Working behind the scenes supporting the delivery of the science curriculum and agribusiness programme in St Paul’s science faculty is Science Technician Raewyn Keene. The faculty Raewyn supports encompasses 16 teaching staff, six departments and 10 laboratories.
A member of staff for eight years, Raewyn’s day-to-day running of the faculty hasn’t gone unnoticed – she’s just been announced as a finalist in the 2019 Kudos Awards.
Finalists were named in seven categories in the region’s prestigious science excellence awards and Raewyn, nominated by the science faculty, is in the running for the Hill Laboratories Laboratory Technologist Award. She is one of three finalists from 12 nominated for this category. The winners will be announced at a gala dinner on September 5 at Claudelands Events Centre.
“Our finalists are a reflection of the calibre of scientists living and working across our region. We are delighted to be able to recognise their work and the contribution they are making to the region,” says Professor Ross Lawrenson, chair of the Kudos Science Trust.
As the sole charge science technician at St Paul’s, Raewyn manages the resources and prepares the experiments used across all science disciplines – biology, physics, chemistry, general science, horticulture and agribusiness. She also manages the budgets, purchases equipment and is responsible for the faculty’s health and safety and risk assessments.
With the introduction of the new agribusiness NCEA standards, Raewyn has been required to research and trial methods to provide students with the best possible outcome. While 56 secondary schools nationwide are using the new standards, only five are doing the practical components of cheese making and biltong. Raewyn can have up to 60 students making cheese at one time.
“Raewyn has the skill set to support and predict what units of work the science staff are teaching and can have all the resources available to them before they require it. This enables a successful learning environment for our students,” says Duncan Smith, head of St Paul’s science faculty.
Raewyn has also been successful in establishing a national network of communication and support for science technicians through the New Zealand Association of Science Educators and the Royal Society. From 2004 to 2009, she was appointed the inaugural President of the Science Technicians Association of New Zealand. Their conference, CONSTANZ, is now an international event.
Science aside, Raewyn has been involved in coaching netball for 19 years. For the last nine years, she has been coaching Trust Waikato Hamilton city representative teams.
For more information about the 2019 Kudos Awards, visit the website.