhop/Field Trip Free. Subsequent sessions $85 per session.
Hawke's Bay


your facilitators for this conference

  • TONY JONES – Founder of Field-basedSTEM

Tony Jones
  • HARI MOGOȘANU & SAM LESKE – Space People

Hari Mogoșanu – Milky-Way.Kiwi
Sam Leske – Milky-Way.Kiwi
  • KIERA JONES & HOLLY DAVIS – Educational Psychologists

Kiera Jones
  • TOM & ALLIE COYLE – The CSI Guys

Tom Coyle
  • MIKE KING – Professional Forager

Mike King
  • SARAH CROSS – Queen Bee
Sarah Cross
  • RACHEL THOMSON & HEIDI PRITCHARD – Biodiversity & Sustainability
Rachel Thompson
  • HEATHER KNEWSTUBB – Music Maestro
Heather Knewstubb – Time Genie


A blend of field trips and workshops – designed to help you engage learners in authentic learning. Join us for any part of this 3-day conference in Hawke’s Bay and get to see how Field Based STEM facilitators work with schools to maximise the natural resources on their doorstep – so that you can replicate the process at your school.

NOTE: If the weather is too bad to go on a field trip, our facilitators will adapt and provide an indoor workshop alternative.

Our social programme runs in the evenings.

On Wednesday evening, join us in Napier for our Art Deco ‘Who Done It’ Tour when we encourage you to dress in theme (1930’s) and find clues at Teressa’s Cocktail Bar, Rogue Hop Speakeasy and the streets of Napier. There will be an opportunity to eat at your chosen restaurant and catch up on the murder mystery trail or get a takeaway pizza and eat in our reserved room at Rogue Hop.

Thursday evening, Star Party! Join Hari and Sam and other members of the team for an evening of star gazing under the excellent guidance of our space guys.

What's Included

We have a 9.00 am briefing on Wednesday morning and then straight into the workshops/field trips. The morning workshops run for 2 to 2.5 hours and the afternoon field trips head out at 12.30pm – returning at approximately 4.30 pm

This is a half day trip (Thursday afternoon).

Water quality and MUCH more (Tony)

We go to Pukehamoamoa School and walk to their local stream. The purpose of this full day trip is to demonstrate how we can use the same local resource over and over – each time covering something new.

We consider bugs along the short walk to the stream and bugs in the stream. We get a overview of the geology of the region by looking closely at the stream pebbles and we show how the cyclone damage, still leaves it’s mark.

Evidence of past ice ages over the last 3 million years are very evident and the understanding that you gain is transferable to other locations.

And, of course we will do a full water health assessment for those new to this type of study.

This is a full day trip with Forager Mike – Wednesday, (followed by a half day workshop for those wanting to progress the learning further).

On your school grounds, outside the school gate and further afield…

Mike will also take the opportunity to demonstrate how as an arborist, trees have potential for so many new ways of learning…

This is a full day field trip – Wednesday.

Learn about biodiversity on a farm/forest boundary with Rachel and Heidi.

A walk from farmland to native bush on the Ruahine Ranges. Here we can see unique native plants and discuss their role in the ecosystem. Some kai by the stream where we will really notice what is around us and appreciate how good being outdoors is for good mental health.

A scavenger hunt will help us to spot more fascinating and unusual native plants, bugs, fungi, and birds. Rachel and Heidi will share interesting stories about some of these species which will make you look at them with a new sense of wonder and curiosity.

On the return from native bush to the farm we will see the native seedlings popping up under the pine trees and can pot one up to take back to our school and plant in our grounds. Through this session, we will discuss the need to plant more native trees in order to bring back biodiversity to our school grounds. Rachel and Heidi can give examples of the many school restoration projects that they are working on.

This is a half day trip (Thursday afternoon).

Water bugs, crawling bugs, burrowing bugs and flying bugs …

Join Sarah and learn how you can turn everyday locations into highly engaging learning areas. Sarah will show you how you can literally find bugs just just about anywhere!

There will also be an opportunity to zoom in on pollinators so that you can extend your student learning and consider what a modern society would look like, without bugs….

This is a half day trip (Wednesday afternoon) run by Sarah and Tony.

A trip to the estuary can provide opportunities for an enormous amount of hands-on science.

Covering every Strand of Science (Planet Earth & Beyond; Living World; Physical World; Material World and Nature of Science) we will show you activities that you can repeat at any other estuary. Contributing to this field trip are Allie & Tom (The CSI Guys) and Heather* (Music Maestro).

We conclude by showing the evidence that esturies are incredibly dynamic and contantly evolving…

* Links well with Heather’s Thursday morning workshop

For anyone who misses out on Mike’s full day trip, there is an opportunity for a half day trip on Thursday afternoon and so provide an opportunity to see how Mike finds the ‘ingredients’ for his ice creams and sorbets (Thursday morning workshop)

This half day workshop can be a ‘stand alone’ or seaminglessly follow on from Mike’s full day field trip (Wednesday). The workshop runs on Thursday morning.

From botanical ice cream to hydrosol sorbet, Mike will show you how to really make the most of your foraging …

In the workshop Mike will show you how after foraging for native spices, you can make a “magic potion” using for example, Douglas fir tips, rimu tips, lemon balm, and sour apples.

Similarly Mike will share his techniques to make an ice cream that is unique to the surroundings around your school!

