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  • This Connected article describes the processes and practices used when planning, designing and building a large indoor sports centre. It outlines the science and technology behind the building process, including the steps taken to ensure that the structure remains erect, stable and safe. It demonstrates how engineers and scientists use their knowledge of building techniques, properties of materials and the impact of natural forces (including gravity and earthquakes) when designing buildings.

    Rights: Crown 2011

    Connected article: More than a box

    An article in the 2011, level 2 Connected journal, ‘Structure’ published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

    Photograph by Adrian Heke.

    This also highlights the value of mathematical skills in a real-life context.

    Check your school library for this article from the 2011 Level 2 Connected journal, ‘Structure’, or order it from the Ministry of Education.

    Rights: Crown 2011

    2011 Connected Level 2: Structure

    The cover of the 2011 Level 2 Connected journal, ‘Structure’ published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand. This issue includes the article More than a box, Building a wharenui and Saffron’s skeleton.

    Cover photography by Mark Coote.

    Teacher support material

    The teacher support material (TSM), in PDF format, can be downloaded from Tāhūrangi. It includes hands-on learning activities designed to support students to develop scientific explanations of the physical and material world aspects of the New Zealand Curriculum:

    • Testing shapes, beams, and the role of bracing
    • Building a structure
    • Covering the gap
    • Exploring foundations
    • Exploring fasteners
    • Testing our thinking
    • Using diagonals.
    Rights: Malcolm Gayfer, Weatherwatch

    Collapsed Southland Stadium

    In September 2010, the roof of Invercargill’s Southland Stadium collapsed. This was partly due to the weight of up to 600 tonnes of snow from one of the worst storms to hit the area in decades.

    Related content

    The citizen science project, How Deep in Your Snow also looks at Invercargill's Southland Stadium roof collapse.

    The Connected article Building for the future explores how cultural and scientific knowledge are being used to build a safer future for the local people. The article is supported by a ready-to-use cross-curricular teaching resource.

    The Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities: Ko Ngā Wā Kāinga Hei Whakamāhorahora (BBHTC) National Science Challenge focuses not just on structures but also on “Ka ora kāinga rua – Built environments that build communities”. Focusing on homes, neighbourhoods, towns and cities throughout New Zealand that enable people to enrich their lives and reach their social, cultural and economic potential throughout their life stages.

    New Zealand is prone to earthquakes so researchers work on ways to make buildings safer with seismic engineering. Find out how experts like Dr Bill Robinson use base isolators to protect important buildings such as Parliament House. The article Shaky scientists and engineers gives short profiles of the people who work to keep us safe here in the Shaky Isles.

    Check out our entire range of Connected articles here. We’ve curated them by topic and concepts.

    Useful links

    This technology/engineering-based lesson explores the strength of roofs.

    The Connected journals can be ordered from the Down the back of the chair website. Access to these resources is restricted to Ministry-approved education providers. To find out if you are eligible for a login or if you have forgotten your login details contact their customer services team on 0800 660 662 or email


    The Connected series is published annually by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

      Published 1 December 2020 Referencing Hub articles
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