21 October 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
High School Science Teacher Top of Class
Dr Paul Lowe, a secondary science teacher at Morrinsville College, has won the Kudos Award for Science Educator at this
month’s Kudos Awards in Hamilton.
Dr Lowe was recognised for his work and research into encouraging high school students to work in teams and performing
problem-based learning on relevant topics. This method of teaching he’s developed is named “PROBLIT” - Problem based
learning in teams.
“We are teaching students to take responsibility for their own learning, and encouraging them to extend themselves into
science and technology areas with some guidance and support,” says Dr Lowe.
Dr Lowe is also involved in the CREST programme through the Royal Society's international awards scheme. The programme
is designed to encourage years 6-13 students to be innovative, creative, and to solve problem in science, technology and
“CREST can inspire, from an early age, an enduring passion for science and technology,” Dr Lowe says.
CREST encourages students to use their knowledge in a creative way, helping them to bridge the gap between their
academic learning and the challenges and opportunities of the world outside school.
At Gold Crest level, students expand their knowledge of specific techniques, language and analysis methods used in their
area of research.
Students Dr Lowe has tutored through both PROBLIT and CREST have gone on to be high achievers and leaders in their
Dr Lowe speaks of one of his students who designed a Thermodynamic Fridge, where he used latent heat from a gas BBQ to
cool beers while cooking sausages. This innovative student went on to study engineering at University and has worked
with Team NZ on sail design.
Another former student studied fungi on bowling greens while under his guidance. She used bacteria from the bush to
fight the fungi (fairy ring). She went on to do her Masters at Melbourne University, while working out of Dili, East
Timor to get aid to third world countries. This former student of Dr Lowe’s is now a country director for aid in The
Sudan, about to start her PhD.
“There are many more successful science students coming out of the Waikato, and furthering their careers both here and
overseas. It’s been a pleasure to play a part in getting them excited about science,” says Dr Lowe.
The Science Educator Award recognises a major, recent contribution toward encouraging an understanding and appreciation
of science to Waikato young people or the wider community. It is sponsored by Wintec.
The Kudos Awards celebrated Waikato’s finest scientists and science educators at a ceremony held at the Narrows Landing,
Hamilton, on 14 October. The awards recognise the region’s most exciting science discoveries over seven award
categories including medical, agricultural, environmental, science educator, emerging scientist, entrepreneurial science
and lifetime achievement.
The winners’ cash prizes are used to advance science in the Waikato region and are sponsored by the Waikato District
Health Board, Hamilton City Council, Environment Waikato, WINTEC, Calder and Lawson House of Travel and the University
To find out more about the Kudos Awards and view a full list of winners go to www.thekudo.org.nz.