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breaking it down

tv show

Breaking It Down with Dr Michelle Dickinson is an educational science show aimed at 11-15 year olds.

Covering a diverse range of science topics, each episode includes a simple experiment that can be done at home as well as an interview with a prominent scientist working in the field.

The program was broadcast on TVNZ and made for the home learning channel during the COVID-19 lockdown.

 Each episode is accompanied by a teaching resource available for teachers and parents to download.

The Science Of Light  

In this episode we cover the basic science of light as a wave, carry out a hands-on experiment showcasing reflection and refraction with student Hudson Kirkbeck and talk about lasers with Associate Professor Jevon Longdell from the Dodd Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies.

The Science Of The Brain 

In this episode we cover the basic anatomy and function of the human brain, carry out a hands-on experiment with student Amelie Kirkbeck and talk about blackouts and brain injuries with Dr Malvindar Singh-Bains from Brain Research New Zealand.

The Science Of Plastics  

In this episode we cover the basic science of polymer chemistry, the process of making plastics to have different properties as well as recycling plastics, carry out a hands-on experiment with student Rakei Curtis and talk about bioplastics with Dr Florian Graichen from Scion.

The Science Of Materials 

In this episode we cover the science of different types and properties of materials, carry out a hands-on experiment with student Rakei Curtis and talk about nanomaterials with Associate Professor Nicola Gaston from The MacDiarmid Institute.

The Science Of Energy & Electricity  

In this episode we cover the science of renewable energy, how to make electricity and carry out a hands-on experiment with student Hudson Kirkbeck while talking about solar cells with Professor Justin Hodgkiss from The MacDiarmid Institute.

The Science Of Sound  

In this episode we cover the basics of sound as a wave, carry out a hands-on experiment with student Amilie Kirkbeck and talk about the sounds of the ocean with Dr Craig Radford from the University of Auckland.

The Science Of Botany  

In this episode we cover the basics of plant biology in vascular plants, carry out a hands-on experiment with student Amilie Kirkbeck and talk about how plants cope with drought with Dr Cate Macinnis-Ng from Te Punaha Matatini.

The Science Of DNA & Genetics

In this episode we cover the structure and function of DNA and its role in inheritance, carry out a hands-on experiment with student Hudson Kirkbeck and talk about genetics and cancer research with Dr Melanie McConnell from the Victoria University of Wellington.

The Water Cycle

In this episode we cover the basic science of the water cycle, carry out a hands-on experiment with student Amelia Lockley to make rain and talk about freshwater algae with Dr Susie Wood from the Cawthron Institute.

The Science Mixtures & Solutions  

In this episode we cover the basic science of the mixtures and solutions, carry out a hands-on experiment with student Rakei Curtis and talk about polymer mixtures with Professor Jadranka Travas-Sejdic from the University of Auckland.

The Science Climate Change 

In this episode we cover the scientific concepts around climate change, how we measure it and how it's different than just weather, carry out a hands-on experiment with student Amelia Lockley and talk about ice cores with Tim Naish from the Victoria University of Wellington.

The Science Of Astronomy 

In this episode we cover the scientific concepts around our solar system and planets and carry out a hands-on experiment you can do at home with student Rakei Curtis. Finally we talk to two researchers - Dr Haki Tuaupiki from the University of Waikato, and Dr Ian Griffin from Otago Museum.

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