Half day workshop (Wednesday morning and repeated Thursday morning).

Experience a unique and interactive professional development workshop designed by psychologists (Kiera and Holly) for educators. Discover how to utilise traditional Māori weaving to enable you to understand your students better and its practical application in multiple areas of the school curriculum. Enhance student well-being and engagement through activities for co-regulation and psychological flexibility development.

Part 1 can be considered as a stand alone workshop or as a prelude for Part 2 (Thursday afternoon).

Part 2 can be a ideal follow on from Part 1 for those who want to dive deeper. It can also be seen as a stand alone for participants are looking for new ways of engaging your learners.

Part 2 runs on Thursday afternoon

…and How to Use it in the Classroom
Heather Knewstubb

“…we realised that human beings were wired with a music part inside us which connected mind and body, grounded and healed us” (Tune Me in, Music Education NZ 2023)

There are countless studies which indicate that music is comforting and soothing in times of disaster and the aftermath. This workshop will discuss how to use music in the classroom to help students regain their wellbeing and confidence after the disruption of weather events, strikes and the pandemic.

Research also tells us that listening to music is great – but making music is better, especially in group situations where connections are formed and also a feeling of being part of something bigger than ourselves. We will look at how we can connect all of this with our local curriculum work – tapping to what we have on our doorstep.

Be prepared to have some fun!

…. as we specifically cover:

• Why music is so good for our wellbeing and mental health – throughout our lifetime.
• How you can incorporate music throughout your curriculum
• How you can link music to your local Field-Based STEM curriculum work, while meeting some important music achievement objectives

This is your opportunity to spend time with not one, but TWO Educational Psychologists and tap their brains relating to everyday encounters in your classroom.
This is an informal session over coffee and you welcome to stay and listen to other questions and answers or leave once you have had your most pressing questions answered.

Forager Mike has a heap of cool activities associated with foraging. This Friday morning workshop is an opportunity for Mike to share some of the ones that he didn’t have time to cover earlier in the Conference and maybe repeat some that you missed.

Half day workshop runs on Wednesday morning and is repeated on Friday morning
Immerse yourself into the world of forensic science.
Your presenters Tom and Allie will guide you through the processes of identifying a suspect using forensic equipment utilised by CSI personnel around the world.
The session will incorporate the following
• Presentation on forensic science
• View mock murder scene
• Cast of a shoeprint
• Examination and identification of footwear
• Hair and fibres
• Development of fingerprints
• Identification of fingerprints using the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)

This workshop will equip you with fun and informative new skills to incorporate into your current science lessons.

Half day workshop on Thursday morning run by our Space Guys – Hari and Sam.

Navigating Planet Earth and Beyond – Part 1 Immerse yourself in the captivating world of astrobiology with Spaceward Bound NZ, pioneers in portable planetarium experiences. Our unique workshop, tailored for New Zealand’s science educators, aims to showcase different teaching strategies linked to the NZ curriculum. During this session, we’ll dive into the secrets of our home planet and its diverse ecosystems, exploring Earth’s biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere. We’ll delve into fascinating topics such as climate patterns, geological activity, and biodiversity. Together, we’ll discover innovative ways to translate these complex concepts into classroom-friendly lessons, ensuring your students can grasp and appreciate the wonders of our world.

Half day workshop on Friday morning run by our Space Guys – Hari and Sam

Navigating Planet Earth and Beyond – Part 2
Join us as we continue our cosmic journey in Part 2 of our workshop, venturing beyond our planet’s boundaries and into the boundless expanse of the universe. ‘The Blueberry’, our cutting-edge Astrobiology Dome, will be your launchpad for this journey, providing a stunning visual backdrop as we navigate the solar system and beyond. We’ll explore planetary science, celestial mechanics, the life cycle of stars, and the enigmatic phenomena of black holes and dark matter. Plus, we’ll discuss the exciting Mars ‘blueberries’ story and the search for extraterrestrial life. By integrating these topics into your curriculum, you can inspire a new generation of astronomers, astrophysicists, and perhaps even astronauts, sparking their curiosity and their passion for the cosmos.

Find out first-hand what we do and where we go when we visit our Hawke’s Bay schools. We will show you how easy it is to transfer these approaches to your own school. Our field trips run from midday OR are full day

Too many trips to choose from?

Field trips 1 (Tony), 4 (Sarah) and 6 (Mike) are all located at the same spot so that you can focus on one theme but have the opportunity to move in and out of the others. Heather will also be on this trip and pointing out opportunities for creating soundscapes (part of her Music Workshop). Tom and Allie (CSI Guys) will be attending and will demonstrate how their expertise can contribute to a field trip of this nature. Heidi and Rachel will also be attending this trip and they will provide their own special contribution from a biodiversity perspective. Field trips 2 (Mike) and 3 (Rachel and Heidi) are also run together and so you will get the best of both excursions! The Space Guys will also be attending this trip – so you will have plenty of opportunity to get the low down on their mahi. Field trip 5 (Wednesday afternoon) is run by Sarah (bugs) and Tony and joined by our Space Guys (Hari & Sam) and Psychologists (Kiera & Holly) – so you will get a chance to get their take on events. Tom and Allie (CSI Guys) will be attending and they will demonstrate how their expertise can contribute to a field trip of this nature. Heather will also be on this trip and pointing out opportunities for creating soundscapes (part of her Music Workshop).

Essential Information